Strategies to Avoid Jump Cuts in Your Video
By Premiere Gal
First, watch the tutorial:
Now that you have watched the video, let me go over some of my key points:
WHAT ARE JUMP CUTS?
Riley Hooper, a documentary filmmaker and author from the Vimeo blog, said it nicely, she wrote, “a jump cut is an abrupt transition, typically in a sequential clip that makes the subject appear to jump from one spot to the other, without continuity.” Most of the time, filmmakers and viewers do not like jump cuts unless they’re intended for creative effect. In fact, as editors, we strive for continuity and fluid motion to make it seem that action is unfolding consistently and logically within our film world. To reach our goal for continuity, I’m going to show you three tricks you can use to trump your jump cut.
EDIT WITH TWO CAMERA ANGLES
Try, whenever possible, to shoot your video interviews in two angles. These angles are usually called CAMERA A and CAMERA B. CAM A is the more prominent angle and CAM B is an alternative angle you can use in editing. For my interviews, I generally like to have my CAM A to position my interviewee on one side of the frame, close-up and with the interviewee’s eye-line looking at the interviewee on the opposite side of the frame, like this:
And then for CAM B, I like to create a more dramatic side angle that shows more of the person and will serve as another vantage point to cut away to if need be. So if you are editing and you don’t have broll to cover up the jump cut, you can cut to CAM B:
So let me show you how to do this. As you see in the timeline here, I have layered CAM A on top of CAM B, so I can easily cut out CAM A to reveal CAM B underneath. If you use photoshop, the concept of layers apply here: the top layer is what is visible in Premiere Pro’s Program panel.
USE MORPH CUT EFFECT
Second, try using the Morph Cut effect. In the effects panel, search for “Morph”. Drag and drop the “Morph Cut” effect where you just made a cut and it will analyze the background to literally morph the the two separate clips together seamlessly. The morph cut analysis will take a few moments to process and after you render you will be able to see your final result. That said, you will likely have to play around with the length and duration of the morph cut until it looks like the two disjointed clips come together continuously! Lastly, the morph cut only works well when you have a controlled background. If there are people moving or walking behind your interviewee subject, the morph will likely not work because the people in the background will disappear or move suddenly.
COVER YOUR JUMP CUTS WITH BROLL OR PHOTOS
Thirdly, rely on broll or images to cover up jump cuts. Let’s say your interviewee is talking about an experience they had and they say “um” A LOT (Editor’s worst nightmare, I know). Cutting out the extra “ums,” however, will likely result in several jump cuts. To make these jump cuts invisible, simply overlay a related photo or broll shot on top of the camera layer where the jump cut is. Apply a nice pan & zoom effect to create fluid movement. Then, voila! The jump cut goes away.
So these are the three strategies I take to “Trump the Jump Cut.” I encourage you to keep these strategies in your editing tool belt when you hit the editing stage of your production.
Premiere Gal is a new free online tutorial program that offers free bi-weekly tutorials on Adobe Premiere Software. Premiere Gal was created by Kelsey Brannan, a video producer in the Washington, D.C. Area, who felt the need to bring more female voices into the video editing tutorial world. Follow Premiere Gal below: