The Punctuation of Film-MakingThe Punctuation of Film-Making
The selection of transitions between shots is an important aspect of
continuity editing, which is designed to create the illusion of continuous
time and space in relation to a sequence of on-screen events.
Continuity editing involves suturing (stitching or connecting) together
different shots into a sequence, in order to determine the order of screen
Different transitions, such as the cut, fade, dissolve, and wipe, imply
particular changes in space (location) or time (between on-screen events).
They need to be used cautiously and carefully, as they are metaphorically a
form of on-screen punctuation. Thus, they should not be inserted ;
randomly . . . just because your / editing software / makes them available!!!!
A cut in some sense is the absence of a transition. It involves literally
switching from one shot to the next. It implies almost undetectable,
incremental shifts in space and time.
They act like commas “,”.
Usually used at the beginning (fade in from black) or end (fade out to black) of a scene, to
indicate a long gap in time between scenes, or a character’s loss of consciousness.
They are the equivalent of writing dot, dot, dot . . .
Two images are momentarily superimposed. Indicates a significant shift in scene. The
longer the dissolve takes, the greater time is suggested to have elapsed between scenes.
Perhaps they are most like colons “:” and semi-colons “;”.
Flashy transitions that draw attention to the constructed nature of the text because there is a
visible line on screen between one shot and the next, as one shot appears to push another
shot out of the way. Usually used in quirky films to contribute to a non-realist sensibility.
Some wipes act like exclamation marks!!Some wipes act like exclamation marks!!