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Common Cuts

June 7, 2012

Cutting On Action is also refered to as matching on action which is an editing technique. These techniques are cuts of one shot to another which match what happens in the initial shot to give the idea of continuous time. The shots which are used may not have been shot together but can still be edited to give an impression of  time. Usually a character will begin an action in one shot such as throwing a glass in anger, the next shot could be of the glass smashing into pieces against a wall, this creates a visual bridge which allows the audience to not notice the cut and change of shot but feel comfortable in the edit and continuity of the scene.

This shot also has an alternative edit which the subject will exit the frame in the first shot and reenter the frame in the following. The key is to make sure the second shot matches the screen direction of the first so as to keep a consistency.

Match cut can also be called a graphic match in film editing. This is when two different objects, spaces or compositions are graphically match in order to create and help the audience identify a strong link of action and be able to link the two shots metaphorically. The two shots may be different but will have a match between the two in order to link them together. “The Fountain” by Darren Aronofski is a prime example of this when he runs his hand over the tree bark which then changes to his sick wifes arm.

Jump Cut is an editing term for editing two sequential shots of the same subject which are taken from different camera positions, varying only slightly. This type of edit is very abrupt and is avoided by most Hollywood filmmakers. The edit is unlike the smoothness which classic editing encourages but rather draws attention to the constructed nature of the film in order to add a sense of speed to the sequence of events.

Breathless, 1960, Jean-Luc Godard

Cutaway shots are used during a film as an interruption  of a continuously filmed action by inserting the view of something else. It is usually followed by a cut back to the first shot.

The Godfather, 1972, Francis Ford Coppola

Cross Cut editing is a technique which is commonly used in films in order to create an action taking place on two different locations at the same time. The camera will cut between the two, hence the name cross-cut. This implies that these actions are  happening simultaneously but it is not always the case.

A Corner in Wheat, 1906, D.W. Griffith

Dissolve cuts are the transition in which one scene changes gradually into the other. The speed and timing of the dissolve can be used to add meaning to a scene transition


From → Film Editing

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