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Editing Motif Terminology

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Michael Kammes
Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 12:03:59 am

With the rise of the youtube, many webcam users have been doing talking head videos with Jump Cuts. That is, a brief monologue (or comment), quickly cutting to the same framed shot with a different comment or monologue - with no transition; i.e. subtle crossfade, etc.

Aside from "sloppy editing" (yes I'm stealing thunder from whoever was going to make that comment) has anyone come up with a 'term' to describe this? Jump Cut - to me - doesn't seem to adequately explain this particular (*cough*) motif.

Thoughts?



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 2:53:37 pm

That's exactly what it is and all it is; jump-cutting. Why do you thik it needs another descriptor?


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Michael Kammes
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 3:00:56 pm

I always believed that a Jump Cut not only involved time, but also camera angle. Thus, a continuous take - with only a section of time omitted - wouldn't adhere to this.

It was suggested by a friend - "Temporal Jump Cut".

A Google search for "Temporal Jump Cut" comes up with the almighty Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jump_cut

Quoteth:

"Continuity editing uses a guideline called "the 30 degree rule" to avoid jump cuts. The 30 degree rule advises that for consecutive shots to appear "seamless," the camera position must vary at least 30 degrees from its previous position. Some schools would call for a change in framing as well (e.g., from a medium shot to a close up). Generally, if the camera position changes less than 30 degrees, the difference between the two shots will not be substantial enough, and the viewer will experience the edit as a jump in the position of the subject that is jarring, and draws attention to itself. Although jump cuts can be created through the editing together of two shots filmed non-continuously (Spatial Jump Cuts), they can also be created by removing a middle section of one continuously-filmed shot (Temporal Jump Cuts)."



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 5:10:53 pm

Well if it cuts to a new space, that's not necessarily a "jump cut" in my book, but that is often called a "smash-cut" by some of the West-coasters, I think. Jump cuts I define as when the background is the same but the main subject remains in the new shot at pretty much the same proportion of screen coverage, only displaced in x-y space. If you change the shot from a close to a medium or wide, or any variation of that, it no longer is a jump cut, just a cut. If the background changes, then it is a smash cut, IMO.


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Gary Hazen
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:54:56 pm

Semanitcs aside. Jump cutting can come across as sloppy or brilliant depending on the skill set of the editor.


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Michael Kammes
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 6:57:34 pm

So we're all on the same page... here is an example, using the cable broadcast show Viral Video Film School (CurrentTV):







For instance: Skip to :30, then a few at about :45.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 7:11:02 pm

[Michael Kammes] " has anyone come up with a 'term' to describe this?"

The cut of the times.


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Bill Davis
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 14, 2010 at 10:37:30 pm

"Ahhh, I see you've used the new Editus Mediocritus style here."

(The pesudo-Latin will surely make them think it's a compliment!)



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Mark Suszko
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:02:40 pm

It *used* to be used creatively by people with experience.

Most often now, it is a style evolving from very casual flip cam users who edit "in camera" by stopping and starting, and they don't edit the footage beyond that in-camera editing, either becuase they don't know how, they can't afford the gear, or they just don't care. This last one, "just don't care", is probably the biggest reason; though pros cringe at this, the great unwashed mass of casual consumer users are generally ambivalent to the jump-cutting and just accept it. Some of that I attribute to the short attention span of the gamer generation. If you compare the editing of anything today to a similar subject from ten and twenty years or more ago, the older footage and it's editing will seem glacially paced by today's standards.

One of the first techniques a pro will employ to make pro footage look casual, candid, and consumer-y is to use a lot of jump-cuts as a deliberate, forced aesthetic. In this sense, it is a sister technique of the once-hip but now so over-used and mis-applied "shaky-cam".


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Michael Kammes
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 15, 2010 at 3:21:12 pm

Thanks for the discussion, all.

I think it's now a symptom of the tail wagging the dog: this "technique" {snort} has become extremely prevalent within the youtube / vimeo culture, and has become a somewhat acceptable form for editorial. My example above is a cable television show on a network - not some homebrew edit. The 'look' goes hand in hand with the content of the show.

I think a great example of this (for those with short attention spans) are movie trailers. The leaps taken from 1970-80, 80-90, etc. - in not just the picture & timing, but audio too, are staggering.

I appreciate the input, and if anyone has any terms they've heard - I'd love to hear it.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Gary Hazen
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 15, 2010 at 9:12:37 pm

[Michael Kammes] "My example above is a cable television show on a network - not some homebrew edit. "

I wouldn't use Current TV as a reference point. They accept just about anything from anybody that has spent the time to hack it together and upload the video. Current TV is like open mic night at the comedy club - anybody can have their show on TV. It's time to change the channel and raise the bar.


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Michael Kammes
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 15, 2010 at 11:11:43 pm

It's amazing the places a discussion can go!

In this case, I think the example I posted is 100% apropos. While CurrentTV does air content from outside their 4 walls...(and thus, the quality may suffer)

The example - VVFS - is a segment (and sometimes show) on CurrentTV that focuses on web content and videos. The editing motif I inquired about, is featured in this show...and makes complete sense given the context of the show / subset. Since it is also a subset of Infomania (I believe) which is a slickly produced media entertainment show, it would make no sense to have a highly produced show...and then a jump-cut only segment - featuring one of the mainstay anchors of the station.

(No, I have no affiliation with CurrentTV)

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 15, 2010 at 5:34:21 pm

[Michael Kammes] "Aside from "sloppy editing" (yes I'm stealing thunder from whoever was going to make that comment) has anyone come up with a 'term' to describe this? Jump Cut - to me - doesn't seem to adequately explain this particular (*cough*) motif."

Annoying works for me.

It was OK - to a point - when Godard used it in the original Breathless, but it shows an utter lack of respect for a viewer to me when I see it now.


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Carlton Rahmani
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 16, 2010 at 7:16:39 pm

Wow! What a bunch of crap I see here. A bunch of guys all wasting their time to disparage how a vlogs are 'edited' (or not). Imagine what sound mixers and cinematographers might say. Whoever said that vlogs were supposed to be a high art, subject to all the high standards established by film and other media?
Yeah, most--about 99.9999%--of vlogs are a waste of time, either making them or watching them. But I personally love the hell out of Viral Video Film School.
Oh No! The guy doesn't all the fluid transitions from one point to another that WIKIPEDIA--your citations, not mine--states need to happen. Doesn't mean that the CONTENT of VVFS isn't some of the most entertaining and even intelligent found on Youtube.
But this isn't in defense of VVFS, alone. . .THEY'RE FREAKING VLOGS!!! Some dude rants in front of a webcam--or at least it appears that way--quickly cuts out what he doesn't want, and that's it. AND. . .you don't have to pay a PENNY to watch! You don't have to watch at all, as a matter of fact.
And, more importantly, if any of you can do anything more watchable, I'd like to see it.
Seriously, it's kind of disheartening to see that there's so many people looking down their noses at what I already thought was universally acknowledged for its artlessness.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 17, 2010 at 12:17:23 am

"...it shows an utter lack of respect for a viewer to me when I see it now."

Thank you for proving my point so clearly.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 17, 2010 at 8:03:42 pm

"...it shows an utter lack of respect for a viewer to me when I see it now."

Alan
Thank you for proving my point so clearly.


LOL!

All trends and fads are constantly in a state of change. All of these plugin addicted, jump-cut, shaky-cam types better hope that good production values don't suddenly come back into style. It's easy for us to emulate this 'look', but I think it would be an uphill battle for the iMovie crowd to stop using shots and transitions that don't jump off the screen and slap the viewer.

Carlton
AND. . .you don't have to pay a PENNY to watch!
I love the justification for doing garbage work; because its free.
Not really something I would be all that proud of, and wanting to defend. But what do I know? I still think it's cool to use the sticks when I shoot.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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grinner hester
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Dec 19, 2010 at 4:10:20 pm

just jump cuts. Many prefer it as a style, at least in some applications.



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Dan Archer
Re: Editing Motif Terminology
on Jan 3, 2011 at 11:00:56 pm

I think were trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat here. Its a jump cut. Use it when you deem it usable. Your abundance or lack of clients will help you determine if you are using it correctly. Why does everything need to be studied?

A cut is a cut & a dissolve is a disolve, and not just anybody with a system is a pro.


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