There’s lots to learn in the world of film editing. We’re here to help, by explaining exactly what J cuts and L cuts are!

Whether you’re working on a new indie film project, or you want to up your game with vlogging, learning new editing skills can only be a good thing. If you’re brand-new to it, there are some fantastic video editing lessons available on Skillshare to get you started!

Playing with the way the audio and visuals interact with one another in your projects is a fairly straightforward way to make your creations feel more professional. You may have heard of J cuts and L cuts before, but do you know what they are?

What are L Cuts?

A common but highly effective editing technique, an L cut is a type of split edit. In fact, so is an J cut. What’s a split edit, I hear you ask? A split edit is a transition from one scene to another, where the audio and visual transition at different times. These are great in place of traditional transition effects like swipes or dissolves. It creates more continuity within the video, and maintains a more natural feel.

An L cut is when the audio from the preceding scene continues to play over into the next scene.

What are J Cuts?

This is easy. A J cut is just the reverse of an L cut. This means that the audio from the following scene plays over the footage of the preceding scene.

If that is making your brain a little warm, don’t worry – here’s a helpful example!

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