To Fade or Cut?

6 replies [Last post]
John Lawton
Offline
Joined: Jun 23 2002

Is there a "rule" when a fade should be used instead of a cut and vice versa.

Regards
John

Alan Roberts at work
Offline
Joined: May 6 1999

Depends on what you want to do. A cut usually accompanies a change of view angle or location without the time sequence changing (i.e. you're still in the same scene but seeing it from a different angle or at a different place). A fade usually indicates a significant time or location change, like next day/week/year.

It's really up to you, if it looks right, it is right. Try both and show the result to someone who's not involved in the production (wife or girl-friend is a good one). Listen to the opinion and then do what you want anyway

Jim Bird
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi,

A fade slows down the action; a cut keeps the tempo up.

I like to use fades at the beginning and the end of a video.

My latest effort is a spring and summer nature video; it is shown to the viewer as two separate days, again, one day spring and one day summer.

When spring reaches the end of the night and I’m ready to begin summer I use a fade out/in at this point.

I have 100 hours or so of raw footage and I am making two 30 minute videos, so I have plenty of cut-in and cut-away material at my disposal to allow me edit using mainly straight cuts which keeps the pace of the production flowing along merrily.

I have very few dissolves which also can lead to the slowing down the pace quite a bit in the same way as a fade.

I have one dissolve in the video where the male otter feeding (chewing on a fish) on the surface in the middle of the lake submerges out of sight, I then added a dissolve at this point to the next scene where he rises to the surface of the lake near to the bank, he then swims to the bank and comes out of the water. This dissolve conveys to the audience the passage of time without slowing down the action. Cutting between the two scenes would have created a jump cut, fading between the two scenes would have confused the audience as I would have been fading from day to day and not night to day as my previous fade stated.

So, if you are still with me, I could have used a cut-away between those two otter scenes, the problem with that is the next three otter scenes show our male otter chasing another male otter, breaking off the chase and then returning the lake from wench he came.
I have used the required cut-away clips between each of those scenes and the dissolve offered the best opportunity to add variety to the sequence of shots.

Shooting enough of the correct material with lots of cut-in and cut-away clips makes editing decisions simple.

Jim Bird

[This message has been edited by Jim Bird (edited 02 September 2003).]

Alan Roberts at work
Offline
Joined: May 6 1999

Like I said then, cut for POV, fade for time.

Jim, where is your footage going? It looks interesting.

Jim Bird
Offline
Joined: Sep 15 2000

Hi Alan,

A man from BBC Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland have noted their interest.

Along with about every member of the public has seen me videoing the place.

Jim Bird

[This message has been edited by Jim Bird (edited 02 September 2003).]

Alan Roberts at work
Offline
Joined: May 6 1999

Great, please let us know if you get wind of an air time for it, I'm a sucker for this sort of stuff. I'll explain why I'm interested after next April (when I retire and can speak more openly)

tom hardwick
Offline
Joined: Apr 8 1999

and if you can't resolve, dissolve. If you're shooting a real-time event (wedding, party, picnic) the simple one second lap dissolve can ease the unavoidable jumpcuts that such shooting invariably presents you with on the editing bench. I don't like it, I just advocate it as a last resort get-you-home.

tom.