In filmmaking, external rhythm, also called cutting rhythm, is established by the duration of the shots that make up a scene. Lengthening or shortening the duration of the shots establishes a rhythmic pattern that can complement or contrast with the internal rhythm and content of a scene or sequence.
The kinds of transitions (e.g., cut, fade, dissolve, wipe) used from shot to shot or from scene to scene also affect the nature of the cutting rhythm.
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