3.5. Cuts and transitions

Jump Cuts

When you place your selections of clips one after the other on the timeline they will be joined by what are known as ‘jump cuts’. A jump cut is when both audio and picture from the first clip end at the same time and the new audio and picture from the second clip start together. This interrupts the flow of the film so generally we avoid it unless we are intentionally seeking that interruption. To avoid jump cuts we simple allow the sound from the new clip to begin while we’re still showing the last clip or we start showing the new clip before the sound of the last clip has quite finished. This eases the viewer into the next clip.

 3.4 Cuts and transitions


A transition is the way that one clip moves into the next so these cuts are the most simple forms of transition. However, the editor has other transition options. To close a scene completely a ‘fade to black’ or ‘fade out’ is often used. To create a soft mood a ‘cross dissolve’ is common. This is when one picture becomes transparent as the next picture appears through it. Other less common transitions are the ‘page peel’ where the image peels back like a turning page to reveal the new clip underneath or ‘spin out’ where the current clip spins away and leaves the new clip underneath. There are many other weird and wonderful transitions with names like implode, explode, venetian blinds, to name a few. A bit of experimentation will soon have you familiar with them.  Take note, though – your film needs to have a consistency throughout so decide upon what type of transition or transitions you are going to use in your project and stick to that the whole way through.

Practical Assignment

Apply appropriate cuts and transitions to your edit.