just noticed while watching a clip for oscar nominated animated short: "Even Pigeons go to Heaven"
that a popular technique to create more tension in a scene is to splice two events together and mirror the escalating tension. in pigeons, the two events are: a car chase and an old man trying to get a jar of something on the top of a cupboard. as the pursuing car gets closer to its target, the old man is closer to the jar. the tenuous nature of the old mans footing on the stack of books on the chair paralleled with the recklessness of the car chase gives a sense that the two events are about to crash together in one cataclysmic instant.