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This editing techniques seem very prevalent on YouTube (usually in the type of videos where the person is just talking to the screen/audience).

Basically they just make a small 1 second cut every 5 seconds or so. Makes the video seem to go at a faster pace. I remember seeing it from Philip DeFranco (

) years ago but now it looks like everyone is doing it.

Is there a name for this technique?

  • I've seen this nearly everywhere on TV. Many reality shows (true and fake) use it when the person is giving their monologue to the camera. – Cole Johnson Jul 10 '13 at 22:59
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It's referred to as a jump cut. I would guess that perhaps the Apple ads that used it might have made it popular again, but that's just a guess. The idea behind it is to visually show a change in direction of thought since typically it matches up with the start of another phrase. It jumps the viewer forward in time and makes them aware of a subtle change in action.

A similar technique is often used in interviews where clips are cross dissolved to produce a smooth flow where silence is eliminated. The approach of replacing these dissolves with jumps gives more of a feel of rapid movement through time and has made appearances in recent culture as more "edgy."

  • Agree with AJ. Made famous originally by Godard in "A bout de souffle" – Julian Amaru Estrada Jul 9 '13 at 8:28
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    To whoever downvoted, if you could please comment as to what you think is inaccurate, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. – AJ Henderson Jul 9 '13 at 18:19
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I'd be careful how one uses the term 'jump cut'. Historically a jump cut meant a serious violation of continuity such as a cowboy holding a gun in his left hand and then in the next shot he is holding it in his right hand with no possible reason for the sudden change. Another example is when action might be moving from left to right and suddenly in the next shot everything is moving right to left, again for no reason. Errors in continuity cover a lot of area including wardrobe, make up, props including guns, where people are standing or sitting etc. In narrative film continuity is extremely important to keep what might have taken weeks to shoot appear to be happening right now.

On the other hand a jump cut where a cowboy holding a gun in one shot and it suddenly becomes a flower in the next shot would be a special case of a jump cut, called a 'magic cut'. Or another example of a magic cut is when people appear to beam up in Star Trek.

The example you have shown us uses what might be called 'jump-ahead-cutting' or 'fast forward cuts' wherein there is a reasonable amount of continuity (the background is the same, the guy hasn't changed his clothing) but to save time the editor is jumping ahead to get to the point or points. This works well with several successive discrete cuts to get rid of those awkward pauses.

Often in news interviews will use this technique and another version where instead of a cut the editor provides a 1/2 second or 1/4 second dissolve to the 'ahead' shot to smooth it over a bit.

UPDATE: With all due respect to AJ Henderson, I don't believe that using the term 'jump cut' is accurate because it is too general. What I think is needed here is a new term for the example sited by Jack above. Something more specific. While 'jump-ahead-cutting' is not official but only my own description it may not fit the bill.

Perhaps if we think of the original clip in the example before editing like the path of a skipping stone on a still bed of water, cutting so only the parts where the stone actually touches the water or cutting when only the stone is gliding in the air is analogous to the example. Might we call this a 'skip-cut'?

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    What you describe is a badly done jump cut. A jump cut is simply any cut in continuity where continuity is expected. That applies here. According to wikipedia "A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly. This type of edit gives the effect of jumping forwards in time. It is a manipulation of temporal space using the duration of a single shot, and fracturing the duration to move the audience ahead." – AJ Henderson Jul 8 '13 at 23:49
  • I also tried searching for "jump ahead cutting" or "fast forward cuts" but couldn't find anything about them. – AJ Henderson Jul 8 '13 at 23:58
  • "jump cut" historically was a bad thing for reasons stated, you neglect to take that into account, instead you are offering only a modern day 'wiki' interpretation which is ok, but it omits history and the context of how directors innovated cuts in general over the last 40 years. – filzilla Jul 9 '13 at 16:35
  • Of course there is no official term "jump ahead cutting" but it exists nevertheless as I explained it. – filzilla Jul 9 '13 at 16:37
  • I understand that the concept of a jump cut being used to forward time exists, but that is referred to as a jump cut by the editing field. In the history of continuity errors, they are referred to as continuity errors. This is a separate and distinct thing from a jump cut, though continuity errors did help lead to the development of the jump cut and magic cut as people realized that selective continuity errors could add rather than detract from a piece. – AJ Henderson Jul 9 '13 at 16:52

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