One transition that’s often used in movies and TV is the match cut. It’s not often used in most non-cinematic videos, though. It’s essentially where the end of one clip matches up with the beginning of the next somehow during the transition from one to the other. They’re not always easy to pull off, but in these videos, filmmaker Daniel DeArco shows off how he shoots and edits his.
Match cuts can be used to connect several clips of a single process, to provide continuity, or they can be used to connect completely separate scenes and events. In Daniel’s case in the video above, it’s a key entering and unlocking a lock. It’s a small and simple but great example. He even has to machine and 3D print some props to make it work.
Daniel talks about the things that go through his head while planning it out, and the alignment of the compositions to help ensure a match when he later brings the clips into his editor. One tip he mentions, and one of the reasons why 6K and 8K cameras are so popular in a 1080p and 4K world, is that the extra resolution provided by a camera of higher resolution than your project offers some freedom to crop and reframe the shot in order to help clips match more smoothly.
Part two is a little longer than part one, coming in at around 17 minutes. In this section, Daniel talks about how he edits those clips together in order to sell the magic. He goes through a quick “warm up” edit on another pair of clips to demonstrate some of the basic principles before going into the clips shot in part one.
Overall, it’s a pretty cool process which while still requiring some planning, is a lot easier to do than many people think.
We see match cuts all the time on TV without even realising it. They work so well that we barely even notice the transition from one shot to the next. Elements of the former are incorporated into the latter giving our brains a natural progression connecting the two together. It doesn’t just have to be the composition that links the two, either. It can be the sound, motion, colour scheme or other elements, too.
They work so well because they imply a deep sense of connection between two separate events or concepts. and good ones do it seamlessly.
So, maybe give them a try in your next video or vlog.