POST-PRODUCTION

The Three Pillars Of Editing

26 June 2019

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The Three Pillars Of Editing

It’s not only important to know how to cut and apply effects but to also know why you should (or shouldn’t).

There are only three kinds of cuts to make when editing. Obviously, there are derivatives of the three kinds of cuts, but for all of the flashy, flamboyant, and fun-filled films we watch with magnificent, magical, mind-blowing visuals, they all utilize the same baseline of three unbelievably simple kinds of edits.

The three basic cuts

Before you type your fingers into bloody nubs at the end of your palms in the comments section, I want to state that there are many ways to think of editing (sound, special effects, music, foley, offline,  etc). Right now, I’m just talking about editing film and video clips.

So what are the big three?

  • Straight cut: when the scene changes from one clip to another
  • L cut: when the second clip’s visuals start before its audio
  • J cut: when the second clip’s audio starts before its video

Go through literally any video in the world and look at how each clip in the video or film interacts with the following or previous one.

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Photo credit: No Film School

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