The main aspects of editing
A presentation of5main editing
concepts in film
An establishing shot in a film or television is used to set up or establish the
context for a scene by showing the relationship between it’s important
characters and objects.
For example, an establishing shot is used in the first Star Wars film where you
are shown a vast expanse of outer space with lots of stars.
180° degree rule
This rule ensures the same space is described in each shot. It’s a basic
guideline regarding the on-screen spatial relationship between a character
and another character or object within a scene.
It is often used in Eastenders because a lot of the plot involves the characters
Shot/reverse shot (or shot/counter shot) is a film technique where one
character is shown looking at another character (often off-screen) and then
the other character is shown looking back at the first character.
This technique is used in most soaps as it is a good way to show two people
having a conversation.
Editing transitions are the different ways to link shots together in the editing process.
It describes how one shot moves into the next. Different transitions can create slightly
different meanings for the audience.
• Jump Cut - A cut between two shots of the same object, character or scene where
the angle of the camera is less than 45 degrees
• Fade to black – this is when a gradual disappearance of the image into a black
These are used a lot in TV
programmes like the X factor for
example in the opening sequence
the graphics change from one to
the other with different
Pace and tempo/shot duration
The duration of a shot will usually reflect the context of the narrative.
• Short shot duration – conveys urgency between the characters in the
• Long shot duration – it conveys detail and intimacy with narrative which is
important in complicated storylines and situations.
These are used a lot in action/thriller films because some scenes are fast pace
and require short shot durations to get as much of the action in as possible to
convey an urgency and also suspense.