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Momentum is the forward thrust of a movie. It results from the interplay of

"cause and effect," rhythm, and pace. These variables contribute to the
perceptual movement of a story:

Cause and Effect

In movies, every action must create a reaction. This cause and effect pattern
forces the protagonist to take action regularly throughout the story. It creates
expectation in the audience and keeps them interested in the outcome. In short,
cause and effect is the engine that drives the story forward.

Rhythm is the pulse the audience feels as variables change from scene to scene.
These variables include fast vs. slow pace, action vs. character development,
day vs. night location, long vs. short length, expansive vs. intimate setting, etc.
Changes in these variables create a subtle scene to scene rhythm that avoids
monotony and makes the movie interesting to watch.

Rhythm is the pulse an audience feels from scene to scene.

Pace refers to the perceived speed of a scene. It is determined by emotional
content, movement within the frame, length of shots, and music. It is one of the
major variables contributing to rhythm.

Pace is the perceived speed of a scene.

Everyone likes a thrill packed movie, but even fast paced scenes can become
tedious if sustained without a change. For example, how do you develop
characters when they are constantly dodging bullets or jumping off cliffs!
Consequently, writers, directors, and editors must strive to find the optimal
balance between rhythm and pace.