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Narrative in video and fimmaking (a term borrowed from literature) means story as perceived and expressed by a “narrator” (the “voice” or “personality,” usual fictive and not actually present as a character, of the storyteller). In editing, the pace, by which is meant the rhythm as established by the length of each shot, and the methods of transitioning from one shot to the next—swipe, cut, fade-in, etc.—indicates the speed of recollection of the story’s elements—the urgency of the narrator’s need to get the story told—and the excitement or lack of it of the involved characters. Continuity is indicative of the complexity and completeness of the narrative—continuous concentration on the main thread, or constant distractions and sidetrips. Continuity also refers to the logical unfolding of plot elements to “tell a story”—consistency of details in shots recorded at different times and then realigned in the editing process. A rapid sequence of short scenes challenges the continuity in the viewer’s mind, because the human mind tends to make logical sense of continuous impressions.
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