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Average Shot Length

Average Shot Length of 6 Famous Directors

On 18, May 2013 | 16 Comments | In Average Shot Length, One Sheets | By vashi

Film Editing Facts #2

Average Shot Length (ASL)

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  1. It blows my mind! Although it’s very interesting…

    …how did you calculate all that? :O

    Be as it may, thanks Vashi.

    • vashi

      Thanks Pablo! I’m pulling from my own research and from a database I will be sharing with everyone soon. It really is interesting to look at films by director or genre or period to see trends and tendencies.

  2. Just curious how you justified excluding Rope? It was commercially released, it’s part of the body of Hitchcocks work. I can see the argument that its a statistical oddity given the dramatically longer shots, but I still feel like it should be included.

    • vashi

      Thanks for the comment Jon. I think you nailed it with the statistical oddity fact of ROPE. With only 11 edits and an average of 433 seconds per shot…ROPE would have bloated the overall ASL for Mr. Hitchcock’s total film collection. I am trying to give an overview into the pacing and tempo of certain directors using my numbers. I notated it in the post with an asterisk because had I not…I’m sure someone would have made the contrary argument that ROPE inflates the overal ASL of Mr. Hitchcock. Thanks again for your valid point and I hope I cleared it up from my end! All the best…Vashi

      • But then Under Capricorn, the film Hitchcock shot immediately after Rope, also features unusually long takes (including full reel takes). 🙂

  3. This is fascinating. I look forward to seeing your other statistics. You might try the median rather than mean shot length. The median minimizes the effect of outliers without ignoring them altogether. Just a thought.

    • vashi

      Thanks for the comment Mark. I considered using MSL but all the research points to ASL as more accurately representative. My thought on it is because the outliers of extremely long shots are few but the large amount of rapid cuts and especially single or 2-frame cuts can be very common. Dismissing hundreds of quick cuts that are integral to a action/chase/experimental/stylized scene would be unfair to the overall edit count. Just my thoughts…but both methods give a good sense of the pacing and edit style. More coming soon! Thanks again…

  4. This is excellent (and informative).
    Thanks for compiling it Vashi.

    • vashi

      My pleasure Jason! There will more postings soon and actually more variations and deeper delving into shot size, camera movement and specific ASLs of Directors. Check back when you can and thanks for the support.

  5. I would be curious to know the average shot length of Stanley Kubrick’s films.

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