Continuity editing  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Continuity editing is the predominant style of film editing practiced by most Hollywood editors. The goal of continuity editing is to make the work of the editor as invisible as possible. The viewer should not notice the cuts, and shots should flow together naturally. Hence, the sequence of shots should appear to be continuous.

Alternatives to continuity editing (non-traditional or experimental)

Early Russian filmmakers such as Lev Kuleshov further explored and theorized about editing and its ideological nature. Sergei Eisenstein developed a system of editing that was unconcerned with the rules of the continuity system of classical Hollywood that he called Intellectual montage.

Alternatives to traditional editing were also the folly of early surrealist and dada filmmakers such as Luis Buñuel (director of the 1929 Un chien andalou) and René Clair (director of 1924's Entr'acte which starred famous dada artists Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray). Both filmmakers, Clair and Buñuel, experimented with editing techniques long before what is referred to as "MTV style" editing.

The French New Wave filmmakers such as Jean Luc Godard and François Truffaut and their American counterparts such as Andy Warhol and John Cassavetes also pushed the limits of editing technique during the late 1950s and throughout the 1970s. French New Wave films and the non-narrative films of the 1960s used a carefree editing style and did not conform to the traditional editing etiquette of Hollywood films. Like its dada and surrealist predecessors, French New Wave editing often drew attention to itself by its lack of continuity, its demystifying self-reflexive nature (reminding the audience that they were watching a film), and by the overt use of jump cuts or the insertion of material not often related to any narrative.

Common conventions of continuity editing

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Continuity editing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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