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B. Sakthidoss

JUMP CUT

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I've never heard of "jerky cut" being an official editing term -- sounds more like a nickname.

 

"Jump cut" is when the cut in a sequence is obviously discontinuous in action, rather than a hidden cut that smoothly links action. It's not just a simple cut to a different angle in a continuous scene because that's expected by a viewer -- it's meant to stand-out and be a disruptive, jarring cut that almost feels like a mistake (except it's harder now that jump cuts have become more commonplace.) Generally the motion/space in the scene becomes discontinous, like someone talking on the phone looking out the window and suddenly cutting to them looking the opposite way with their back to the window.

 

The cut from the falling bone to the spaceship in "2001" is one of the more famous jump cuts in film history, although it borders on being more of just an abrupt transition since it begins a new scene.

 

The jump cuts in Godard's "Breathless" are an early, famous example. There is a montage of Belmondo (or was it the girl?) wandering through the city that is very "jumpy". Bertolucci's "The Conformist" has scenes where a jump cut shows people in a scene standing in new positions in the room.

 

But the technique has filtered down to mainstream movies... "E.T." has a scene where Eliot is scared in the cornfield at night when he runs into "E.T." and there are some jump cuts of him being frightened (different angles on his reaction where the motion is not continous). At the end of the movie, there are jump cuts to tighter and tighter shots of Eliot's face seeing the men with guns just before the bicycles take off.

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You mean when Eliot sees the men with walkie-talkies don't you ;)

 

Hmmmm, been a while since I've seen E.T. but I don't think that's what he means. Let's break it down in a real simple way.

 

Scene: A man is looking through the kitchen for something to eat.

 

I place the camera at one end of the kitchen and start rolling. I call action and my actor goes through the long process of going through each and ever cabinet and the refridgerator. He finds a box of ice cream and, satisfied with that choice, leaves the kitchen.

 

Now, in the editing room, I know that I'm not going to use that long 5 minute take of him going through everything, so I'm going to use "Jump Cuts". I'll start with him walking into the kitchen and looking in one cabinet, THEN I'm going to CUT to him looking in a another cabinet. I'm changing the flow of time (and doing other things to the feel of the scene).

 

Does that help?

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Hmmmm, been a while since I've seen E.T. but I don't think that's what he means.

 

We're talking about the same moment in "E.T." -- he's just joking about the guns being digitally replaced by walkie-talkies in the Special Edition. But the scene does have a quick series of jump cuts into Eliot's face.

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We're talking about the same moment in "E.T." -- he's just joking about the guns being digitally replaced by walkie-talkies in the Special Edition. But the scene does have a quick series of jump cuts into Eliot's face.

 

AH! Ok, coming back to me now. And I haven't seen the digitally "enhanced" version.

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