College of Letters & Sciences
UW-Whitewater Film Studies


Basic Terms

CONTINUITY EDITING — the process of putting shots together to create the impression of continuous narrative time and/or visually coherent space

Graphic & Temporal Relations

180 DEGREE RULE — a principle of continuity editing dictating that the camera remain on one side of the action to maintain the viewer's perspective and understanding of the left-right spatial relationship between characters


SHOT / REVERSE SHOT — alternating shots between subjects, usually in conversation, viewed from different camera positions

CROSSCUTTING — transitioning back and forth between two or more action sequences taking place simultaneously

EYELINE MATCH — a cut between a shot of a person looking towards an object and a shot of the object being viewed

MATCH ON ACTION — a cut that transitions between two different views of the same action so that the action appears continuous from one shot to the next

GRAPHIC MATCH — a cut that relates consecutive shots through repeated compositional features (shapes, colors, patterns)

JUMP CUT — a cut that distorts continuity, suggestive of a skip ahead in time or space