July 29, 2014

Video Faux Pas: Unintentional Jump Cuts

Meryl Ayres


You might already be familiar with the disorienting transitions known as jump cuts, or maybe the phrase "jump cut" sounds like a sweet karate move to you. Either way, you could still be creating them accidentally in your videos, and we want you to know that you’re not alone. We’re here for you. So are Riley Hooper and Daniel Hayek, the folks who made this helpful video tutorial:

As demonstrated in the video above, there are a couple of ways you can avoid jump cuts:

  • Insert B-roll in between two similar shots.
  • Change your camera angle by more than 30 degrees between shots.

If you have another technique that you like to use, please let us know!

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules, and at times, jump cuts can be used skillfully for desired effects. The disappearing trick at the end of the video above is one of my all-time favorite jump cut gags. In sum, jump cuts should be purposeful, not unintentional.

Here’s a little video we made that illustrates some creative jump cuts. Banana jump cuts, to be specific.

Have you seen examples of jump cuts being used artfully? What kind of footage do you use for B-roll?

Mailing list sign-up form

Sign up to get Wistia’s best
and freshest content.

More of a social being? We’re also on Instagram and Twitter.