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Cutaway shots are incredibly useful for directors and editors. Let’s find out why they are so important.

Have you ever been in the edit bay and wished you had something to cut to in order to save a scene? Anything to highlight a plot clue, an emotion, or hide a take that doesn’t cut together well.

When you’re shooting a scene, you have an entire shot list there to follow, which (hopefully) includes wide, medium, close, and sometimes insert shots, but what about cutaway shots? What are they and how can they help the editor save a scene later?

Today I want to go over the idea of a cutaway shot, the definition, and look at a few examples.

Let’s go.

What Are Cutaway Shots and How Will They Help Your Edit?

Cutaway shot definition

A cutaway shot is the interruption of a continuous shot by inserting a shot of something else. Usually, you then cut back to the first shot. These can be done within the same scene, cuts to other scenes, or even as one continuous shot as the camera pans across to something else.

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Source: No Film School