Flash cut?
June 3, 2010 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Is there a name for this editing technique?

You often get it towards the climax of a film where two geographically separate characters are doing something vital and the camera keeps cutting rapidly back and forth between the two to increase the tension. I thought it was called flash-cutting but Google suggests I made that up. Checking out Wikipedia is similarly unenlightening (it isn't a smash cut or a jump cut). Is there a name for this or is it just, er, standard editing but faster?
posted by ninebelow to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Best answer: My editing professors have always referred to this as cross-cutting. I've also heard parallel editing.
posted by reductiondesign at 10:19 AM on June 3, 2010

Response by poster: With hindsight this seems obvious (plus it was actually on Wikipedia). Thanks!
posted by ninebelow at 10:28 AM on June 3, 2010

The cut itself is called a cross cut, as reductiondesign points out. The effect it creates is called parallel action (if we assume that the actions are occurring simultaneously).
posted by nathancaswell at 11:00 AM on June 3, 2010

Yeah, cross-cutting. See Silence of the Lambs for a pretty awesome example (as the police swat team storm the house).
posted by theyexpectresults at 11:31 PM on June 3, 2010

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