What is continuity editing in film?
Learn about continuity editing in film and how you can apply it to your next project.
Defined simply, continuity editing is the process of editing together different but related shots to give viewers the experience of a consistent story in both time and space. Continuity editing makes a movie or TV show feel like it is happening in one continuous stream of events, even though it’s actually composed of shots filmed at different times and sometimes, even different locations.
Why is continuity editing important?
Continuity editing is an important kind of editing technique because it generates the “suspension of disbelief” — the ability for the viewer to forget they’re watching a manufactured scenario and instead, get lost in the story as if it’s happening in real-time. If continuity editing isn’t done well, mistakes known as continuity errors can break the suspension of disbelief and remind the viewer that they are indeed watching a movie and not “real” events.
Some examples of continuity errors include:
- Objects suddenly going missing from the scene between shots
- An actor’s hair or makeup changing between shots
- Pieces of film equipment appearing in a shot
- Actors suddenly standing in a different location than they were in a previous shot with no visual explanation of how they got there
To keep an audience immersed in a story, careful attention to continuity is essential in the filming and editing process. If done well, the final edit looks seamless, as if multiple cameras all captured the same event unfolding in real-time. Discover even more creative tips that can up your filmmaking game.
Then, explore everything you can do with Adobe Premiere Pro to create seamless edits in your next video project.