Fundamental Movie Editing Techniques

This is a compilation of techniques used in editing using gifs to demonstrate the when to make the cut.


Cutting to an empty frame and letting the subject enter the frame.

The very best directors have a comprehensive understanding of film editing. They plan and direct shots in such a way that they can be cut together smoothly and coherently. Ambitious filmmakers would therefore be well advised to learn film editing.

You should generally cut on action, especially if you are cutting from a wide shot of a subject to a tighter shot of the same subject on the same visual axis. Cutting on action means that you cut from one shot to another just as an action is performed, such as an actor taking his hat off. When you join the shots, you use the first part of the motion in the wide shot and the second part of the motion in the tighter shot (you have to experiment to find out exactly where to cut for the smoothest results – it depends on the shots).

There are a number of ways to cut from a wide shot to a tighter shot smoothly:

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