Transitions guide your audience.
When you jump from scene to scene in a film, or even between cuts, the way you transition can make or break a scene. Conceptually, transitions convey a passage of time, character movement, pauses, storylines, and silence. They structure the film from first shot to last. There are several common forms — the wipe, the dissolve, the split-cut, and many more.
Practically, transitions are how film editors move a scene from one video clip to another. Transitions don’t necessarily have to be visual. They can also be conveyed with music or sound effects. The effectiveness of transitions in your films comes down to how well you can fit different shots together, and that often depends on the pre-production and shooting process.
Learn types of video transitions.
Great film editing begins with getting to know the available options when it comes to adding transitions. Learning about straight cuts, jump cuts, dissolves, and more will help you get a sense of where you can go with transitions.
The straight cut
The straight cut — also known as the hard cut, standard cut, or A to B cut — is one of the most basic transitions to get to the next shot in the same scene. It’s simply a transition from one shot to another, with no effects. Straight cuts are the foundation of continuity editing, which is the process of maintaining a film’s cohesiveness throughout its runtime.
While there are examples of straight cuts in just about every film ever made, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a generic piece of editing. Straight cuts can create jarring connections between moments in a scene, build the foundations of a montage, or provide a connective thread to maintain the 180-degree rule.
“Most of the emotion in a scene is often concentrated in reaction rather than action, particularly in comedy,” says cinematographer Steven Bernstein. The straight cut forms the connective tissue between action and reaction. The Cut tool in Adobe Premiere Pro is the simplest way to cut and join clips for compelling straight cuts.