What is an invisible cut in film?
Film editors use invisible cuts to hide transitions from viewers — here’s how to get a smooth invisible cut.
An invisible cut (sometimes called an invisible edit) marries two scenes together with two similar frames. The goal is to hide the transition from viewers for a smooth, nearly unnoticeable cut.
Film editors sew shots together with invisible cuts to make the production feel as though it’s one long take. This makes it easier for viewers to forget that they’re watching a movie. Here are some pro tips on how to master the invisible cut.
Hide cuts with objects and darkness.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish an invisible cut is to block the camera in a way that feels natural to the film.
Need to jump from a grocery store aisle to the parking lot outside? Get the establishing shot in the aisle and have a character walk towards the camera to block everything in view. The next shot begins as the character then walks away from the camera toward their parked car. The cut is concealed with darkness as something blocks the camera.
Master the whip pan.
Action shots are a great place to sneak in an invisible cut with a whip pan. You can either pan the camera quickly to yield streaky or blurry visuals or use video editing software in post-production to force a fast pan. Viewers won’t notice the invisible cut if the whip pans between shots are quick enough.