serves the editor... (try to make the editors job easier)
As a composer, I guess I can't really speak for editors. But if their job is like anyone else's on the planet, they want to work more efficiently. They want to get their job done better and quicker so they can move on to the next job.
At Dig It, we are always thinking about the cut.
On our long-form trailer work, (especially the Fantasy & Adventure series; F&A I, F&A II, F&A III, F&A IV) the cues have an extra intro with an interesting stop. After that, the cue has an introductory section, the 1st Act, that sets the scene and stays at this level for a while with maybe a slight build into the section that builds tension; the 2nd Act. We like to provide material to make a complete change so in a lot of cues there are a couple of sections built at this level. But before we get to the 3rd Act, we like to provide another "wild card," section. This is just another groove for a change of scene, most likely cut out or used as an extra transition to or from one of the acts. The 3rd Act may just be a rising tension that builds to an end in a short time to cut to the big cue. Or it may have a full blown drive that goes to the end of the trailer.
formatting case study_long-form: Sorcerers Showdown
Sparse texture pre-intro for studio credits or an ominous yet magical beginning.
1st Act intro to set the scene's magical atmosphere.
Magical accent can be moved to anywhere in the cue.
This Act 2 section supports action with a few upticks in the tension. Accents to a stop at the end of this section.
Short build that takes us from Act 2 into a challenge.
Challenge or decision in the action.
Optional break that is a groove. could be cut anywhere in the cue.
Crisis in the action
Heavily accented hits for a series of dramatic cuts in action.
Act 3 finale action.
The short-form trailer work is a little different. In these cues, we are just trying to set a tone and provide structure for cutting. Most trailers, especially action, need a cadence. A big part of the library are these kind of cues where structure is king; big hits and pauses, sound design or musical textures broken by ticking, pulsing and building tension. Expect these cues to set a tone with a deeply interesting stereo field that provides momentum towards an edit with a hybrid combo of music, sFx, sound design and percussion.
formatting case study_short-form: Evil Escalation
Big hit becomes evil, dark texture.
Whoosh into new big hit, evil dark and longer/more angst on whoosh out.
Add pulsing and ticking to evil dark texture.
Add intensity to all elements with string rise underneath.
Climax big hit, sub-bass darkness with long tail.
Reiteration of all elements with no stops (rise throughout) to a final series of lacerating hits.
Cohesive sound and structure make it easy to cut to any energy level to customize length
...without sacrificing impact.