Rhythm in Editing


Duration :
2 days 
(9.30am - 5.30pm)

Dates :
26 - 27 November 2020 (online class via Zoom)

Please contact us for upcoming dates. Custom courses can be arranged for your organisation if you have a minimum number .

S$ 880 before 7% GST
S$ 941.60 after 7% GST

Who Should Attend :

Video Editors,Directors and anyone with an interest in visual storytelling and the moving picture.

As there will be hands on exercises involving editing a short video,an ability to use editing software like Final Cut Pro 7/Final Cut Pro X,iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro would be needed. Editing workstations will be provided,or attendees can choose to bring their own laptops for editing

Course Outline

In recent years ,the cost of equipment and software for video editing has decreased dramatically,with powerful video tools now available to practically anyone.

While the tools have become cheaper and easier to use,the skill involved in editing remains something that must be learned through experience. Having an understanding of the aesthetics of editing is what truly makes a good editor.
In this master class, experienced editor and instructor Gek Li San discusses one of the most important parts of editing - RHYTHM.

The rhythms created by the picture editor are the movements and transitions between frames, which best tell the story or shift emotional energy between actors, and make emotional and rhythmic connections with the audience.
Faced with hundreds of hours of raw footage, a flm editor must craft the pieces into a coherent whole. Rhythm is a fundamental tool of the flm editor: when a flmmaker adjusts the length of shots in relation to one another, he or she afects the entire pace, structure, and mood of the flm..

Film editors often just say the whole process is intuitive and they cut when it 'feels right'. But what is it in the edit rhythm that creates a certain mood, or emotional energy? How does a flm connect with its audience? What is it that holds our attention and triggers our response to the images and sounds moving before us ?

In this master class ,Li San tackles these questions ,using popular flm scenesas visual tools to explain various editing conventions and stylistic choices

Among the topics Li San will discuss during the class are

• Rhythmic Intuition

• Timing and pacing

• Tension,Release and Synchronisation

• Physical Rhythm

• Emotional Rhythm

• Event Rhythm

Using examples of flms from the 1930s to the 2000s,Li San will dissect the rhythm of the edits in each flm to give attendees a new perspective of the power of editing rhythm,and it's effect on the overall feel of the film.

She will also use film theories from two renowed flm editing theorists ,Karen Pearlman and Maya Deren to analyse the flms.
Participants will also have a hands on session where they can apply some of the concepts learned.

The idea is to challenge them with a new way of thinking about story telling and their newly acquired rhythm theory.

There will then be a review and discussion of the various interpretations of their edited footage.

Li San will also lead discussions with the audience and take questions about editing decisions ,her own experiences in editing for a range of productions and her own editing philosophy

Participants will leave the class having learnt not just about the art of editing but also with an increased knowledge of flm history.

For existing video editors it is also an opportunity to rethink and refect on their existing editing style and philosophy. They will also be better prepared to handle a wider range of projects. For new video editors it gives them a good grounding on the philosophy of the edit and will help them to make stronger editing decisions.

Course Outline

Day 01

  • Some Film history
  • How editing rhythms have changed over the years.
  • Different types of rhythm and ways to cultivate them

Day 02

  • Demonstration of  some editing techniques
  • Editing exercise
  • Review and feedback on student’s editing work

This course is eligible for IMDA T -Assist,NTUC SEP (Self Employed Person ) funding  and Skillsfuture support as below:

Funding Support

Category Trainee Type Singaporean Citizen Singaporean PR
Organisation-sponsored Non-SME-Sponsored Up to 70% of course fee capped at $3,000
SME-Sponsored Up to 90% of course fee capped at $3,000
40 year old and above Up to 90% of course fee capped at $3,000 Up to 70% of course fee capped at $3,000
Self-sponsored Less than 40 year old Up to 70% of course fee capped at $3,000
40 year old and above Up to 90% of course fee capped at $3,000 Up to 70% of course fee capped at $3,000
Self Employed Person Please note that the SEP allowance scheme is supposed to be valid for courses up to 31st Dec 2020. After that ,the IMDA Freelancer allowance may apply. We are awaiting confirmation from the various agencies.

Course fee subsidy
: Up to 90% of course fee capped at $3,000
NTUC SEP Training allowance: $10 to $11  per training hour (depending on whether the participant is an NTUC member) . Total grant per course (sum of course fee subsidy and training allowance) will be capped at the course fee amount excluding GST

Upon verification of submitted documents required for Training Allowance claim, NTUC’s e2i will disburse the training allowance directly to your bank account within 30 working days after submission.

Please note the following

1. T-Assist does not cover GST

2. Skillsfuture funding can be used to cover any portion of the course fee not funded by T-Assist and NTUC SEP funding  (including GST)


A course costs S$ 1000 before GST (S$ 1070 incl GST) and duration is 21 training hours

A Singapore Citizen who is a self employed person (SEP) and a non NTUC member  should qualify for

  • S$ 900 from  IMDA T Assist funding (90% of the S$ 1000 course fee excluding GST)

  • S$210 SEP Training Allowance  ( S$ 10  non NTUC member rate x 21 hours)

So he would

  • Pay S$1070 upfront

  • Claim back S$ 1110 after the course   (S$ 900 IMDA T-Assist + S$210 Non NTUC member SEP allowance for 21 hours )

If the course fee + SEP allowance is less than the amount claimed back Skillsfuture credit can be used to cover the remainder inclusive of GST.

Please note that final decision  on grant /allowance eligibility and amount is up to IMDA ,SSG and  NTUC but the example  above is calculated  as per their policies as laid out on their respective websites.

More information is available  on our funding page and on the IMDA Talent Assistance page

About Your Instructor

Li San

Gek Li San

Gek Li San has been actively involved in the Singapore’s TV and film scene since 1993. Her work ranges from TV documentaries, reality shows, infotainment to trailers for both local and international channels. She has also edited many short and feature films for Singapore filmmakers.

These include two short films directed by Tan Pin Pin

REMEMBER | A dance featuring a cast of words inspired by a thesaurus
YANGTZE SCRIBBLER | A set of graffiti is found at Yangtze Cinema

Her Feature Length Work includes
Remember Chek Jawa
A feature documentary film directed by Eric Lim

Gone Shopping
A feature film directed by Wee Li Lin

INNOCENT, (a short documentary) directed and edited by her won the Special
Jury Prize and Special Achievement Prize at Singapore International Film
Festival 2004. It was also screened at the Yamagata Documentary Festival,
along with many other internationally acclaimed documentaries.

Li San has also been invited to be film mentor and judge for different
filmmaking events in Singapore over the past few years.

In 2011, Li San delved into a new area of art creation. of art-making. She was
given funding from NAC's Art Creation Fund for a dance film installation with
two other collaborators of different disciplines. Li San was also commissioned
to create a dance film for Singapore Arts Festival 2012.

Her website at https://singaporeditor.wixsite.com/learnfilm contains many useful resources for filmmakers and editors