Video Editing terms


A shot that's usually of something other than the main subject and away from the main action.

What is a cutaway in video editing?

A cutaway in video editing is a technique that involves the interruption of a continuously filmed action by inserting a view of something else. It is often used to avoid a jump cut in the editing process, which can be jarring for viewers. The cutaway shot can be related to the scene or it can be something completely different, but it's usually used to add context or additional information to the main scene.

For instance, in a conversation scene, the main shots may be the two people talking, and the cutaway could be a shot of what they're talking about, or a reaction shot of one person listening. This technique helps to maintain continuity, control pacing, and keep the audience engaged. It's a common tool in film and television production.

How to use cutaway in video editing?

Cutaway in video editing is a technique where the editor inserts a shot that is related to the main scene or action, but from a different angle or perspective. This technique is often used to add more information, create suspense, or to avoid jump cuts that can be jarring to the viewer.

To use a cutaway, you first need to have additional footage that can be used for this purpose. This could be a different angle of the same scene, a reaction shot, or even a completely different scene that provides context or contrast. In your editing software, you would then cut from your main footage to this additional footage, and then cut back to the main footage. The length of the cutaway can vary depending on the effect you want to achieve, but it's usually just a few seconds long.

Remember, the key to a successful cutaway is that it should enhance the story you're telling with your video. It should never confuse the viewer or take them out of the narrative. So, always ensure that your cutaway shots are relevant and add value to your main footage.

What is the purpose of a cutaway in video editing?

A cutaway in video editing serves several important purposes. Primarily, it is used to smoothly transition between different scenes or shots, helping to maintain the flow of the video and prevent any abrupt or jarring changes. This is particularly useful in interviews or documentaries where the subject may be talking for a long period of time, and the editor wants to break up the footage to keep it engaging for the viewer.

Additionally, cutaways can provide additional context or information that enhances the main narrative. For instance, if a person is talking about a specific event, a cutaway to footage of that event can help the viewer better understand and visualize what is being discussed. Cutaways can also be used to hide any unwanted elements in the main shot, such as mistakes or technical issues. Overall, they are a crucial tool in creating a polished and professional video.

What are some examples of effective cutaway usage in video editing?

Cutaway shots are frequently used in film and television to provide additional context or information, enhance storytelling, or maintain continuity. For instance, in a dialogue scene, cutaways are often used to show the reactions of the other characters who are listening. This not only breaks the monotony of a single shot but also adds depth to the scene by revealing the emotional responses of the other characters.

In documentaries or news reports, cutaways are often used to provide visual evidence or support to the narration. For example, while the narrator is talking about a historical event, the editor might cut away to archival footage or photographs related to that event. This helps to engage the audience's attention and make the information more memorable. Similarly, in music videos or concert films, cutaways to the audience or different band members can enhance the overall experience by capturing the energy and dynamics of the live performance.

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