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Seamless Scenery

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Basically, this trope is where the scene transitions between, or characters/objects move between, two or more completely different locations in a seamless, fluid, or even surreal manner, as if the two locations are inexplicably connected. Like a visual Truck Driver's Gear Change, if you will.

This can either be used as a Scene Transition, or as a serious Mind Screw, especially if the characters themselves are aware of this jump.

Variants include:

  • Transition-based: The camera moves fluidly between locations, basically The Oner used as a transition.
  • Movement-based: A character or object moves fluidly between locations. This can be achieved in more than one shot, but the character/object's movements have to carry over between shots.

For obvious reasons, any literary examples will be rather limited, but not entirely impossible.

If they really are part of the same location, or the location transforms into another, or the location is in a dream or hallucination, it's an Eldritch Location. If the transition is seamless for the characters, but not for the viewer, then it's just Teleportation. If the two locations are consistently bridged by some phenomena, then this trope does not apply, unless the transition is made in a single shot, or in a particularly fluid or surreal manner. If they are just Separated by the Wall, this doesn't apply, unless the rooms are not neighboring each other. If this trope is the whole point of something, then it's probably a Conveyor Belt Video.

Compare Match Cut, which this trope can be a more dynamic variant of. Compare Whip Pan, which can be used to disguise a cut to achieve this trope. Compare Gilligan Cut, which can sometimes use this trope Played for Laughs. Can also be used as a more creative Flashback Echo, or as a transition into/out of dreams or Hallucinations, provided they both take place in different environments.

While it can be used as a form of Sequencing Deception, Seamless Scenery is usually, by nature, very noticeable.

Has nothing to do with Chewing the Scenery, Scenery Porn (normally), Scenery Gorn (again, normally), or Scenery Censor.

Please note; this trope does not apply when multiple Real Life locations are actually presented as one location In-Universe, no matter how obvious it is to the viewer that they are not.


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    Films — Animation 
  • In Brave, after leaving the witch's shop, Merida turns to ask the witch a question and suddenly finds herself in another part of the forest.
  • In Coco, the moment Miguel tries to steal de la Cruz' guitar again, he ends up running right back into the Land of the Dead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At Home Among Strangers: Sarichev has just received word that Shilov's brother, who has been fighting for the Whites, has been killed in combat. He absorbs this while checking himself in a mirror in a dark hallway, then turns—and now he's in the banquet room next to that hallway obviously much later, as the attendees are debating what to do about Shilov.
  • The Swimmer: Ned takes a dive into Betty and Howard's pool—and when he emerges he's getting out of a completely different pool, at Mrs. Hammar's house.
  • In Happy Death Day, Tree gets clocked with a baseball bat and falls into her bed... in the same shot.
    • This kind of shot is repeated in Happy Death Day 2U; Tree jumps off the bell tower and lands in Alternate!Carter's bed.
  • There are so many examples of this in the Saw series, mostly in the films Darren Lynn Bousman directed.
    • In Saw II:
      • Eric Matthews walks out of his bedroom... and right into the crime scene where the opening trap took place (pictured above).
      • And that scene also ends this way, with the camera panning over the message left for Eric, over a beam, and then down into the precinct, where Kerry is analyzing Jigsaw's tape.
      • After Xavier discovers the number on the back of Gus' neck, the camera pans from that... to Daniel and Amanda running down a hallway, as if the floor was part of the wall they're running past.
    • In Saw III:
      • The camera follows Troy's body before panning to a rug in Kerry's apartment.
      • And after Kerry is killed in a trap, the camera pans from that to Lynn's bedroom.
      • In another scene, Amanda walks through the factory floor, passing the crate Jeff is trapped in... which is actually in another part of the building.
    • In Saw IV:
      • Rigg literally throws Brenda through a mirror and into the next scene.
      • In another scene, Hoffman turns to leave the precinct... and then Rigg walks right past him, putting a shirt on, which leads into the next scene.
    • Surprisingly enough, it happens throughout Saw 3D (which wasn't directed by Bousman) as well.
      • Exaggerated when the camera constantly pans between Bobby pulling his teeth and Gibson's squad raiding the asylum where Bobby's game is taking place.
      • It also happens when Gibson finds the back room of the garage, which pans to Bobby finally reaching Joyce.
  • Both one shot and Match Cut variants in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), where Nancy is having micronaps in the pharmacy and the scene constantly shifts between the pharmacy and the industrialized Dream Land, with the latter also shown affecting Real Life.
    • Earlier in the film, when Quentin is pulled under the water during swim practice, he breaks free, and swims to the surface... of a pool in the industrial complex where Freddy was burned alive.
    • This is even present in the original, where Nancy inexplicably steps outside... from her mother's bedroom.
  • After Det. Riley is hospitalized in FeardotCom, Terry is walking through the hospital and begins to hallucinate, her hallucination begins in this manner.
  • In The Babadook, Amelia's opening nightmare ends with her falling onto her bed and waking up.
  • A Match Cut variant in Boogeyman. Tim looks in the closet at the hotel... and suddenly bursts out of the closet at his house in the very next shot. Needless to say, he's very confused by this.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Dream!Scott sees Ramona at his doorstep and calls out to her, and then Real!Scott sits up right next to him and calls out to her as well, this happens in the same shot.
  • While most of the scene transitions in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) are essentially time skips, one transition is from Riggan watching the news on Sam's phone at the theater, which seamlessly transitions to the same report playing on a TV at the bar, where he's now talking to Tabitha.
  • Some of the transitions between Real Life and The Further in the Insidious franchise are this.
  • In Grave Encounters 2, Alex and his crew go to their hotel, pack up all their things and take the elevator... which drops them right back at the asylum. Hotel security footage suggests that they really did leave the asylum, even if the asylum itself is an Eldritch Location.
  • While David and Griffin are fighting in Jumper, there are multiple shots of them teleporting seamlessly between locations.
  • Occurs a couple of times in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as Joel jumps randomly between memories while undergoing a memory erasure procedure. Watch one example here.
  • While India is brushing her mother's hair in Stoker, there's a close up of her hair... which turns into wheat, leading into a Flashback.
  • Played for Laughs in Tomorrowland; whenever Casey grabs the pin, her environment will instantly change to wherever she'd be in the Tomorrowland dimension.
  • Hudson Hawk. The audience first realizes that The Series Has Left Reality when Eddie and Tommy Five-Tone jump off the top of a tall building. Eddie suddenly falls into a chair in Gates's apartment and Tommy disappears (Eddie finds him back at the bar later), all with no explanation whatsoever. The movie only gets weirder from there.
  • Happens twice in Lights Out (2016);
    • The camera pans in on a family picture in Rebecca's apartment, before panning away from the same picture in Sophie's house.
    • When Rebecca finds Diana's name carved into her floor, the environment around her goes dark and fades into her old bedroom.
  • In Help!, the Beatles escape a temple by diving into an underground pool, and somehow surfacing in a hotel pool in the Bahamas.
  • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, during the Montage of Peter's classes, whenever he checks the time, it cuts to the clock in his next class, before finally cutting to the clock in the cafeteria.
  • In Hellraiser: Judgement, Watkins reads the letter from the Stygian Inquisition, he puts it down... revealing the address the letter gives him, and then he walks into frame from a completely different direction.
  • In Pitch Perfect 3, while the rest of the Bellas are singing to distract Fergus, they are eclipsed by the glare of Fat Amy's flashlight, as she navigates the lower levels of the ship.
  • In Deidra & Laney Rob a Train, Marigold is sitting on a couch, before a seatbelt wraps around her, leading into a Flashback of her crashing her car.
  • In The Conjuring 2, Valak runs at Lorraine, who falls back into some boxes from a completely different scene.
  • Daisies:
    • The Maries are sitting around in bikinis in the opening scene. Marie I slaps Marie II, who falls over—and falls into a completely different scene, outdoors in a grassy field, wearing a dress. The film also shifts from black and white to color at that point.
    • Marie I is on the floor of a restaurant. Marie II stands up from a chair. Marie I grabs her calf and yanks, and Marie II slips back down—onto a bench in a women's restroom, where she starts putting on makeup.

  • Teleportation in Skulduggery Pleasant is usually depicted as especially abrupt, especially during action scenes, to the point where some instances fall right into this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used frequently in The Closer and its spin-off, Major Crimes. One particularly extensive example is "Risk Assessment", where this is used to move between suspects in three separate interviews.
  • Jessica Jones (2015). At the start of "AKA Pork Chop", the camera pans from Alisa in prison to Trish auditioning for a TV show.
  • Bones. In "Judas on a Pole", the camera whip pans from Booth in his car to Bones meeting with her father.
  • In the Better Call Saul episode "Five O", the scene transitions fluently from a flashback of Mike at the vet, behind a character's back, to him being interrogated by police in the present.
  • The Naked Director: In episode 2.2 a porn star tells Toru, her director, via Flashback, about how she had sex with a Japanese pop star in a hotel. The camera zooms in on the actress pinching the pop star's nipples, then zooms back out—to Toru, in the same hotel room, filming the actress's story for one of his pornos.
  • New Girl. In the episode "About Three Years Later", the elevator closes on Jess and Nick kissing, then reopens as Jess and a friend step out into a completely different building... three years later.
  • In Sherlock episode "A Scandal In Belgravia", the scene transitions fluidly from Irene Adler's apartment to some remote outdoor location as part of Sherlock's recap of how the crime was committed. Watch the scene here.
  • The trailer for season three of 13 Reasons Why is full of these transitions.

    Music Videos 
  • In the video for "Comeback Kid" by Sleigh Bells, one of the vignettes is Alexis dancing around seamlessly in multiple environments that cycle rapidly.
  • The video for "Welcome to the Black Parade" starts with The Patient dying, the room around him then drops like a curtain to reveal a desolate landscape, and the titular Black Parade advancing towards him.
  • There are a couple of points in the "Doki Doki Morning" video where the girls are shown dancing around seamlessly between a bedroom, and the dilapidated room where the rest of the band is performing.
  • In the "New Rules'' video, Lipa rips open the curtains in her room, the next shot is Lipa opening the curtains to a booth at the pool outside.
  • Most of the "A$AP Forever" video is a vertical Orbital Shot; the camera looping over each vignette before panning through the ground and into the next.
  • In the "Chun-Li" video. The camera pans above a man in a hallway, to Minaj staring at the camera in a close up.

    Video Games 
  • This happens a few times across Batman: Arkham Asylum, with Batman getting poisoned by Scarecrow's fear toxin and having vivid hallucinations. In Asylum, a seemingly normal corridor gradually warps into a dirty alley way in a thunderstorm.
    • In Batman: Arkham Knight, one ends when he reads some writing on Barbara Gordon's living room, only for the player to turn Batman around and find himself in his Clocktower Batcave.

    Web Animation 

    Web Video 
  • Marble Hornets has this down to an art form, but one of the most extensive examples is "Entry #83", where Tim and Hoody/ Brian are shifted seamlessly across multiple locations while chasing, and eventually fighting each other. One such shift is how Tim discovers Jay's body.
  • A lot of the time skips in When I've Wanted to Die work this way, with Anna's actions lining up perfectly between different scenes.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Elements of Harmony" uses this to transport the main characters all the way across Ponyville in the middle of a line of dialogue.
    [the Mane Six are inside the library]
    Twilight Sparkle: [reading aloud from a book] It is said, the last known location of the five elements was in the ancient castle of the royal pony sisters. It is located in what is now—
    [whip pan; everyone is now standing on the edge of a dark forest]
    Everypony simultaneously: The Everfree Forest!
  • In "Duck Amuck", the backgrounds keep changing behind Daffy, as part of the animator screwing with him. As soon as Daffy changes costumes to adapt to the new setting, he finds himself somewhere else and has to change again.
  • In one episode of Family Guy, Peter and Meg are walking down a New York street and suddenly find themselves in Bedrock. They look confused for a moment and then backtrack.


Video Example(s):


"I'll be right there"

One of the many examples of this trope from the Saw series.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / SeamlessScenery

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