Figure 23. The cutin
a. An opposite, but also effective, technique from the cutin is the cutaway. In a
cutaway, the camera is directed away from the main action to show some parallel action
that is taking place at the same time. For example, while filming a troop review, a shot
of the audience is a cutaway. It is related to the main action, although not part of it,
it is a part of the story and must be shown. The cutaway smoothes out the continuity by
bridging gaps and is used to cover up major jumps in action.
b. The cutaway is also used to build atmosphere and stimulate the interest or the
imagination of the audience. For instance, while filming a missile launching, cutaways
of the block house and the strained faces of the engineers might transmit the feeling of
excitement to the audience. Or, suppose you are covering boxing matches. Most of the
action is exciting but there are lull periods. These can be filled with cutaways of the
time keeper, of the referee, and the spectators. The drama and suspense of the fight
might be heightened by extreme closeups of the moving second hand on the timekeeper's
stopwatch, and by a shot of the clapper striking the bell at the start or end of a round.
c. During a long story, the cutaway also helps to reorient the audience in
essential parts of the plot that are not being shown at the moment. A cutaway of action
taking place at widely separated locations can be included if it is part of the story.
Thus, the audience is able to follow the plot and even though the story shifts from one
area to another, the transition is smooth and acceptable. A simple illustration of the
effective use of the cutaway is shown in Figure 24. Variety and interest in a golf game
are increased by a cutaway to the caddy showing him removing the flag from the cup.