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George Ebersole

Jump cuts

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Way back when in 85 or thereabouts, one of the first things I learned from a couple of vets was that you never jump cut. And yet these days, it's like well over half the media uploaded are filled with jump cuts.

 

To me it's annoying as anything, and I'm wondering how it got pushed and carved into mainstream visual media.

 

Any opinions to help enlighten me are welcome.

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MTV maybe?

You take my words from my mouth, haha (I don't know if that expression exist in english).

 

Is true that the frenchs an russians experiment a lot with jump cut, but to me, MTV made it mainstream. A lot of public (young new public) just get used it to a lot of new ways of tell stories and make interesting videos.

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Godard's "Breathless" (1960) made it popular though the technique goes back to the earliest days of cinema. Vertof's "Man with a Movie Camera" (1929) is made up of jumps cuts.

 

Even "E.T." has some jump cuts, in the scene where Eliot is scared at night in the cornfield while trying to find E.T. with his flashlight -- and at the end when Eliot and the gang are confronted by the FBI with guns and there are jump cuts into E.T.'s face just before the bikes lift off.

 

It's not a mistake if done intentionally for effect.

 

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About the fact that the jump cut is being over used nowadays, I believe that it is due to aesthetic reasons and easy editing/film making; jump cuts can be used with a humorous intention or to speed up the flow of the video.

 

And about the easy editing, youtube is a platform that allows to virtually every single person to have their own "TV show", but that doesn't mean that everyone knows about cinematography or editing. I believe people who upload videos where they talk about tutorials, reviews, lessons, etc, tend to ramble on too much, and in a vast amount of videos, they are just shooting themselves in a static continuous shot, so by the time they get to edit the video, they just skip the bits that don't satisfy them and the easiest way they can do that is with a jump cut.

Edited by Miguel Roman

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Thanks for the replies;

 

I guess, and I can certainly see the intentional effects it's supposed to have. But most of the time today, specifically in online media (I've never seen it used in contemporary feature films), it's usually a talking-torso in a lockdown, where the whole video is essentially like this; sound-bight edit, sound-bight edit, sound-bight edit.

 

Born in the 60s, coming of age in the 70s and 80s, it's just jarring to me, and annoying a lot of the time. But I guess that's the style. Weird.

 

I did not know the French pioneered it. And I never noticed that 2001 jumpcut until you pointed it out, Dave. Very interesting.

 

It's like the two things I really hate most about contemporary film making styles are shaky cam and jump cuts, yet everybody uses them. Oh well. I guess I'm just an old fuddy duddy.

 

Thanks all! :D

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I guess, and I can certainly see the intentional effects it's supposed to have. But most of the time today, specifically in online media (I've never seen it used in contemporary feature films),

 

I believe you never noticed. Like any "effect", is it use it right, you tend to immerse in the story and don't even notice it.

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It exploded everywhere when the age of Youtube vlogging came around by the late 2000's. Tons of public speakers who never learned how to speak so they relied on their editing softwares to make them sound engaging.

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I believe you never noticed. Like any "effect", is it use it right, you tend to immerse in the story and don't even notice it.

 

Quite possibly.

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Yea, youtube v-logs are they're called, are usually condensed using the jump cut method, rather then overlay with another image.

 

I'm not a fan of jump cuts, but since I create a lot of content for youth these days, I have been experimenting with the idea. I've only done it with music, where you want to pick up the pace with a song.

 

Per my other thread about producing cosplay content these days for my documentary series... here is the first time I've ever used jump cuts. I think it works well in this setting with condensing time, when you're dealing with limited footage, limited time and can't really "overlay" since you need to stay with the action.

 

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We don't talk about who make it first, instead who makes it mainstream.

 

Interest stuff though, thanks for sharing.

 

That would probably be the generation of American film makers coming through in the 1960/70s, who went to film school, studied Godard and the editing techniques of the Russian film makers and directed Hollywood feature films. These people would also have influenced the people making music videos in the 1980s.

 

There's nothing new about the YouTube type jump cutting, some British documentary makers (for the BBC etc) were doing that in the late 60s, into the 70s and on into the modern day to indicate that an interview had been cut (i,e, shortened).. They believe that it's a form of truthfulness, sometimes they'd also put a few black frames in.

.

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Not usually every two or three words, I suspect in the 1960s people could string more than two words together, for that sort of pacing (if not faster) go back to Eisenstein.

 

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My first two film instructors were Joe Price and Richard Williamson, both of whom had done a lot of golden era Hollywood productions; Cleopatra, Ben Hur and so forth. Sometimes as supporting cast, other times as assistant crew. They were pretty dogmatic on jump cuts, and I think August Coppola at SF State also frowned upon it. However, I do seem to recall one exception was for documentaries, and I do seem to recall that Breathless and 2001 were two exceptions they mentioned, as per Dave's post earlier up in the thread.

 

To me it's jarring, and all the stuff I ever worked on, mostly corporate video, it was a technique that was never used ... maybe one rap video for a guy out of Oakland. But for all the stuff for Autodesk, Chevron, Apple, Intel, Del Monte, Adobe, and other big name clients that I ever worked on, I never saw one jump cut.

 

Interesting.

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A Jump cut should be jarring, otherwise why is it there in many cases?

I agree.. but it should also "move the scene forward" rather than simply be there as a way to remove a breath.

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People breath, it's part of the performance, the timing of the delivery and can mean more than the words themselves. According to the well known study communication is only 7 percent verbal and 93 percent non-verbal,. the non-verbal component being made up of body language (55 percent) and tone of voice (38 percent). Breathing would enter into that,

 

Jump cutting to remove breaths is a misuse.

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I appreciate that the lowly YouTube vlogger has to do everything in their power to keep their audience engaged (you'll notice almost every single one starts their video with the same high energy "Hey, what's up?!" line). Jump cuts help the content move faster and all. But when done poorly it ends up looking like that horrifying Charlotte Rampling scene in "Stardust Memories".

 

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Stardust memories is one of my favorite Woody Allen films, although here he's using it as a device to show this woman's bipolar state. It has a point. When I see young film makers use it in a YT venue, it's more or less their acceptance of a shortcut in conveying info. Here's a sample of pop-media aimed at post grads. I'm not the target audience here (I just grabbed the first thing that came up in the search field);

 

https://youtu.be/6nG0kWk7n_c?t=15

 

 

 

I guess if you can make something out of it, then good for you. And I guess it's generational in that regard. But I can't help but feel that this is akin to writing verse writing well. You can convey data appropriately, or economically, and jump cuts used today strike me as being economic but explained away as being a style.

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I appreciate that the lowly YouTube vlogger has to do everything in their power to keep their audience engaged (you'll notice almost every single one starts their video with the same high energy "Hey, what's up?!" line).

A friend of mine word-for-word pinpointed that men open with "Hey what's up guys" and women open with "Hey guys"

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