December 17, 2016 at 9:18AM


Editing feels rushed

I finished editing my first short. All the individual scenes I think are edited pretty good, but it's the transitions between scenes that feel wrong. I've gone back and watched other movies to see why mine feels different but I can't seem to figure it out


It would help if you provide a link to your footage otherwise how can we help?

December 18, 2016 at 6:02PM

Cary Knoop

Like above, It would be nice to have a link to see your short but since that may not be possible here are a few tips I think may help.

1. Make J-Cuts or L-Cuts: Since you may have not shot something to make a cool transition you can always use sound as your transition. A J-Cut is when the sound from the next scene is heard before you see the picture. an L-Cut is when the scenes audio continues but is covered over by the picture of the next scene. J-Cuts work great in giving you a little mystery as to what you are about to see and especially if its a place where there is a lot of noise like some one in the shower, a busy mall or maybe the sounds of cars passing by in the city. I think an L-Cut works great for when a character maybe alluding to another character or plot point and BAM we see what the character is talking about... on to the next scene.

2. Slow long Dissolves: I like using these when you have a really nice ending shot in a scene and you want to create a mood. You can also use this to shorten up a scene by overlapping images to set where a character is or the many things they see in a given time. Usually this is used for a lapse in time. I would be careful not to over use them because they can sometimes lend a sleepy quality to your film and you don't want that lol.

3. Cut on the end of a good line: I've made some shorts where I may have written one really good line for a character but then that character says one more thing after that and thats where the scene ends. If that extra bit of information isn't that important just cut at the end of the really good line which adds a really good punctuation to that scene.

4. Go out and shoot some B-roll: This can be exteriors of locations or close-ups of objects in the scene that you could fake. I remember the first short film my friends and I made, we finished it and when my friend went to edit he realized we didn't have any establishing shots for scenes. Everything felt off. So one of my other friends and I went out and shot exteriors of houses and places where we were at to help orient the audience. It made a huge improvement.

I hope these help and good luck on your first short!

December 18, 2016 at 9:40PM

Ryan McCurdy
Commercial Video Producer/ Filmmaker

Not official filmtheory, but if you can't seigh and take a deep breath in the moment of transition it will feel faster or even rushed.
Try to let it breathe.
Then take a few days of from the edit and watch it with fresh eyes.

As said before: it is hard to tell what you can do without providing a link.
My breath suggestion is just based on my experience. It is also something some editors do wrong when editing voice-overs: no rest after a period feels rushed as well.
Sometimes rushing is good: it depends on the energy, pace and whether or not you are going crescendo in your rhythm.

I'm not suggesting you should use whipes, but lets look at transitions between scenes in Star Wars: there is the whipe (showing we are now somewhere else) and usually there is sound first, then something enters the frame and after that dialogue begins.
The viewer gets some time to establish what is on screen.

December 21, 2016 at 6:51AM

Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer

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