3 Main Editing/Camera Techniques

Today we had our first media studies lesson, we were introduced to the course and then got straight into preparations for our preliminary task . . . 

We were told that our task must include 3 main camera/editing techniques, match on action, shot reverse shot and the 180 degree rule.

Match on Action

Match on action is an editing technique where two shots are linked to maintain flow and continuity. i.e. opening a door and then cut to coming inside.

I found two examples of this, the first is a quick scene (that I found simply by searching 'match on action' into youtube), where you can distinctly see how on each action it cuts to a different angle:

I then tried to locate this technique being used in popular media. I found this clip from my favourite tv show, where it is shown at 0:07 :

Shot Reverse Shot

This is a technique most commonly used in dialogue scenes where you alternate between two over the shoulder shots to show each character speaking and reacting. This is a very common camera technique that I recognise being used a lot.

I too looked for an example of this in the same tv show as previously mentioned. The shot reverse shot is particularly clear from 0:14 :

180 degree rule

The last rule is slightly more complicated but once you get the general idea it is easy to grasp. Basically it is the idea that there is an invisible line between two characters that the camera cannot cross, or else the viewer will be disorientated.

I found this clip on youtube where it is very clearly explained:

Lastly I located this in a film that I had seen, this scene from 'Submarine' immediately came to mind. It is particularly clear from 0:11 and you can very clearly see the rule in action at 0:53 - 0:56 because you see the camera stop and not go beyond the line.

It is also interesting how they almost 'cross the line' at 1:08 - 1:12, I think they did this perhaps because the intention of that part was to disorientate the viewer, to represent the protagonists mixed feelings at that moment in time.

Until next time!


  1. Great examples for all three rules. Not sure I enjoyed all that sudden zooming-in in Parks & Rec. Why do they do that??

    1. I think it's their 'mockumentary' style, I agree it can be off putting!


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