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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Editing Principle 35: Referred Pain


There’s a physiological phenomenon in which a problem in one part of the body causes tenderness in a different part. A stressed cervical vertebrae, for instance, may be experienced not as a sore neck but as acute pain in the right shoulder. This is known as “referred pain”; where the source of the pinch and where we feel it are…


“I’m credited with being a director, a producer, cinematographer, and co-writer, but I think the thing that I do is try to figure out what’s in and what’s out. There’s a moment in the Milos Forman film Amadeus where the Emperor critiques Mozart by saying there are ‘too many notes.’ As you write whatever you’re writing, you struggle with more raw material than you have space or time, or more importantly an audience has interest in. And so you will then do what I do every day of my life which is cut and edit and figure out how to have that complexity survive in the service of very challenging narratives, but not have too many notes.”

From this Fast Company interview with Ken Burns: “How to Conquer Your Massive Creative Project the Ken Burns Way”