Cutting on the Action with Animated GIFs!

JO —  September 27, 2013


Previously I talked about how framing affects the way multiple shots are put together into an intelligible sequence. In other words in such a way that the viewer is almost not conscious of the cuts and can focus on the message of the video. Cutting on action is another technique to edit shots together is such a way that the viewer is not jarred or disoriented by the cuts. This can be useful in almost all types of video.

  • In event videography cutting on the action is a way to make your videos stand out from the crowd.
  • In independent film and short film your success may depend on how well you are able to “seamlessly” edit together a series of shots.
  • Even in a simple vlog cutting on the action can help make your videos better.

The process is simple, when making a cut from one clip to the next use the natural motion of your subject as a cue. Even if you’re not shooting the same scene over and over again from various angles, the process can still be used. There are a few things to be mindful of when shooting the video and when sitting down to edit it.

  • Plan ahead. Know what actions your subject will take and shoot them from several different angles if possible.
  • Get some “B” roll. That just means get some extra footage that can be spliced in later. If you are shooting someone playing basketball get a close up shot of the ball entering the basket. If you are shooting a wide shot of someone walking get a close up of their feet.
  • These “B” shots can be edited into your video to give it a little flavor.
  • Finally look for some sort of motion in your videos when editing.

Here are some visual examples.

In this instance the “action” is the actor reaching for the paper and unfolding it. I only shot a few takes of this scene, bit if it were paired with a dramatic or intimate royalty free song it would be ready for daytime TV!


I framed both these shots well, and even though they were two different swings with two different clubs they still look fine together. This would work even better if I added the sound of the club hitting the ball from my close up shot and a nice royalty free music track. Nevermind how bad my swing is.Golf



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"I am a videographer, still photographer and musician. In addition to working in the independent film world, I enjoy playing with computer software and keeping abreast on the latest video production technology."