Smash Cut | Attention Planner in Film Craft.

A smash cut is a technique in which one scene abruptly cuts to another for aesthetic, narrative, or emotional purpose. The smash cut usually occurs at a crucial moment in a scene where a cut would not be expected.

A smash cut is a technique used in film editing. The purpose of using this cut is like any other cut used in film editing, where one scene is cut to a different scene, but just like every other cut, smash cut has its own different properties and specific usage.

What exactly is a Smash cut, and how can this technique enhance the editor’s editing skills and the experience of the audience. However, before jumping straight on to the definition of smash cut, understanding the human behaviour, and how an emotional cycle functions for a person is important. Human emotions are more relevant in this then one might give them credit for, it will further allow one to not only understand smash cut but also why different cuts are used at different points, it can additionally explain transitions, and editing techniques and with a better understanding, anyone can become a good editor. One must have witnessed this in a hospital, or in a movie scene where if a person is breathing then the machines show a fluctuation in the graph indicating the heart rate and vitals. The same theory is used in a cinema theatre. During the making of a film, different dynamics are used to grab the attention of audience and to keep them engaged throughout. As a filmmaker, if one succeeds in fluctuating the emotional graph of audience then it implies that the viewers are enjoying the final creation, so throughout the film, the audience needs to be kept engaged.

Moving on to smash cut, it is an abrupt cut or change in a shot. As an editor, one uses it for different purposes, like sometimes it is used to beautify the sequence or to pull out emotions like deepening the suspense of the viewer. It is the responsibility of an editor or filmmaker to decide when, where and how to use it, using it often can also dilute its impact.

What is required to execute a Smash cut? The very first thing that is needed are two shots of a different pace along with some sound effects that can justify the change. If the smash cut has been planned within the script then it becomes easy to craft it properly on the editing table. The smash cut is at times used when the viewer least expects it, inciting further curiosity and the urge to continue watching the film till the very ending with utmost attention.

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