Video editing jump cuts are little understood, and most times they are not properly used in most video movies. Before we begin this discussion it is imperative that we have a clearly understood definition of a jump cut. If we start with a continuous shot where someone is speaking(speaking is not a requirement, but it will enable you to recognize the jump cut quicker) and the camera does not move from the beginning to the end we have defined the piece of video in which we are going to make the edit that will create the jump cut. Any cut which removes footage between the beginning and the end of that shot creates a jump cut. In essence the edit makes the video jump forward to the next part of the shot, hence the term jump cut.
In a shot where the camera pans from the speaker to the audience, you can cut out the pan and go to the audience while continuing the speaker’s voice over the shot of the audience and technically by removing the pan you are jumping forward in the shot, but because of the angle change, it is not a jump cut. Video Editing jump cuts give the feeling of moving forward in time and they are very useful if you establish them as part of the style of your video.
If you have a shot where your subject drives up, gets out of the car, walks up to the door of a cabin and enters, it may take two minutes or more. With the judicial use of video editing jump-cuts you can speed that sequence up and still see the process unfold. For example, the car drives up and stops, jump-cut to the door opening, jump cut to the subject outside the car shutting the door, jump-cut to the subject half way to the door and then jump cut to the door being opened and the subject closes the door after entering. Depending on your footage you can play around with which points make for the smoothest jump cuts and adjust the length of the cuts to create a pattern or rhythm for the jump cuts in the sequence.
Video editing jump cuts are eye pleasing when they are used correctly and jarring when they are not. It is up to the individual editor to determine when and when not to use the video editing jump cut tool. As you work on your videos, don’t be afraid to experiment and try video editing jump cuts when you feel that your video is slow or lacks focus. The beauty of digital editing is found within the ease of trying different things and the ease of using the restore button if they don’t work. Have fun with you editing and have no fear of making a mistake. Sometimes mistakes can turn into some of your best editing. Experiment with video editing jump cuts and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Thom Pryor was a professional Hollywood video editor for over 30 years working on some of your favorite films and TV shows. Now he helps people using Professional Video Editing tell a story with their video projects. Let him help you convert slides, preserve your media, and tell the story that lies underneath your video and audio projects.