How Not to Pace Your Film: Lessons from Vivegham

Dark Mode :
  • Share

Pacing is an essential element of film making that is usually underrated. A well paced movie is not just about the cuts and the rhythm that is created during the edit. The pace of a movie should be fixed by the writer even before he starts writing the screenplay.

Let us take for example  an action movie like ‘Taken’ which has a fast paced edit in it to make the audience thrilled. On the other hand, a movie like ‘Shawshank Redemption’ which portrays the life of a prisoner, is slowly paced to make the audience feel the entrapment of the prison. Imagine Shawshank Redemption being edited with a fast pace or Taken being edited with a slow pace? Attaining a fast paced movie is quite difficult as the fastness should be organic to the sequences in the movie. Some times the fast pacing can be a gimmick in movies. This is because those movies were not written with the pace on mind. There should be elements in the script that are constantly contributing to the pace

Let us take Vivegam, there are scenes where Vivek Oberoi and his tech team are actively doing their operations at their headquarters. This scene was paced high to show an adrenaline rush in it. They tried achieving the fast pace by moving the camera around the characters again and again with some cuts and close ups. But the characters were just asked to type something on their systems and stare at it. This just made the scene very artificial. The fight scenes of vivegam had a lot of fast cuts with shaky camera movements but it still looked fake. It was like the director was throwing “A racy action movie” on our face. My simple point is that, When you write the script, you should have elements that would naturally sense a high pace. I don’t think it is a better idea when you have someone staring at a screen while the camera goes around and around since what you are offering is a fast paced movie.

There are some great action movies like the ‘bourne series’ which had similar cuts and shaky camera movement. What worked in bourne and did not work in Vivegam was the justification in fight. An unrealistic fight scene cannot be made into a realistic one with the fast paced edit

Looks like the editor of vivegam was influenced by A.K’s one liner – ” you will see my rage ” and showed his rage on pacing the movie.

  • Share