September 21, 2016

Watch: These Are 34 of the Most Creative Cuts in 'Stranger Things'

Forget a simple dissolve, fade to black, or (heaven forbid) star wipe. Transitions can be so much more interesting.

Everybody and their grandma has been buzzing about how totally amazing Stranger Things is, but regardless of whether you're a fan or not, you can't argue that the show displays some impressively creative editing transitions. In fact, this is something that caught the eye of video essayist Rishi Kaneria and inspired him to put together a video showcasing 34 of these great cuts. Check it out below:

There are a lot of interesting editing techniques used in Stranger Things, but let's talk about two that aren't in the same camp as basic dissolves, fades, and wipes—ones that could help you make your work really stand out.

Contrast cut

Working off of the power of juxtaposition, contrast cuts transition from one extreme to another, hitting the viewer emotionally and physiologically in an unexpected way. And the more popular these types of transitions become, the more edgy they become. Stranger Things utilizes this type of cut during Eleven's flashbacks, but a good example that comes to mind from a different piece is the scene in Gladiator where we see Maximus' had gliding over wheat in a wheat field, it's tranquil and warm, and then it cuts to him and his army preparing for battle.

Graphic Match

This transition is simple and straightforward, but can be both stylish and effective. A graphic match occurs when two shots are cut together that contain similar shapes in similar positions within the frame. Stranger Things has used this transition many times in the show, like when Eleven is walking through the store and has a flashback of being brought into the lab, but we've seen graphic matches in a myriad of different places, but perhaps the most famous one comes from 2001: A Space Odyssey when the bone is thrown in the air and we cut to a space craft.

Film and TV are both full of great editing transitions. What are some techniques you find unique? What's your favorite shot transition? Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment

11 Comments

Brutal editing on your guys part. For a video that is highlighting seamless transitions, you would have thought you guys would put in a less obtrusive scene selection callout. I couldn't even make a third of the way through the video it was so distracting.

September 21, 2016 at 9:27AM, Edited September 21, 9:27AM

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Oh man. I just posted the same thing.. For some reason it showed zero comments. Regardless, all this to say I felt the same way.

September 21, 2016 at 10:35AM, Edited September 21, 10:35AM

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Seth Evans
Editor
280

Absolutely, but they are simply reposting the video from Rishi Kaneria.

September 21, 2016 at 10:53AM

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Marcelo Plioplis
Creative Director
71

Agreed, I couldn't watch the whole thing.

September 21, 2016 at 1:31PM

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I agree. I watched a 3 or 4 cuts and I couldn't concentrate on them at all because of numbers and animation in the middle of the screen so I stopped.

September 22, 2016 at 6:54PM

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I actually couldn't watch that video because the count down GFX interfere with the great cuts. I have no idea why the choice was made to have animated GFX constantly happening while you are trying to take in editing? Would have been cool otherwise.

September 21, 2016 at 10:34AM, Edited September 21, 10:34AM

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Seth Evans
Editor
280

+1 I stopped midway. All the clever edits were masked by the high contrast, distracting animation.

September 21, 2016 at 12:04PM

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Rajesh Naroth
Filmmaker
210

As someone already said, the animated GFX higlighting every cut kills the very purpouse of this video. I wonder what the person who made this video was thinking :)

September 21, 2016 at 12:15PM

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David R. Falzarano
Director / Writer / Editor
1291

What a lousy video. I couldn't tell the edits apart. They were so quick, and I couldn't tell half the time if the graphic was on the cut or telling me that the next cut was the one I was looking for. Some transitions are obvious (camera going into vent, coming out somewhere else) but for hard cuts between locations it was hard to tell if I was watching a jump within the show or just a jump to the next part of the montage.

For being a video about great edits, the editing was awful and counterproductive.

September 21, 2016 at 1:56PM

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I mean... these are all pretty standard edits, aren't they? This is all typical stuff. Not clear to me why Stranger Things in particular was highlighted. It's not like the editing on it was any better than on any other show out there. I enjoyed the show but seriously, sometimes the cultish following it has created kind of drives me crazy...

September 21, 2016 at 11:43PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2085

Is it just me but I can't for the life of me, keep track of where the transitions are due to graphics.

September 22, 2016 at 5:30AM

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Ash Tailor
Cinematographer
174

If something as simple as the graphic between cuts is distracting you, maybe you should look for another career path other than film. Stop moaning.

October 19, 2016 at 6:39AM

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Tom Snow
Broadcast Software Analyst
1

What are people talking about, are we seeing different things?

The animated stuff in between the cuts does not bother me on bit. It's very clear to me where the cuts are and what the point of them are. i'm not sure how you can possibly miss them..
I love the video and find it very inspiring. bookmarked!

September 13, 2017 at 2:45AM, Edited September 13, 2:48AM

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