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Multi-Take Cut

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An editing technique in which the exact same action (such as a talking head) is filmed from various angles all around the subject, then edited together with Jump Cuts amongst all the different angles. Similar to the Repeat Cut, except that the action is not actually repeated.

Typically, the talking head will focus on one particular camera angle as if it is the only camera recording; all other angles show the subject from the side or even from behind, calmly nattering on whilst facing away from the camera.


The technique is most commonly used with stunt work or similar action sequences, particularly vehicular stunts. In this case the trope is fully justified; most stunts, by their very (destructive) nature, can be performed only once, and those that can be re-done require time- and money-consuming re-setup, making it more desirable to get it done in one take anyway. Multiple camera setups are used to provide the director and editors with plenty of footage.

Outside of stunt work, the Multi-Take Cut tends to be more common in television commercials, but can also be utilized for talking heads in some movies and TV shows, often in combination with the Jitter Cam. The intention seems to be to add a sense of movement or frenetic excitement to an otherwise dull, boringly static scene. It can also be a bit discombobulating to the viewer, an effect which might actually be desirable in, say, a mystery or thriller.


Because this trope is so ubiquitous in stunts, please submit Non-Stunt Examples only:
  • Sam Waterston's spots for TD Waterhouse
  • NCIS uses it in pretty much every establishing shot, with a few seconds clearly passing between each cut. Presumably done to give a sense of hurry.
  • Animal Exploration with Jarod Miller
  • Any time Death the Kid fires the Death Cannon, there are four takes of the show from different angles (counting the first one) the one exception in the anime is the final fight against the Kishin, where he fires it multiple times without the cuts.
  • Many local news shows have reporters record on-location promotional blurbs.
  • In G.I. Jane, the scene in which Demi Moore's character shaves her head.
  • Of course, it's also common in music videos.
  • Sexy Silvia's exclusive power in Viewtiful Joe 2 is to playback the same attack three times for triple damage, even though you only attacked once.
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  • Done in the videogame The Darkness in the loading screens. Nicky has a series of monologues while he's sitting or standing under a spotlight. He talks directly ahead but the camera will constantly change angles.
  • Doctor Who: Done in "The Satan Pit" during the "if I believe in one thing" speech.
  • Christopher Nolan sometimes downplays this trope, such as in the hospital explosion in The Dark Knight. As shown here, Nolan filmed the explosion from several angles, but decided to put only two in the finished movie.
  • Then You Look At Me, by Céline Dion, has Dion in the middle of a lab where they're building NDR114 robots. Dion stays in one spot, dancing in a skimpy outfit, while the camera jumps around the entire room, sometimes focusing on her from the front, the sides, or on all the equipment.
  • Bicentennial Man: During the scene where Andrew is telling jokes to the family, the camera starts off as if it is placed on the table looking up at him, but Jumps around so that we can get everyone's reactions as they dissolve into uncontrollable laughter.


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