We’re suckers for singular moments that stand out. Floods of information wash over us, and the vast majority of it, for one reason or another, doesn’t stick.
Every once in a while, though, something does, and it leaves a mark. An impression, a reference point.
These moments usually evoke a distinct feeling or emotion in our minds.
Sometimes these singular moments leave their mark for minutes, others literally leave a mark for the rest of our lives.
Case in point:
This past Sunday, my wife and I were standing in church, singing along with the band. As of this writing, I can’t even remember which songs we sang.
Here’s what I do remember:
As the stage full of musicians came to the end of a fairly loud song with everyone playing at once, everyone stopped playing except for the keyboardist holding out one sustained chord on a synth pad…
And the percussionist steadily blew one rumbly low note on his didgeridoo.
As in, blowing into an ancient Australian Aboriginal instrument that’s basically a hollowed-out log.
All of a sudden, I got the chills.
A wall of sound from modern instruments had faded away to reveal one singular, pulsing note speaking of primal, ancient things.
Through a moment of pure sound, my mind shifted into a place to consider the simultaneously ancient and modern reasons for why I was standing in that church to begin with.
It was incredible.
This is the kind of moment we want to create as editors, and it’s easier said than done.
The fact is, a lot of what we edit will wash over the audience and leave little to no impact. That’s okay – there’s a reason for all that stuff.
One big reason: to properly set up those moments that we know will make a mark, leave an impact.
Those moments that will make our audience feel something powerful.
Creating those powerful moments is one of my specialties. It’s the reason executives regularly say, “Give that scene to Jeff – it really needs to work.”
Becoming known for setting up an emotional space doesn’t just randomly happen.
Here’s the background of how I got there, and how you can get there too: