A jump cut is a cut between two sequential shots in a video where the camera angle doesn’t change or only changes slightly. As a result, the subject appears to jump in the frame. The cut can feel jarring or look like a mistake. Historically in film, jump cuts have been used to show an unsettling moment or unease for a character on screen.
Nowadays, in a world of short attention spans, off-the-cuff content, and a general embrace of low production value, creators are leaning into the jump cut in an intentional way.
Jump Cuts: A Practical Solution
With social media and the popularity of short-form videos, brands and creators alike are leaning on small-scale productions. In these situations, you don’t always have the physical space for multiple camera setups. Jump cuts offer an editing solution that doesn’t require shooting multiple camera angles, or covering all your cuts with b-roll.
One popular format that really benefits from jump cuts is vlogs. The editing style can be spotted all over YouTube. To create a natural, conversational tone, vloggers shoot long takes with either loose or non-existent scripts. The resulting clips can include a lot of “ums”, pauses, and other mistakes. Jump cuts are the perfect solution to clean these up.
While practicality may be why jump cuts have grown in popularity, they can be used to add visual style to your videos as well.
Improve Your Videos with Jump Cuts
Make Objects Appear and Disappear
In this video from Tasty, editors use jump cuts to make it seem as though ingredients like beef and peppers are magically appearing in the frying pan. This video also uses jump cuts alongside fast-motion to speed up the cooking process.
Evoke a Mood
One famous example of jump cuts in narrative cinema is in the 2001 film The Royal Tennenbaums. In the scene Richie Tenenbaum attempts suicide, and the jump cuts are used to evoke a mood, and create a sense of unrest.
Jennifer Garner’s IGTV show Pretend Cooking Show, really plays with comedic timing in the editing room. She’ll use a longer clip juxtaposed with a shorter clip of the same shot, where she says something funny or makes a face. Have fun with the pacing in your edit!
How to Create Jump Cuts
Now let’s learn how to create a jump cut. In this tutorial we’ll cut this clip down from nearly one minute to fifteen seconds using jump cuts in Adobe Premiere Pro.
Ready to create your own jump cut style? Head to Storyblocks to find plenty of stock footage options you can work with.