TV Drama: Editing

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  • Editing is a term used to describe the process of joing shots together to make a coherent narrative (story) or scene.
  • How the shots are joined can have an effect on how we interpret the story and the events within it.
  • When analysing editing editing we need to consider: the style of editing, the speed or pace of editing.

Continuity or 'Invisible' editing

  • This is the most common form of editing that is used in TV Drama.
  • Edits go unnoticed by the audience - the action seems more natural and seamless.
  • Used to create a sense of reality and authenticity by using techniques such as shot/reverse shot, eyeline match and cross-cutting.
  • This type of editing is IDEOLOGICAL because it is used to construct a reality that we become immersed in and not question.
  • If a TV drama uses in visible editing we need to examine closely the type of reality it presents to us to see what it is representing as 'natural'.

Style of Transition

  • The type of edit between shots - also known as the transition - is significant as it is one of the ways that editing can be used to create meaning.


- the simplest type of transition is the straight cut.

- cuts are used in continuity editing and makes the action seem natural and realistic as we don't notice the shots being joined together.


- one shot fades off the screen while another fade in.

- audience see both shots on the screen at the mid-point of the dissolve.

- shows connections between characters, places, objects. Also


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