Movie Mistakes: When does Film Continuity REALLY Matter?

This Guy Edits
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Film continuity editing errors and movie mistakes happen in big and small films. But do they matter?
Continuity editing is the process, in film and video creation, of combining more-or-less related shots, or different components cut from a single shot, into a sequence so as to direct the viewer's attention to a pre-existing consistency of story across both time and physical location.
Still think continuity matters? Test your awareness here: uzvid.com/video/video-ubNF9QNEQLA.html
Thank you to Dr. Karen Pearlman for pointing me to the research of Timothy J. Smith: uzvid.com/video/video-0t-ShsJmALA.html
My favorite Film Editing Book is...
"In the Blink of an Eye" by Walter Murch: amzn.to/20ujg6B
Find out about Walter Murch's theory on the relationship of eye blinking and editing: uzvid.com/video/video-0_rHsWleVmw.html?list=PLNEhn13QqMlY2wIkzX4tq4FDJrN0UUSee
THIS GUY EDITS (TGE) is a youtube channel by film editor Sven Pape, an A.C.E. award nominee, whose credits include work for directors James Cameron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and James Franco.
TGE is about how to tell stories creatively.
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21-Fev, 2017

continuitymovie mistakesfilm mistakesfilm continuitycreating film continuityeditingdiy filmmakingcontinuity gaffescontinuity errorscontinuity issuesvisual continuity10 biggest movie mistakes



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Thomas Coispel
Thomas Coispel Yil oldin
Thank you very much ! I worked with so many persons who were obsessed with continuity, as if the only thing they wanted was making a flawless but commonplace story. Without risk there is no chance to make the difference...
Rylan Storm
Rylan Storm 13 kun oldin
+Yogesh S Awate it's full blown amateur hour.
Yogesh S Awate
Yogesh S Awate 2 oy oldin
In the first scene you also missed another thing, trains are different in different scenes
all things fascinating
Couldn't agree more with you. It doesn't matter as long as it doesn't spoil the flow of the movie.
Leonardo Oliveira
Leonardo Oliveira 11 oy oldin
Thomas Coispel Train changes and drink disappears. Right?
Dan Abrahams
Dan Abrahams Kun oldin
Not being funny but the kid has . drink in the first scene also, so two mistakes
Brandon Farley
Brandon Farley 2 kun oldin
I would say that music videos break the rules of continuity editing by flashing many different wardrobe ensembles throughout the sequence. Take any popular music video for example and you'll see the singers and dancers magically switch clothing, automatically.
Photographic elements
Couldn't agree more. We have become programmed by youtube channels clickbaiting for views that continuity errors make the entire movie fail; eg, "Everything Wrong With...," Most of these errors are never noticed when watching the film for the first time and never detract from the film. However, since you showed examples of 'Jurassic Park,' what I noticed, when watching the film for the first time, in the theatre, was "Getting out the Jeep scene," showing a flat expanse, vs a cliff when the TRex attacks and tosses the Jeep/Ford Explorer over the side/kids crawl out in trees. This was a change made after they had shot that first scene & Spielberg did not want to reshoot it. Even for something as big as this, it still just momentary, and then the movie pulls you back in. Also, the term you were looking for, eye attention on screen (or mouse locations on a computer screen), is "heat mapping." Love this discussion, look forward to more videos.
Jnsk 2 kun oldin
if the filmmaker is in the shot, it pulls the audience member out of the film, so I disagree with the idea that continuity rarely matters.
Jonas B. Ingebretsen
NO SPOILERS: I just wanted to add: Shutter island's phantom glass stems from the fact that we shift between the point of views of the protagonist and the lady. Water is symbolic to the main character which he attempts to suppress, thus we don't see the water from his point of view, only the lady's.
Mitchell Reid
Mitchell Reid 5 kun oldin
The shutter island one was deliberate. The protagonist is afraid of water due to his past, therefore he doesn't see water in his hallucination
jonathan ibarra
jonathan ibarra 5 kun oldin
Tom Satchel
Tom Satchel 6 kun oldin
Half the examples given, surely aren't continuity related??
Whitley Coleman
Whitley Coleman 6 kun oldin
I have always thought of continuity errors as the things that take away from the story due to errors on set or in the plot. Things like Hermione being able to distract a werewolf. A lot of things pointed out I did not notice until it was pointed out. I have caught these errors after rewatching movies several times. For the average viewer no it’s not important and it’s not noticeable and so long as it doesn’t ruin the scene or pace of the film it’s not important. The jacket is not important cuz we are watching this guy cross the street with his kid and secretly hoping a bus doesn’t come out of nowhere,the gas tank is not important cuz we are thinking about the fight, the crew member in the back is not important cuz we’re looking at Jack. Anal retentives and cherry pickers are likely hugely impacted by this and tend be a very vocal over their perfectionist woes.
gordon 7 kun oldin
Its Stephen Stills! He’s the talent!
Ash Calv Cast
Ash Calv Cast 7 kun oldin
Thanks for sharing this! I am an amature filmmaker here. I'm really eager to learn the basic and advance filmmaking. All your videos taught me a lot even without enrolling for being one! Btw, I'm into mobile cinematography and I hope you could also share some thoughts about it. Thanks again!
Dance God
Dance God 10 kun oldin
What dumbass shoots a scene where the camera man has to stand in front of a mirror? That seems really easy to avoid. The ones you showed in better movies were unnoticeable and also hard to avoid, but the ones in the movie you worked on were rookie mistakes.
Will Engle
Will Engle 11 kun oldin
That scene though where the guy is walking down the stairs holding the kid and you can see the camera in the reflection, that would be super easy to remove in after effects. Just sayin.
Jim Thomas
Jim Thomas 12 kun oldin
typical millennial so fucking anal about trivial matters.
ChinaMo 12 kun oldin
I noticed the drink, not the jacket...
Rylan Storm
Rylan Storm 13 kun oldin
Yeah, the emotional aspect of the back of his head as he walked down the stairs would have been difficult to recapture. Sounds like BS to me. Refilm it without the cameraman im reflection.
pgtrots 14 kun oldin
Ok, so you're shit at your job. Good luck.
William Brochstein
William Brochstein 14 kun oldin
very well done thank u for all your work liked
Da Pumaface
Da Pumaface 15 kun oldin
When it happens really really often and is really really obvious is when it's annoying. I found that happened in Wolf Of Wall Street and I honestly found it incredibly frustrating
Markus Burrer
Markus Burrer 18 kun oldin
I think, continuity errors are not important most times, but sometimes they can be annoying. For example in Terminator, when the car crashed into the police office. You can see the light from the car shining into the office, but when the car hits the front the headlights are off. I just thought: what happens there?
Commentator541 18 kun oldin
The jacket is a problem? How about the fact that it's a completely different train????
J.F.L. Bousquet
J.F.L. Bousquet 21 kun oldin
The crew member on "Pirates..", the hand on the velociraptor or the air bottles on "Gladiator" are NOT "continuity errors", check you facts before making a video about the subject. They shouldn't be seen, they are mistakes, but not continuity errors.
demovidtest 27 kun oldin
This is not a good topic - the essence of editing is about "continuity" across all the cuts within a film. Continuity is all about how much you can get away with in service of telling the story. NOTHING in film is edited continuously unless you're editing multicam footage in sequence from the same take. Scripty's job is meant to minimize these problems an editor would face - but ultimately, if people are noticing these things and it's ruining the movie for them, the bigger problem is with the film in general, not a tiny continuity error that the audience didn't buy.
Jeremy Mclean Films
Jeremy Mclean Films 27 kun oldin
I've always thought that shutter island error was deliberate because of how thematically obvious it is
Totoro 28 kun oldin
I noticed the train was completely different. And that when he crossed the tracks, he seemed to suddenly teleport forward into the car park.
Authenticate 4 Me
Authenticate 4 Me 28 kun oldin
Did you notice that in the first scene the train shots are from different trains!
Mark Pressman
Mark Pressman 28 kun oldin
Great video for filmmaking! I often stated that if you're caught up in the emotion of the scene you likely won't notice or care. Glad there's good examples here to back that up. My favorite example is in "When Harry Met Sally", when Harry and Sally are fighting outside the building after they ran into his ex-wife. On the cuts back and forth, Meg Ryan has crossed arms and then uncrossed arms - through several cuts. When I've pointed this out to people, they never noticed. Because the performance are THAT good!
MgelinFilms 28 kun oldin
For the crew member in the window, couldn't you have used editing software to remove his reflection in the window?
F7sus4 Oy oldin
Also, there are two different trains - white one with advertisements, that magically turns into a silver one, few seconds later.
Bram Slootmans
1:29 you know that this was on purpose right...
Robin Gilliver
If you think continuity doesn't matter, YOU don't matter.
Jim Baugh
Jim Baugh Oy oldin
Wolf of Wall Street really bothered me, editing sucked. Way to many jump cuts, could not watch without wondering how this ever got passed MS
Jim Baugh
Jim Baugh Oy oldin
You missed the train in the beginning. Different train on parting shot
Ben Igler
Ben Igler Oy oldin
in my opinion the train was completely off
Is it tho ? what if the guy just decided to take off his jacket ? Oh mama
BTW is this the same train ?
you where just sitting too long on the computer
oh lol
Scum 1254
Scum 1254 Oy oldin
First the train has commercial on it. Afterwards its plain metallic
Scum 1254
Scum 1254 Oy oldin
And it is a diffrent train
Charlotte Riddle
The cup is supposed to disappear.
H. T. B.
H. T. B. Oy oldin
I have a friend that is addicted to CinemaSins, and considers continuity just as major as the script. Here's an exert from his Halloween (1978) review. "The film is also hindered by being filmed in California (palm trees. In Illinois. In October) which could break the reality of the film" That one nitpick took the film took the film from a 10 to an 8 in his eyes! We don't even live in America, he has no idea what the geography of palm trees are like there!
Harry Eaton
Harry Eaton Oy oldin
Continuity in the cutting room is made immensely easier if you have a script supervisor doing their job on the day (or days) of the shoot, maintaining proper wardrobe from shot to shot, props and prop placement etc. I have to admit you're correct though if the scene is engaging enough you don't notice, and I find the people that notice the less obvious stuff are the type of person who probably doesn't engage with films much and tends to chat a lot while watching.
Harry Eaton
Harry Eaton Oy oldin
The one in Terminator 2 also makes a bit of sense, they probably didn't have enough budget (or legal permissions for that matter) to fly a chopper around with a damaged (or fake damaged) cockpit window, so while they can do CGI for the breaking into the cockpit shot, the rest of the flying is just going to be whatever good shots they can get with the limited rent time of the chopper and stunt pilot. Same with the Commando yellow Porshe, it's easy to have a damaged prop that the characters get into but for the actual driving scene they didn't want to beat up a perfectly good expensive car.
Harry Eaton
Harry Eaton Oy oldin
Probably the best mix is to have the director working on emotion and framing, and the script supervisor working on reducing continuity issues so the director doesn't have to worry about it.
RIPxBlackHawk Oy oldin
I'm gonna tell you right now, you can give no fucks about continuity all day long but as soon as I spot only ONE continuity mistake it takes out the entire magic of the movie. Even if you haven't spotted the cameraman the first time but only after it was pointed out, I'm sure you have seen it the second time in the living room without anyone talking about it. It was even worse than. Once the grand illusion is broken, the entire card house falls apart. Failed continuity doesn't matter for as long as it isn't noticed. Personally, I am very quick to spot things that are out of place in terms of continuity. There are things that I miss, of course, I am not a robot but things like the jacket are easy for me to spot. If a good story sucks you in, bad continuity spits you right out. One continuity mistake will destroy the next 15 to 20 minutes of the movie for me. I think as a filmmaker it should be in your interest as much not to show the camera as it is to tell an emotional story. As an editor your job is it to take care of not showing the camera. As an script supervisor your job it is to not have the editor have to cut out the camera man.
PriceDown Oy oldin
The Office seems really good at this
Foozo Oy oldin
i completely missed the jacket at the beginning i thought he was talking about the C-Train changing
Stevey Smile
Stevey Smile Oy oldin
Different train, jacket, and the kid is missing is slurpee.
Anthony gomulka
In wolf of wall street, when Margot catches Jordan cheating she goes to slam the door she's clearing going to slam the door then "stumbles" instead.
Clickme1999 Oy oldin
hey but your train isn't the same in the two shots!
Astrid Whiteside
Continuity is only an issue when it ruins the experiance of watching
Mojo Oy oldin
And the advertisements on the train
Wolf Oy oldin
Now can the jacket be invisible to us
Raju Rane
Raju Rane Oy oldin
Train continuity also missing😝
Chris This
Chris This Oy oldin
You can edit tho. I dont see those errors but if i do, beacause they are that obvious you couldve edited.
Pfahli94 Oy oldin
The cameraman in 6:45 could have been easily fixed in post with a rectangular moving piece of gray. Had to fix a crew that could be seen in a windows in 3 shots recently and didn’t take too much time but made the scene way less distractive.
gabriel ferreira
Notícias the cup
chiveerum Oy oldin
The same science that explains why most continuity doesn't matter also explains why ometimes it does. I saw the cameraman in th mirror, because we were looking at the characters from the back, and human brains are wired to detect people around them. The presence of the cameraman takes me out of the moment and out of whatever emotion I'm supposed to be feeling. Likewise, the train passing through was different at the start and it was notceable because both trains show up as the primary focus of a shot (there were no faces for me to look at). But I didn't notice the jacket for the same reason.
Uh....did you really say Kubrick didnt care about continuity? lol. really dude
the shutter island cup of water is because Teddy (andrew) has an aversion to water and blocks it out. he found his kids dead in water so its become a traumatic thing his mind blocks out. that is his POV shot with no cup in the hand then the over the shoulder is from someone else (the guard) showing the cup. not a mistake
sweiland75 Oy oldin
I am more distracted by your shitty English.
Sem Skywalker
Sem Skywalker Oy oldin
Seeing the cameraman in a reflection is not a continuity error. It is a shooting error. The former is about continuity between shots, not errors withing each shot.
Kobe Wild
Kobe Wild Oy oldin
lot's of these type of errors.. I don't catch... the things that trip me up in films are bad lighting. horrible blue or green screen, eye lines in digital effects films... shimmering around composites. The star wars head bang... I heard that ... but never noticed it as it was in the background.. dynamic prop failures in things like car flips.. I'll give them a pass on that. Not killing your actors and stunt people is more important and making sure a gas bomb remains covered in a shot. these type of things can usually be fixed in post with digital brushing.
AllEars Papillons
What about the child's disappearing plastic beverage container? At first the child has both arms in front of the man because he is holding the cup, later his right arm, now free as the cup is gone, is resting over the man's shoulder.
Dillon McCormack
I thought it was the cup the baby was holding.
JAG 0937 EB
JAG 0937 EB Oy oldin
who cares
srt10acrx Oy oldin
Um... I'm sorry. But I just paused at 1:26 to say that the jacket was the least of the continuity errors in that scene. Which I'm sure will be mentioned but don't think you're fooling me! Not gonna point them all out but the biggest two are that the train is different and the parking lot they walk to wasn't there in the walking shot. Like... Um. Don't play. Okay. I'm gonna go finish now because I'm actually super curious what you're gonna talk about.
Scrimjaw Oy oldin
I thought it was going to be the kids cup disappearing.
Rene Schwarz
Rene Schwarz Oy oldin
The first train had ads all over it. the second train none. Obvious. The man is standing right in front of the crossing lights and would not be able to step forward to cross. This foreshortening attempted to accommodate the need to get the flashing lights on the other side of the tracks in the shot while the train approaches. Poor choice for the sake of aesthetics. The toddler is holding a slurpy drink so then we cut to the obvious handheld follow shot where dad is wearing his denim jacket, and the toddler no longer has the drink. Big oops. And just as bad, the toddler now has his little arm around the outside of dad as they cross in the next edit instead of inside dad holding the drink as in the first shot of them. As unconscious in inconsequential as all of these visual continuity errors may seem, they all take away from our ability to relate to the character, to believe that the actor is fully aware of the intention that he is trying to show, and that the director understands why crossing the tracks is an important visual symbol for the psychology of the scene. Everything is motion pictures is deliberate. It reveals everything, including the unintended loss of meaning and purpose. That is why even microbudget films have a script supervisor. Thanks to filmmaking tech in the hands of everyone, we can more readily see these errors, understand their significance, and appreciate really good film.
Jenine Dalusong
The drink is gone later
Ian Kelley
Ian Kelley Oy oldin
The cup is also missing
Joseph Attwell
In my view, they don't matter if I don't notice them my first time watching without them being pointed out. However, if I notice them, then I can get pulled out. Of course, with modern effects work, we can have our cake and eat it too. Crew member in the background of the shot? Erase them. Character holding the wrong prop? Magic in the correct one. Helicopters missing in one shot, add them back in. Of course, if the budget choice comes down to "make the entire film better" and "remove that reflection of the cameraman," then always spend your money on making the film itself better rather than fixing tiny mistakes.
Richard Morey
Richard Morey Oy oldin
Jacket? What about the train?
Amit kumar
Amit kumar Oy oldin
I didn't notice the jacket lol, but I noticed the kid had a juice bottle in his hand, and then didn't
Jason Oon
Jason Oon Oy oldin
i spotted the cup and the train but missed the jacket lmao
Christopher Gregson
Great content, and insight. However, not all things you pointed out (such as crew or equipment being in the shot) are continuity issues. Continuity relates to a consistency in action/motion/props/set dressing etc between separate shots.
Freddie Brockingtom
they eased dat one in 😂😂😂
Danielle Jaeger
Also train changed
twertygo Oy oldin
What actually bothered me in the first scene was the missing cup. The reason is that it caught my eye, seeing the child holding it (or rather the straw) and then it disappeared. That was what really threw me off. I actually have a theorie why I didn't notice the jackett: We start off with seeing his button up shirt, then we cut to seeing his shirt and his jackett and then we go back to seeing only his jackett. So in the subconscious short term memory, there actually is no continuity error, since we still see his shirt when the jackett is introduced, and once it is there, it doesn't call attention to it when it appears in the next shot. There still is a chance it will catch a viewers eye though. When you asked wether we should blame those mistakes on the script supervisors, you implied a no, but my answer is ABSLOTULEY FUCKING YES! It's their job after all. Blame it on the editors? Not so much. As you said, the editors job is to make the scene work emotionally and story wise. But this error should be prevented before it is shot. I think the more attention a continuity error draws to it (i.e. if it's in the foreground or it affects the performace) the director should put his focus on it, because the more obvious it is, the more people will be thrown off by it, the less the scene works. So in the scene where this guy carries his baby down the stairs, the camera man is not seen long enough to be noticed as a camera man, but the spacial awareness is still completeley trashed, because the mirror doesn't make sense. It is showing a wrong picture of the house, since in the world of the movie no camera man exists. And I caught that imidiatly, without actually noticing the camera man. On a low budget movie it doesn't matter that much, as I don't expect a perfect movie from the beginning, so anything that throws me off just a little will be discarded by me imidiatly. So your audiance doesn't seem to care that much about those errors, which is good. Or bad. Well, it doesn't really matter.But just because some professional sais he doesn't care, doesn't mean us ordinary people aren't allowed to. And many people do care (at least if it is very obvious). So here are my rules to continuity errors: If it calls attention to it and it isn't supposed to, it compromises the scene in its most important way, on its emotional level and should therefore be avoided. The more budged your movie has, the more attention you, or some other person you hired, should give to errors. Everyone who notices it - be it on the first or 25th time of watching it - will feel like the crew was sloppy and being a high budged blockbuster, you really want to avoid it. That said, the less budged you have, the less important it should be to you, becausethe audience will not expect a flawless movie and will therefore be more forgiving about your "sloppyness". PS: The study you quoted really doesn't mean anything, because a movie where only faces make sense and the set doesn't at all, simply won't work. The only thing it added, was that no one is capable of noticing every little detail on the screen, especially if there is fast movement or fast cuts -- duh. But actually, some people will notice some details. Also we look at people we talk. I am not sure if the study you quoted got into that, but you certainly did not, so -1 for quoting useless material. Otherwise very compelling arguments. Sorry if it is a little unstructured, but it is late at night/early in the morning.
Antonia Helena
Hi! Good video, me as most people of the comments dont care ab mistakes unless they're pretty obvious and distracting. Also, whats the name of the movie that appears on the first clip? The one with the father and his son
Antonia Helena
+This Guy Edits thank you!
This Guy Edits
the end of love
DMTHOTH Oy oldin
I always notice the mistakes on film and it annoyes me..
Pegasus Oy oldin
I didn't notice the jacket-no jacket problem, but I did notice that the train up to 0:51 is completely different from the train from 0:52 on.
Elijah Halford
What's the film with the dad and son called?
This Guy Edits
the end of love
KillaGandhi Oy oldin
Not only is the train different, but the kid goes from holding a slurpee in his hand, to not holding anything in the next shot. It's funny how you meticulously study the greats, and yet you're so careless with your own work. Best of luck with everything!
Light Yagami
Light Yagami Oy oldin
Thanks for this video
GeeCee Oy oldin
0:51 No one’s gonna talk about the drink?
kk28262484 Oy oldin
I was so confused when I saw a completely different train passing by...
I feel like this video conflates continuity errors with general editing or blocking issues. The James bond example has nothing to do with continuity, bad acting that wasn't caught. The error you show in your movie with Marcus is a blocking issue, just like in pirates of the Caribbean. The issue pointed out in gladiator is an issue with the special effects/stunts. The hand being placed on the velociraptor is an issue with editing. In the full metal jacket error, to me, it looks like the drill sergeant pulled back with his left hand, and then struck the cadet in the stuck with an open left hand. At least, the cut is so fast, that's what my brain sees, even if R lee Ermy was actually punching with his right in the second shot.
Zordon06 Oy oldin
Unless they're blatant, most continuity errors don't bother me. I think people only harp on them to feel smarter. As an editor, there's not much you can do once production has wrapped, and most of the time people won't notice the mistakes. The last film I completed, there were a lot of little mistakes I had to cut around as best I could, and some I just had to leave in because I had no other choice. Almost everyone I've shown the film to said they didn't see any of them, even the ones I thought were most glaring.
Billy Wright
Billy Wright Oy oldin
Also the train starts off white with colourful livery on it and winds up silver!
Storystein Oy oldin
Replace the thumbnail with Fantastic Beasts 2 and we're good.
HighWarlordJC Oy oldin
He also jumps 5 feet forwards past the lights when he puts the jacket on.
Zoubeir Faouzi
In the first scene the trams where different.
The jacket at 0:26 was the least of the scene's problems. The overlit sky and the instability of the camera are far worse than a jacket that isn't easily noticeable.
buck rogers
buck rogers Oy oldin
yeah i got the train and the instant swith to the car park when he actually stopped walking just after stepping in to the road
Mao Duran
Mao Duran Oy oldin
Im not see the jaket error, I so see the cup that the baby had on hand, and the mistake about the scene with the camera man on the window is very easy to fix in post, I dont know why they dont fix in post.
Peter W
Peter W Oy oldin
great video
Area 46 Productions
Really enjoyed watching this is definitely learnt something new
Urban Pictures
6:52 Can't you keyframe and draw a mask around the window, or key it out, or even use 10 min of after effects to remove it??