This video glossary covers the terminology and defines the meaning of common video terms related to cameras, codecs, lighting, film set lingo, post-production workflows, and everything else you ever wanted to know about film and video production.
A J-Cut is not referring to a jump cut - in actuality, they are two different terms completely. Also sometimes referred to as pre-lapse, a J-Cut is a type of cut where the audio comes before the video.
This could be mid-scene, where two actors are talking and we hear one’s dialogue before we see them, or in the case of pre-lapse audio, between scenes, where we hear dialogue from a new scene before we enter that scene.
The reason this is called a J-Cut is that it creates a J-shape on the editor’s timeline when applied.
A jump cut is a transition that makes the subject appear to jump in time or space. It is usually a sudden cut, oftentimes cut between two points of action from the same continuous take.
Because of the suddenness of a jump cut, they often take the audience out of the scene or at least make the viewer aware of the presence of a camera (as opposed to watching a continuous scene that is edited to eliminate the presence of editing / cutting all together).
Grant Harvey is a freelance writer, screenwriter, and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles. When he’s not working on his own feature-length screenplays and television pilots, Grant uses his passion and experience in film and videography to help others learn the tools, strategies, and equipment needed to create high-quality videos as a filmmaker of any skill level.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.