Top Navigation Graphic Link to main page Link to about us Link to video sharing Link to teaching kidsvid
Right side Navigation Graphic
home > vidtips: editing > direction Right side Navigation Graphic Link to class ideas Link to kid advice Link to video tips
Header for Vidtips Editing

VidTips - Screen Direction

One of the most common jump cuts is a change in screen direction. If your subject is running from left to right, the next shot either needs to have the subject moving in the same direction (left to right) or a straight on shot. If the subject is running in the opposite direction, you need to show us that she/he has turned around or you have moved to the other side of the subject.

Also, if two people are talking, they need to be looking in the proper direction - at each other. If one person is looking left to right, the other person has to look the opposite direction, right to left.


In this example the dog is running from camera left to camera right in the first and third shot. In the second shot, the dog is running from camera right to camera left. When you start to edit, you will have a jump cut because the dog magically changes direction.


You must also consider the order of the places the dog runs through. The dog, when going for help, passes the house, the fence, and then the castle. When the dog returns she/he must pass the places in reverse order. She/he must go by the castle first, then the fence, and then the house. If the order isn't the same, you will have an inconsistency in the layout of your set and potentially confuse the audience. You will have a jump cut.


Above, the dog goes for help, moving from camera left to camera right and passing the house, the fence and then castle.


Above, the dog returns and so she/he must move from camera right to camera left and pass the castle first, then the fence, and then the house. The dog is running in the opposite direction through the reverse sequence of locations.


Above is an incorrect order of return for the dog.

When talking about moving the subject to the right or left, use the terms "camera right" and "camera left." The description of the movement is based on which way the camera is looking, not the subject. If you tell the actors to move camera right, they need move to their left. The actors will be moving in the opposite direction. It is confusing at first, but easy to get used to. Ask any production person.


editing | overview | time code | logging | EDL | direction

The videos on this site are in QuickTime.
You can download a free QT player here by clicking the Q icon.
Get QuickTime

Link to scripting Link to making Link to editing Link to using music Link to using effects Link to jump cuts Link to showtime