The Best Movie Editing Techniques

Posted on August 25, 2015

It is not a secret that every director should have a full understanding of movie editing. They make shots so that they can be cut coherently. Therefore everyone who is going to be a filmmaker should learn the best movie editing techniques.

First of all, you may cut on action, if you’re cutting from a wide shot to a tighter one on the same axis. Cutting on action is cutting from one shot to another simply like an action is performed. One of the best movie editing techniques is to use the first part of the action in the wide shot as well as the second part of the action in the tighter shot when you join the shots. Don’t be afraid to experiment – find the best place to cut.

There are some ways of cutting from a wide shot to a tighter one smoothly and easily.

Cutting on action

“The action” here is the actor reaching for the paper and unfolding it. It is simple but proper example of cutting on action.

Cutting on movement of a cross-frame

By cross cutting between girls and the cab, we are give the impression that the girls murdered him.

Cutting to empty frame with letting the character (or subject) come in

This is one of the best movie editing techniques and it’s widely spread.

Cutting to secondary action with panning to main subject

This easy movie editing technique makes a great impression on a viewer – it has a slight effect of a surprise.

Cutting on an emotional part of dialogue/polylogue

It becomes one supremely awkward stare-off, as the video cuts from one face to another.

We hope that presented gifs give you an idea of some easy movie editing techniques. It is more effective than explain them in words. Also, we’ve prepared some tips of what you should avoid during editing.

Beware of Jump Cuts

If the two shots are on the same axis, unfortunately jump cut will be your result. Such jump cuts are unacceptable, only if you really want to make such effect. The best way to use a jump cut is to make the drama of a scene. A jump cut is an easy movie editing technique to compress time, but it’s a very specific look and you should plan the scene carefully to let it work properly.

How to Avoid Jump Cuts

  • Use cutting on action.
  • Use cutting on an empty frame and let the character or subject come in.
  • Use cutting from one shot to the tighter one when something is moving in the frame.

Cutaways are the middle shot. You may use lots of cutaways if you work on documentaries and interviews. By the way, a cutaway is also known as a B-roll shot. Jump cuts don’t only appear when cutting an axis without action. When you cut from one shot to another that’s perpendicular to it. Avoid it, use only if you are looking for a particular effect and ensure of how your audience will get it.

Music videos are perfect place for jump cuts. It is rather interesting that human brain doesn’t find jump cuts annoying exactly in music videos. Also, keep in mind that it takes two film frames for the gaze to switch from one side to the other. Don’t forget to stagger the cuts during editing pictures and sounds. It means that you shouldn’t align the video and audio cuts – separate them by at least a second.


If you need movie editing services of high level, MyMovieLab is exactly what you need. We are a team of specialists who always learn new technologies and apply them in film editing. All you have to do is to tell us what you want to see in your video. We will select the best moments and and make a movie you are waiting for. Moreover, we have flexible prices that let you pay as much as you think your movie is worth. Check out examples of our work to ensure in our professional work. So, don’t be shy – we will edit a great video for you!

Let’s start using now!


Upload your
video raw files


We edit your videos,
add music and effects


You get the finished