Ever wondered how movies, social media content, documentary, commercials, and animations have such great videography and transitions that make it look like the video was shot in one go? Well, it’s all thanks to the art of editing, which makes the video appear flawless and gives the desired narrative of the writer or the storyteller. Editing is the process of combining raw footage and compiling them into a sequence to create a video/ film. This specific role requires an individual to cut video(s) and put them together after trimming, color correction using filters, and creating transitions to get the necessary clip.
One of the essential elements determining the success of videography is the editing quality. The art of editing is not just to cut the video but to figure out which cut should be made, the exact moment of trimming, how much to shorten, and applying the perfect creative techniques that bind the video clips to establish a structure that serves the purpose of narrating a story.
On the subject of cuts, there are a few predominant styles of cuts that are crucial to the process.
The standard cut
The standard cut is the basic type of editing used to trim the video from clip to clip and lay them side by side with no transition. The standard cut also referred to as the hard cut, transits from the end of one clip to the beginning of another. The primary drawback of this technique is that it neither gives visual meaning to the story nor invokes emotion in the scene. However, this way of video cutters is essential for commercial videos because it puts out basic information in a structured manner. The idea of a standard cut video process is intuitional, just like art; it takes time to master.
Cross-cutting, also known as parallel editing, is a type of video cutter occurring between two different clips or scenes happening synchronously but in different spaces. This form of editing allows the scenes to be parallel, allowing the audience to compare them simultaneously while building suspense. If done effectively, this narrates two distinct narratives to the viewers, and the story moves seamlessly. However, one needs to be careful while structuring the cut video; else, it might baffle the audience. The editor must consider the audience’s point of view, framing, lighting between the scenes, and the coverage. For instance, when two characters are talking over a phone, cross-cutting should be made to switch back and forth between the characters.
As the cut’s name says, this technique takes the viewers/ audience from the main subject to another action happening in the background. This is generally used for transitional clips to give the viewers a glance at something that is happening outside of the main action. It also emphasizes the details, allowing the spectators to add more meaning to them instead of sticking to a single clip, and hence gives an idea of the environment where the main action is taking place. Cutaways work as suspensions and can be achieved by pulling B-roll footage, which is secondary footage to build visual interest in the desired location. Cutaways can include medium, wide or close-up coverage clips. These cut videos are used to mask the mistakes during a video shooting and hence should be done only in the desired parts.
Jumpcut is a video editing technique that allows the subject in the scene to jump forward in time. This jump will be abrupt and happens when the editor removes a section from a single scene while merging the remaining cut video together, which causes the jump from one place to another. Transitions using this technique are notable and obvious. These kinds of jump cuts can be seen in interviews with multiple cameras in different directions, with the angles being switched between them. This way provides a fast, fun, and easy way to keep the viewers engaged in the film.
cut and J cut
The L cut technique is mostly used in documentaries, narrative films, and other commercials. It allows the audience to engage in the audio from the previous shot while the visual clip has been moved to the next shot. This video cutter relies on audio to associate two different scenes together. This can be used for conversational scenes within the video. Since this cut video drags the ongoing shot’s audio into the preceding shot, it creates an ‘L’ shape and hence gives the name ‘L cut’. This gives the audience the feeling of nostalgia. For instance, an audio clip of the beach while the subject is driving the car would invoke the audience to reminisce about the moment.
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The J cut works opposite to the L cut. The main idea is to lead the audience to the next scenario with the audio. Spectators can hear the audio of the preceding clip at the end of the first clip. Mostly seen in interviews, the technique helps the audience get a better understanding of the situation. Since this cut video drags the foregoing shot’s audio into the ongoing shot, it creates a ‘J’ shape and hence gives the name J cut. For instance, the calm beach audio within a car interior while approaching the beach uses the cut to create the ambiance.
L cuts and J cuts can be used in conversational scenes to make the conversation appear more natural.
Cutting on action
Action movies indulge more in this editing technique as it involves the cut video from one shot to another, which matches the action of both videos. For instance, while using the cutting on action method, a video should be cut while the character has shot the bullet, and the next shot should be the person receiving the bullet. In this way, the story has a better continuity flow. In order to get a better motion in the film, cut the video in action rather than waiting for it to end or pause. However, this cut is possible if there is sufficient coverage of videos, such as wide, close, and medium shots, such that there will be more shots to work with while editing.
The primary idea behind this technique is to use the rapid-cut video of imagery that helps convey the story and suggests the passage of time. It allows the spectators to travel through time and location. Montage is a technique where the video/ videos will be selected, edited, and pieced together to form a continuous video segment. Unlike other types of cut, a single video is cut into several videos and utilizes numerous cut videos. It unites them in a sequence to form a structure that is frequently used to build suspense and anticipation within a scene. This helps capture the essence of character development in the most effortless way.
It is the technique of pairing two different environments by matching the first action and blending the subsequent one together in a way that it effectively narrates the story. Match cuts help connect two discrete actions seamlessly. It uses some segments of the former shot to transition into the latter shot, which is completely different from the former. It effortlessly makes the transitions between the scenes without the audience realizing. Match cuts might be noticeable when edited unprofessionally. However, with more effort put into it, this cut will end up as one of the best transitions and gives the story a more memorable and amazing narrative.
Every film requires a narrator who narrates the story, and videographers and editors who give life to the narration through their shooting and editing techniques. As intimidating as all the techniques may seem, if given time and effort, one can master the art of editing with the power of the internet at our fingertips.