So What is a Jump Cut?
Much like the fabled time traveling DeLorean from the “Back to the Future” series, a jump cut simulates jumping forward in time, except instead of 30 years, it’s a few seconds. This technique is used frequently by vloggers to speed up the pacing of their videos, and to simulate multiple shots without needing multiple cameras. In a world of debatably diminishing attention spans, keeping your videos fast and trimming the fat is essential to keeping people watching longer than a few seconds.
Set up Your Shot
The plus side to using jump cuts in your videos is that you can get away with only using one camera, while still keeping your vlog or video dynamic and interesting. Do as much as possible to ensure that your shot looks as best as it possibly can, even if you’re just shooting with your laptop’s built-in webcam. Find a location in your house that is well lit and that can provide an interesting, but not overly distracting background. Got a fancy DSLR and some lights? USE THEMS THANGS! The upside to shooting with a DSLR is that oh-so-delectable shallow depth of field that gives you that blurry background, or bokeh, that helps focus all attention on your beautiful mug, you new media rock star, you. Also remember that video is no good if the audio sounds terrible. Try and keep background noise to a minimum and do your best to keep the audio as clear and listenable as possible.
Bust open your NLE
Jump cuts are incredibly easy to pull off, especially if you know your way around your NLE, or non-linear editor. No fancy schmancy, big bucks software is needed for this technique. It is entirely possible to tackle this with your computer’s built-in video editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker… and that shiz is as free as a bird. They all come with a tool that lets you split tracks into segments. Review your footage, and cut up the main points and punches into little, edible bites. Be sure to remove awkward silences, mess-ups, and anything else you don’t want the world to see. The main purpose of jump cutting is to keep the speed and pacing of your video up, while also removing all the dirty bits that would otherwise tarnish the first in a four-part tome to little Whiskers. Miss you, Whiskers. You may have passed but your memory lives on.
I could drone on for days about this stuff, but reading all this doesn’t particularly have the same effect as actually seeing someone do it. Check out this jump cut tutorial from the guys over at Bammo for a more in-depth lesson on trampolining with scissors. Get it? … because trampolines are for jumping, and scissors are for cutting things. I’ll just go over there now. Bye.