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What is a "jump cut"? How can I avoid one?
You may have occasionally noticed times when two shots of the same person or thing (in different positions) are shown one after another. It appears that the person or thing has magically jumped from one spot to another (or changed clothing, etc.).

When this happens, it is referred to as a "jump cut". Instead of the subject on screen being shown moving to a new position, the person or thing "jumps" to the spot.

In the case of a music montage, this is sometimes a desired effect. However, it usually is very jarring to the viewer to have someone popping around from place to place.

You can avoid this problem by either showing the subject moving (or being moved) to the new spot or by using a cutaway. The cutaway is a way of hiding the movement by showing another person or thing between the two offending shots. You could also use some kind of transition.

Here's an example of a potential jump cut:

You have a shot of Joe leaving his house immediately followed by a shot of him walking into a coffee shop. You could get around this jump cut in a few ways.

The first way is for Joe to walk off screen when he leaves the house. The show the front of the coffee shop and have Joe walk onto the screen. Have him enter from the opposite side he left (he leaves the screen to the left, and reappears from the right).

The second method is to use a cutaway. Have Joe leave the house as before. Next show a closeup of the coffee shop sign. Finally, show Joe entering the front door of the shop. This not only creates a passage of time between the 1st and 3rd shots, it shows the audience where Joe is going.

The third method to avoid a jump cut it to use a video transition. You could insert a dissolve or pattern wipe between the shots to indicate time has passed between the two shots.

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