Written By:

What is MTV Style Editing?

Over the years, many different styles of film editing have been practiced and introduced. Since filmmakers first began experimenting with editing techniques nearly 100 years ago. We’ve seen many different styles. Such as MTV style editing. And others become popular during various eras, but what is MTV style editing?

[blog-contact email = "email" label "Get a quick quote now!"]

What is MTV Style Editing?

By definition, MTV style editing is a type of film editing that can be characterized by fast, non-linear cuts. That are used to place emphasis on the location, underlying mood, and feelings rather than to focus on character and plot development.  

While the name “MTV style editing” comes from the 1980s as a result of MTVs vast production of music videos in that era. This editing style actually dates back much further than the 1980s.

In fact, there are some examples of MTV style editing that can be found as far back as silent era film years of the 1920s and 1930s.

How MTV Style Editing Works

MTV style editing is represented by the use of fast cuts that portray action. And which may ignore many of the rules of continuity. That otherwise prevent editing from distracting audience attention from storytelling.

In fact, while the rules state that cuts between scenes should be announced through the use of techniques such as dissolves and fades and that cutting from close up to far shot are methods of communicating continuous action, we see many of these rules violated in MTV style.

Instead, what we see is editing that uses the jump cut in excess, frequently bringing us views of sequential shots that represent the same subject from various angles.

That are almost always a violation of the 30° rule. MTV editing breaks existing rules of continuity and may even make the film hard to follow. 

Examples of MTV Style Editing

Many examples of MTV style editing have been exhibited over the years. Perhaps most recently you may recall the various abrupt editing techniques having been used in any of the following films:

  • The Bourne Identity (2002)
  • Flashdance (1983)
  • Footloose (1984)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • Good Fellas (1990)

Also sometimes referred to as post-classical editing, MTV style editing is certainly less focused on continuity than what you might recall from films that are produced today.

As we answer the question, “what is MTV style editing?” it is only fitting to refer to the style as characteristic of the disjointed, discontinuous and completely non linear, story within a story, style that you might recall from many of MTV’s music videos and fast-paced commercials of the era.