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Old January 24th, 2003, 04:58 AM   #16
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Can someone explain in simple words (I don't seem to be able
to at the moment) what a jump-cut is for people who don't know?
Since you guys are talking a lot about it in this thread...

Rob Lohman,
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Old January 24th, 2003, 07:10 AM   #17
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Let's define a few terms. A cut is when a scene changes to another scene with no transition (no effects, dissolves etc.). The scene instantly changes to another scene. It is the most common type of edit. A rough edit (first edit, preliminary edit) is a cuts only edit.

A jump cut is a specific type of cut. It is characterized by cutting to a scene too similar to the first. In the second scene, the subject stays the same size, as well as other elements in the scene. The angle of view is very similar, but shifted slightly, so that when the two scenes are viewed, the subject shifts slightly in position. This is usually very disconcerting to the audience.

The easiest ways to avoid a jump cut is to change the angle of view more noticeably (move the camera) and to change the subject size as well (zoom lens or move camera closer, farther away). There are times when the cut will still look unnatural because of background elements or the camera movement was too extreme (more then 90 degrees).

When insufficient material is shot (not enough different shots and shot angles) a cut away is used to hide the jump cut.

A cut away is a scene placed between the two cuts, thus avoiding (covering up) the jump cut. The scene is usually a close-up, a reaction shot, or even a graphic.

A cut away can be used quite effectively to foreshadow the action or display emotion. In Peter's piece, a shot of Arafat's hand on or moving towards the gun would have added an element of tension.

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Old January 24th, 2003, 07:14 AM   #18
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A 'jump' cut is in this pejorative sense meant to mean an unintentional discontinuity in action or angle - where the cut seems to jar and there is no smooth continuity to the next. There is another meaning to it, as I will explain:


Why do you keep on insisting that I am defending the jump cut - you are, forgive me, becoming pedantic on this one issue without really giving any insight whatsoever into editing.

You keep talking about corporate programming as if it were the very pinnacle of production - I am sorry but that is not the case in my experience. I have edited for all the major UK broadcast channels (not to mention corporate, commercials and drama) and I have taught both editing and directing at the BBC and in the independent sector - you name it I've done it - I must have cut hundreds of different programmes over the years - believe me I know what is tolerated! Although I have to say who the hell cares what we've done - our words should make sense in themselves!

You pick upon the jump cut as if it were enough in good production simply to avoid, well let me take this one stage further - I believe one could argue that 'jump' cuts are seen all the time, and there intentional use is very common in film, commercials and popvideos, so much so that they have entered the very lexicon of film grammar - let me give you some examples:

Look at most commercials and you will see 'jump' cuts used to contract time: the car door opens, the key turns in the ignition and the car speeds off - all of which would take far longer in real time; conversely when match continuity editing in drama it is common practice to double up on action to give it a smoother transition or to cut away from a speaker in dialogue on their fianl syllable; similarly it is common practice now to jump cut on the same angle a la 'Friends' and Alan Parker's 'Comittments'; it is also common practice to use shock jump cuts to create dramatic effect.

Of course the unintentional jump cut is a mistake - but it is also perhaps the most simple error to learn to avoid. I thought that whilst Peter was clearly untutored in the art of editing he had a feel for it, overlapping in places and cutting in when required - what I felt needed attention were the lack of reation shots and the overall pacing - these things can be learnt - to pick up on mechanical defects is really IMO neither here nor there - Peter was not making a corporate video!

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Old February 3rd, 2003, 09:35 AM   #19
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I just saw some really nice use of jump cuts in "Waking the Dead" (the scene where the main character is standing out in the street at night asking for a sign). I remember "The Limey" having some nice jump cuts also (all through it).

Peter, I've successfully downloaded your film finally (thanks to Jeff's recommendations). Comments coming soon.
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Old February 5th, 2003, 01:55 PM   #20
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Peter is drooling for John´s review :-))))))
Peter Koller
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