In order for an action to register with an audience, other action should not overlap with it. We need to use timing to our advantage.
We can prepare the audience, and use their expectations to amplify the effect.
Back when Scott Caple was a student of mine, his class was making a Western.They wanted the biggest explosion in movie history, but were disappointed by the limitations of the sound department.
I told them what would really make the explosion big, would be the action leading to it. Imagine a barrel of of gun powder with a lit fuse, let the fuse burn right in through the hole and into the barrel of powder. No move, no sound. The characters in the film hold their breath. Hopefully people in the movie theater do the same.Just when you start wondering if the gun powder is wet...BANG!
I remember when popcorn kernels were first introduced in Denmark. A few friends and I took a single kernel, put it on a teaspoon, and held it over candle light to heat it up. We were anxious for it to pop. Although the spoon kept getting warmer, nothing happened, It really started to test our patience, and just when we least expected it…BOOM! The kernel popped. I have watched a lot of popcorn pop since then, but that's the only single kernel I remember.