13 Creative Editing Techniques Every Video Editor Should Know

If you happen to be a movie buff, you’re probably familiar with quick-cut transitions, the flash-bulb cuts, freeze frames, or the fabulous opening scene of movies. Most of these effects consist of different types of edits and cuts of videos that have been put together by video editors to make a story.

It’s more than important for you to master the various edit types and understand why each technique is important in different circumstances if you want to make your projects appealing and entertaining to your audiences. Furthermore, learning all these video editing techniques will also make your editing process more efficient and help you express your creative side of video editing. Here at viddedit, we have compiled 13 creative editing techniques that every aspiring video editor should master. Let’s get to it:

13 Must-know Video Editing Techniques Every Video Editor Should Learn

1. Standard Cut

Also known as a hard cut, this one of the basic cuts of video editing that puts two clips together. The standard cut connects the last frame of one and the starting frame of the next.

2. Jump Cut

This one pushes forward in time. This cutting technique is applied within the same composition or frames and used repeatedly. A jump cut is mostly used within montages.

3. Montage

A montage is an editing process that involves the passage of time. Combined with quick cuts, this technique is also used to provide an overall context for the story. You’ll see montages on videos of athletes preparing or training for matches, but montages can be used in any transformation.

4. Cross Dissolve

A cross-dissolve serves many purposes and motivations in a story starting with signifying the passage of time. The technique is also used to overlap or dissolve “layers” to show multiple scenes or stories at the same time despite each scene is shot at different times.

5. Wipe

A wipe is a transition technique that utilizes an animation that “wipes” the beginning scene or story away into the next scene. Some good examples of “wipe” scenes include the ones you find in Star Wars or the 90s TV show “Home Improvement. “

6. Fade In/Out

This one is pretty obvious—you fade out one clip and fade in the next one. The fade in/out is used to depict the passage of time mainly for a night-to-day switch or for scenes of someone falling asleep.

7. J/L Cut

The J and L cuts are very common. The L cut is applied to have the audio from clip X continue when clip Y comes in, whilst the J cut is the opposite. In the J cut is used to have the audio from clip Y to be heard even we’re still seeing clip X. The J and L cut are primarily used documentary interviews.

8. Cutting on Action

This video editing technique is self-explanatory. To give you some context, you apply this technique at the point of action which is what our eyes and brains are expecting. When someone kicks a door open, viewers want to see the change in angle when the doors are kicked. Nobody wants to see the door when it’s blown open. The bathroom scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is an example of it.

9. Cutaway Shots

Cutaways refer to shots that distract viewers away from the main characters or action. Cutaway shots provide additional context to the scene or action resulting in more foreshadowing and tension.

10. Cross Cut/Parallel Editing

This editing technique is used to cut between two different scenes taking place at the same time in different places. Cross cuts or parallel editing are great for creating tension especially in heist movies where you see characters breaking into a safe while security guards heading toward their location.

11. Match Cut

Match cuts are edits that give context and continuity to the scene and leads to a specific direction, without causing any confusion to the viewer. This editing technique is used to move between scenes or moving around a certain space which creating any incoherence. A basic version of these types of cuts is shooting a person opening a door from behind, and then cutting to the opposite side as they pass through it.

12. Smash Cut

The smash cut used to make a loud scene immediately transition to a quiet scene or vice versa. Editors use this technique for transitioning between two different scenes, narratives, or emotions. You see the smash cut technique in action when people wake up from dreams.

13. Invisible Cut

Want to showcase your creative side as an editor? Start by adding some invisible cuts in your video or film. The goal of applying these types of cuts is to make a shot appear like one continuous take. Invisible cuts are used in movies like Gravity and Birdman.

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