Editing Jargon

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a little blog post about Social Media Jargon – Those pesky words you see but don’t know what they mean! When it comes to editing, it can be much of the same. I’m going to be covering the basics here.


A ‘cut’ is a type of visual transition. It’s where one shot is instantly replaced with another.

Continuity Editing

This type of editing creates a smooth flow on screen and is achieved by consistency, cutting at the right moment to progress a story.

Cross Cutting

Cross cutting is cutting back and forth between several different perspectives of action which shows that they are happening at the same time.


This is another type of transition, however, it is very gradual. It’s where one shot overlaps the other, slowly beginning with the other whilst the previous one ends. ‘Goldfinger’ (dir. Guy Hamilton) is a great example of dissolves used in theĀ film. It isn’t as popular a transition nowadays in a film, but remains a staple in the editing world.

Establishing Shot

A type of shot, usually at the start of a sequence, which establishes a location where the action will take place. Usually an extreme wide, or a bird’s eye view.


Another type of transition, however unlike a dissolve, a shot will fade to black (or white) and then the next will proceed. They are often used to progress a story to a new location or time period. Still popular today.

Final Cut

The finished film. This is what audiences will see, once approved by usually the producer and director of a film.

Jump Cut

A jump cut leaves out part of an action in a shot. Check out this scene from ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ (dir. Wes Anderson) which uses jump cuts effectively.

Sequence Shot

A shot that goes on for an entire scene, with no editing.

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