I have just read that book and here are some notions which were important for me:
The rule of six (pp.18):
How do you want the audience to feel? Walter writes that an ideal cut is the one that satisfies all the six criteria at once.
1) Emotion (51%)
2) Story (23%)
3) Rhythm (10%)
4) Eye trace (7%)
5) Two-dimensional plane of screen (5%)
6) Three-dimensional space of action (4%)
He continues "if you have to sacrifice of those six things to make a cut, sacrifice your way up, item by item, from the bottom".
Put yourself in place of the audience:
- What is the audience going to be thinking at any particular moment?
- Where are they going to be looking?
- What do you want them to think about?
- What do they need to think about?
- What do you want them to feel?
Where you feel comfortable blinking - if you are really listening to what is being said - is where the cut will feel right.
Walter proposes three problems wrapped up together about:
1) identifying a series of potential cut points (and comparisons with the blink can help you do this)
2) determining what effect each cut point will have on the audience, and
3) choosing which of those effects is the correct one for the film.
Sequence of thoughts = the rhythm and rate of cutting = should be appropriate to what is audience watching at the moment. The average "real world" rate blinking is somewhere between the extremes of 4 - 40 blinks per minute. If we watching a fight, we will be blinking dozens of times a minute. Statistically the two rates / of real blinking and of film cutting / are close.
Walter thinks (pp.71) that subconscious attention to the blink is also something that you would propably find as a hidden factor in everyday life. One thing that may make you nervous about a particular person is that you feel, without knowing it, that his blinking is wrong. "He's blinking enough" or "He's blinking too much" of "He's blinking at the wrong time". Which means he is not really listening to you, thinking along with you.