ex 13 – eye contact

Download Ex 13

ex 13 eye contact –  exercise background information


I can’t emphasise enough, how important Eye Contact is between the characters in any scene. The eyes can often tell us more about how a character is truly feeling inside, than the dialogue. As human beings, we are experts at recognising the slightest change of expression in another human face, and the eyes can reveal so much. It is vital for an editor to convey all this available emotional information to the audience.

You almost have to deal with eye contact as a separate layer for your attention, equally as important as dialogue or action. So often, at the end of any speech, there’s a very telling look, which is worthy of inclusion; it can be the difference between a good cut and a perfect cut.

Don’t be frightened to open up the dialogue track by a small amount, in order to preserve, or enhance, eye contact over a cut. Wow moments are made of this, and you, as an editor, have the power to make sure they hit the screen.

Ex 13 Eye Contact – exercise details

Shots Involved:

1  MCU M Tk1 (12), 2  MCU M Tk2 (13), 3 MCU P (12)



Progress goes hand in hand with nostalgia; the one produces the other.


He certainly thought the world had progressed too far and too fast for him. He couldn’t keep up any more.


I saw that a few years back with some of the guys in the publishing industry.

Exercise Aim:

The aim of this exercise, is to demonstrate how important it is to maintain eye contact between a pair of characters.


How do you keep eye contact going with these shots?


If you’ve had a go, I hope you can see what a huge difference maintaining eye contact makes. Just by delaying, or advancing, your cut a few frames, you turn good into great. Just have a look at the difference between my GOOD and BAD versions of this exercise. In the BAD version, an unnecessarily early first cut from Mark, leaves him with his eyes down and, at the same time, we cut to Philip who is looking into space. The cut back to Mark is too late, so that Philip has already looked back down.

I hope you got near my GOOD version. Incidentally, at the same time as cutting early to Mark, we can make his reply red-hot, on the back of Philip’s outgoing words.