13 Productive Editing Techniques Every Video Editor Should Know

 Once you set your mind to master the art of editing, you will have to know the essential cuts and learn the editing techniques to use when editing a film or video. You’re probably familiar with most of the effects such as quick-cut transitions, the flash-bulb cuts, freeze frames, or the fabulous opening scene of movies if you happen to be a movie buff. These effects consist of various types of edits and cuts of videos that have been put together by editors in order to make a story. You have to master those edit types if you want your project to stand out. It will also make your editing process more efficient and help you express your creative side of video editing. Today we have compiled 13 creative editing techniques every video editor should know. Let’s see what are they.

The Standard

In editing, the hard cuts very basic. If you want to cut from clip to clip without any transition, you can utilize this type of cut. In this type of cut, you cut from the end of one clip to the beginning of another. However, it gives you the least amount of visual meaning and it’s the only downside of the hard cut.


   Jump Cut

Jump Cut will allow you to jump forward in time. It’s usually used within montages and you can do it within the same frame or composition. You can introduce the contemporary audiences to a new way of time passage in film. It’s one of the most types of cuts today next to hard cut.


L Cut & J Cut

Let’s talk about the L Cut first. You can use this technique for a narrative film or even a documentary film. On this cut, you can hear the audio from the previous shot even though you have moved to another shot. You can introduce the voice and then give visual information on the environment where the voice is located. You can keep your video flow naturally and give your audience much needed spatial information. This technique is widely used by the gopro video editor nowadays.
J Cut is totally opposite of L Cut. Here you hear the audio before you see the video. You can use this cut in all forms of filmmaking and videography. Most of the people use it in content featuring an interview. With this cut, you give your viewers additional visual information to go along with the dialogue. Thus, your audience will gain a better understanding of the environment the character exists in.


The editing technique signifies the passage of time. You can give an overall context to the story with quick cuts. Montages can be noticed in sports shows like when you see athletes training or preparing for a big match. In fact, you can use it for almost any transition by any characters and it’s normally underscored by music.


Cross Dissolve

You can use this technique for several purposes and motivations within the story. It indicates a passage of time and you can use it for overlapping layers or dissolves in order to show multiple stories or scenes happening at the same time but shot at different times.

Cutaways will help you to drive the audience away from the main subject or object. You can give a view to the audience of what is happening outside of the main character’s environment. It will also help you emphasize specific details of the mise-en-scene and allow you to add meaning to them. This technique can also be used during dialogue sequences.


Fade In/Fade Out

The name says it all. It means, you fade out one clip and then fade in another one. This involves a passage of time, like someone falling asleep or a night-to-day switch. But if you don’t use properly, it can be a bit jarring. One thing to keep in mind that you should not use this type of cut for standard applications.


Cutting on Action

Yes, you have to cut on the action. You have to cut at the point of action because your eyes and brain will be expecting that naturally. It’s just like when someone kicks a door to open, we want to see the change in angle when the door is kicked. It’s not like we want to see it after when it’s flown open and swaying for a moment.


Match Cut

Match cut will give a context and continuity to your scene and pushes it in a certain direction, without puzzling the audience. You can use it to keep everything coherent and move between scenes or move around a space. In this cut, you shoot someone while opening a door from behind and then cut the opposite side as they walk through it.


Smash Cut

You have to use the smash cut if you’re shooting a loud scene that immediately goes to a quiet scene or vice versa. It works really great in order to transition between two completely different scenes, narratives, or emotions and you need to make an abrupt transition.


Invisible Cut

Adding invisible cuts in your video or film will help you to prove yourself how creative you are. You keep the shot looks like one continuous take in these types of cuts. You can create invisible cuts by using something like lens flare or light leak. You can also use a foreground object to fill the frame and transition to the next scene or clip.


Cross Cut

If you have to cut between two different scenes which are happening at the same time in different places, you have to go with a crosscut. You can add great tension by using this technique.


This technique will help you to utilize an animation that “wipes” the beginning scene away into the next scene. You must have watched “Star Wars”, it can be a good example of ‘wipe” scenes.


You have to use multiple cuts at the same time and experiment accordingly. Don’t be afraid of blending the techniques because it will help you to understand better how the cuts really work. Everyone had been at the stage that you have been right now. And each of them had to give a try and see what happens. So, you have to do the same. Just be enough confident, and implement the techniques with practice and patience and you will see that you are getting better day by day.




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