SFC4 | Alternative Uses: The U Cut?

The J and the L cut are only two types of cut in the vast range of different editing techniques an editor has at his or her disposal, and even within these two cuts there can be further variations and combinations that will result in different effects and outcomes.

The video above contains many examples of different types of cut, but at the end it gives us a few instances of how different cuts work together.

So if there are countless combinations of cuts, what could be done with just the J and L cut? What does an L cut followed by a J cut look like? Would it form a ‘U’ shape in the editing timeline? So would this be a new type of cut? The U cut? Lets experiment:

I used some old footage to create an edit which is simply an L cut, followed by a J cut to create what I am calling a U cut. (Although its really 2 cuts.)

This is what my timeline looked like:


As you can see there isnt any clear ‘U’ shape in the timeline, even when ive marked out the ‘L’ and the ‘J’ shapes. If anything, there is more of a ‘T’ shape created. Does this mean the U cut is actually a ‘T’ cut? This test has helped me realise that all sorts of shapes appear in editing, but what are the effects on the resulting clip? In the example I have created, I deliberately chose footage containing dialogue. The result is that a relationship is formed between all 3 clips in the sequence. We go from talking about a ceiling, to looking at a ceiling, which is then described as being pretty by the dialogue in the next shot. I feel that combining these shots in the way I have connects them in a much stronger way than if I used a regular straight cut.


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