What Exactly Is Continuity Editing?

Spotting mistakes in movies is a fun activity for movie fans. They can look out for inconsistencies such as a character’s hairstyle or clothing changing in the middle of a scene or a modern object being present in a period piece. But continuity is the key to making a good movie. It holds the story together and allows the viewer to be immersed in the world the filmmaker is creating.

Here, our video production company shares more about continuity editing and its importance in a film:

What Is Continuity Editing in a Film?

Continuity editing, also known as classical editing, is a film editing technique that creates a smooth and seamless transition between shots. It creates a sense of temporal continuity and spatial coherence in a film. This technique is based on the principles of continuity, which dictate that the editing of shots should maintain a smooth and logical flow from one shot to the next.

Continuity editing creates a sense of a single, linear narrative. It relies on the use of cuts, shots, and transitions to create a continuous flow of action that is easy for the viewer to follow. Film editors use various techniques to achieve this, such as matching action, eyeline matches, and shot reverse shots.

Matching Action

Matching action is a technique that creates a sense of smooth continuity between shots. It involves matching a character’s action from one shot to the next. For example, if a character walks in one shot and then turns to face the camera in the next shot, the editor will use a cut to ensure the action is continuous.

Eyeline Matches

Eyeline matches are another technique used to create continuity between shots. This involves matching the eyeline of a character from one shot to the next. For example, suppose a character is looking off-screen in one shot. In that case, the editor will use a cut to ensure the character’s eyeline is pointing in the same direction in the next shot.

Shot Reverse Shots

Shot reverse shots create a sense of continuity between two characters in a scene. This involves alternating between two shots of the two characters in a scene. For example, if two characters are talking in a scene, the editor will use a shot reverse shot to show each character’s reaction to the other.

How Does Continuity Editing Contribute to the Overall Flow of a Film?

Continuity editing is an essential part of filmmaking and is used to create a fluid, logical narrative in a film. It is a technique that creates a seamless transition between shots and scenes, allowing the audience to be immersed in the story without interruption. The purpose of continuity editing is to create a smooth flow of images and sound that serves the narrative and keeps the audience engaged.

What Are Some Common Continuity Errors That Can Occur During Filmmaking?

Some of the most common continuity errors that occur in filmmaking include:

1. Inconsistent Lighting: Lighting can drastically affect the look of a scene, and if it is not consistent, it can be very noticeable.

2. Inconsistent Clothing: This is a very common continuity error that can be seen in many films. It is usually caused by an actor or actress changing their clothing between takes or by a wardrobe malfunction.

3. Inconsistent Props: Props are a vital part of any film; if they are not consistent throughout the movie, they can be very distracting.

4. Inconsistent Makeup: This can be caused by an actor or actress changing their makeup between takes or by makeup being misapplied.

5. Inconsistent Hair: Hair can also drastically change an actor’s or actress’s look. If it is not consistent throughout the movie, viewers can easily spot it.


Continuity editing is an essential element of filmmaking and contributes significantly to the overall flow of a film. By creating a smooth transition between shots and scenes and using transitions to link them together, continuity editing helps to keep the audience engaged and immersed in the story. Ultimately, continuity editing creates a cohesive, logical narrative that keeps the audience entertained and invested in the story. A professional video production company understands the importance of continuity editing. It ensures that even short commercial or corporate videos can benefit from it. 

Video Ink is a trusted video production company in Manchester that can help you boost your brand online through videos. Find out more about our services!

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