Cuts & Transitions

In filmmaking there are three stages: Pre-production, which is the planning stage; Production, which is shooting the raw footage; and Post-Production, editing it all together.  In a perfect world all your footage would edit together seamlessly as if it was one long, continuous shot and the movie would be done as soon as you filmed it.  Meanwhile, here in the real world, it is in the editing room where the movie is really made – not in the writing or planning and not even on set when the cameras are rolling. The real movie magic begins in the editing room.

Like a giant puzzle the editor must put all the pieces together to form a complete story, and he or she does this by cutting and transitioning from one piece of raw footage to the next.  The type of cut or transition you use should not be because it would look cool, it should reinforce the scene and the story as a whole. There are so many different types of cuts and transitions to choose from it can be a bit overwhelming. Knowing what they are and how the work on other films is a good starting point

In the video below, Director/Editor Joey Scoma lists and defines the different cuts and transitions available to you as an editor, with examples from classic and modern films. I thinks it’s a great video for anyone interested in getting into filmmaking because chances are, as a indie filmmaker you’ll be the one editing your first few shorts or movies.

Learning how to cut in your software of choice is not nearly as important and learning what type of cut or transition to use… and why.

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel for short films, audio short stories and the complete audiobook version of Dead Hunt.