classical cutting: editing for dramatic intensity and emotional emphasis rather than for purely physical reasons.
Shifting from long to close or close to long shots shifts the viewers POV within a scene. This can be done to emphasize, include, exclude, consolidate, connect, contrast, or parallel the action of the plot, to introduce an important motif or detail for story-telling purposes (just like describing an important object in fiction), etc.
Master Shot (also known as a sequence shot): a scene of continuous film, usually at long-range, that is used as the through-line of a film or scene.
Reaction Shot: a cut from dialogue to the reaction of the person listening to the dialogue.
Two-shot: a shot that includes just enough space for two-characters to show that they are in the same space.
Three-shot: as a two-shot, but with enough room for three. How cozy!
First cut: a sequence of shots in editing that represents the director's preference for how the scene should be "shot."
Final cut: a studio or producer's preferred cutting of the film. (As opposed to the directors: first cut)
Cover shot: a shot used to reestablish a sequence, (time or space), or establishing shot used to reorient the viewer.
Eye-line Match: A character looks a certain direction, then we cut to what they are supposed to be looking at.
Matching action: similar to the eye-line match, but this involves any movement that is suggested as being continuous, even though it's not shot that way. Example: a tight shot of a person opening a door, the next shot is of that person arriving in another room. It is assumed that the door leads to the room seen, but this is rarely the case in filming.
Mise en Scene: more on this one later, it is literally "what is included in a shot"
180 degree rule: used to stabalize the space of the playing area so the viewer isn't confused or disoriented. Essentially keeping the camera on the same side of the 180 degree line of a scene.
Reverse angle shot: most commonly used in dialogue scenes, the camera moves between two speakers, first showing one, then the other.
Parallel action: just as in literature, the juxtaposition of shots that show complimentary shots. These shots are often from a different location.
Cross-cutting: moving between two or more locations or scenes in a film (often in rapid succession, but not always) to tell parallel stories.
Thematic montage: stress the association of ideas, rather than the continuity of plot, time, or space.
Motifs: objects, places, people, visual pictures, that are repeated to create significance or meaning.
- the longer the shot, the slower the film pacing.
- the shorter the shot, the faster the film pacing.
- Longer shots usually include more visual information.
- Shorter shots usually include less visual information.
- Cut your scenes at the "content curve": the moment when the viewer has had just enough time to take in the visual information in a scene.
- Cutting your scene BEFORE the content curve, creates anxiety, frustration, and/or disorients the viewer.
- Cutting the scene AFTER the content curve, frustrates and bores an audience.