Video Editing Techniques: Strategizing Your Ideas

Abigail Calzada

Abigail Calzada

Putting together a story is not all about production. Post-production is equally important in the manner of delivering a clear, distinct, and creative message to the viewers. It tells the story in such a unique style depending on the editor’s combination of different video editing techniques.

The Primary Video Editing Techniques


Standard Cut

Also known as hard cut, a standard cut is a direct slice between shots. It is an immediate transition where the next scene begins as the other ends. Jarring cuts can exude a dramatic or humorous expression that can deliver a drastic change of emotion to viewers.

Jump Cut

A jump cut is a technique of cutting a few frames out from the same shot. You can project a subtle way of fast-forwarding a chronological scene or cause objects to jump within the same frame. Some make smooth transitions by masking jump cuts with interpolating frames with new ones.


Montage is a technique that is used when projecting a chronological time or development of the story. This technique is mostly used in transitioning the transformation of a character, a palace, or an event using quick cuts and slow dissolves.

Cross Dissolve

Cross dissolves is a technique used to slowly transition the frame to the next or overlap layers to display multiple scenes happening simultaneously but in different frames.


Wipe is figuratively wiping one scene to show the next. It is a common technique for animated films nowadays although it became an obsolete style in the past years. Star Wars use this technique strategically to maintain its classic appeal.

J or L Cut

J or L Cut is a technique that presents a scene with an engaging audio-visual experience to viewers. J cut is when you start the character’s dialogue then cutting to the next frame. L Cut, on the other hand, is cutting the character on the frame while leaving the dialogue.

Cutting on Action

Cutting on Action is used to show a scene where it needs validation of action. It’s what the viewers reflex when something is being moved from the opposite side. It’s an instant transition of action to the movement of an object.

Cutaway Shots

This technique is effective when covering jump cuts or making a smooth transition between two separate shots to make it look seemingly continuous. It creates a theatrical image making the scene even more intriguing.

Cross-Cut or Parallel Editing

Parallel editing is used to exhibit different events in the story happening all at once. A technique that cuts events back and forth as they slowly unfold the climactic scene. It requires proper timing to effectively fuel the right comedic or melodramatic effect.

Match Cut

Match cut emanates continuity to give off a certain context or direction without any disorientation to the visual experience of the audience. A match cut is often used to show a continuous tour of a room or space.

Smash Cut

Smash cut is often used in horror or thriller films where a sudden shift in the sounds is followed by a sudden shift in the frames to quickly shift the emotions of the audience.

Invisible Cut

It is the reason behind Birdman’s success in making the audience believe that the whole film was taken in one single shot. The invisible cut is an advanced technique that requires skillful eye and timing to pull off.

To properly execute creativity, one needs to learn techniques. Strategies are what enhances the visual quality of the viewers while clearly relaying the message in such a way that brings varied emotions and optical engagement.

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