Types of editing and cuts

Three different types of editing sequences

Split Edit

Also known as the L cut. Technique that makes a transition more aesthetically pleasing and interesting. In a split edit the audio track transitions at a different time that the video. Thanks to this transition dialogue scenes don’t look like tennis matches, when the conversation would jump between two actors. It can be used to give the viewer a wider context of the scene.


A technique in which a series of short shots are edited into a sequence, used in the tv and film industry for trailers and recaps of what happened in previous episodes. It originates from 1920’s, when these sequences combined different optical effects such as fades, split screens and dissolves. Back then it was used top provoke the viewer and disorientated him.

Discontinuity editing

A form of montage. This style of editing creates disorientation. It uses metaphorical and symbolic shots to tell the story. Viewer doesn’t know what to expect.

Research and review three different types of cut

Fade in/out:

A  popular type of transition between shots. Fade outs are usually used  at the end of a film, to close the story. A very popular practice is to fade the picture into the black screen. Sometimes they can be also used to illustrate the ending of a day, character falling asleep. Fade ins are the opposite, they’re used in the beginning of the film.


The dissolve is a smooth transition used to indicate the change of location or time but also to connect the scenes. It happens when two shots overlap each other, but are both visible because their opacity is lower. It seems like this transition was more popular in the past than in present times. The dissolve was used in the beginning of “Citizen Kane”, when the gate to Kane’s mansion dissolved into a shot with moneys in a cage and then into another shot of the mansion on the hill which was metaphorically use to show the audience that his dream house is also a prison. In The Godfather Part II dissolves are used to show the continuity between two generation of Corleone family.

Cutting on the action:

It’s also known as matching on the action, it’s a technique in which we cut from one shot to another that marches the action from the first shot. We can see a lot of examples of that cut in The Matrix, like in this clips below, when Neo meets Morpheus. It’s starts around 0:19. Another example of this transition can be observed in the boxing scene in “Sherlock Holmes”. These types of cuts make the transition between shots much more smoother and fluid.




Bowen C., When to Use the Dissolve [online] Masteringfilm.com Available at: http://masteringfilm.com/when-to-use-the-dissolve/ [Data accessed: 09.02.2015]

Renee V., 2013, Transitions in Editing: the History and Evolution of the Dissolve [online] NoFilmSchool.com Available at: http://nofilmschool.com/2013/08/history-an-evolution-of-the-dissolve [Data accessed: 09.02.2015]

Unknown, Types of transition [online] ElementsOfCinema.com Available at: http://www.elementsofcinema.com/editing/types-of-transition.html [Data accessed: 04.02.2015]

Pinard B., COMMON VIDEO TRANSITIONS: CUT, FADE, AND DISSOLVE [online] Videomaker.com Available at: http://www.videomaker.com/video/watch/tips-and-techniques/447-common-video-transitions-cut-fade-and-dissolve [Data accessed: 04.02.2015]

Lee K., 2013, The Dissolve on dissolves: A video essay [online] Available at: http://thedissolve.com/features/special-feature/16-ithe-dissolvei-on-dissolves-a-video-essay/ [Data accessed: 16.02.2015]

SoloBoxer, 2013, Types of Fil Cuts [online] Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LXQg6t4q2A [Data accessed: 16.02.2015]

Filmmaker IQ, 2014, The History of Cutting – The Birth of Cinema and Continuity Editing [online] Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uahjH2cspk  [Data accessed: 16.02.2015]

Hockrow R. 2014, Pacing for Video and Cinema Editors: Timing and Types of Cuts [online] Peachpit.com Available at: http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2233986&seqNum=4 [Data accessed: 16.02.2015]


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