Jaycut.com may be the only web-based video editing application that registered members can use for free. Jaycut is not a professional video editor by a long shot. It doesn’t work as fast as consumer editors like iMovie and MovieMaker, but it can be very useful if you don’t have these applications or if you just need edit online.
Jaycut may have limitations but it doesn’t mean you can‘t use professional video editing techniques with your digital footage. In a recent article about home video productions, I alluded to techniques that can make your videos more appealing. Two such techniques are what are called J-cut and L-cut editing.
You have no doubt seen J-cut edits used in films many times without knowing what it’s called . In this cut, you hear the audio come from one video clip, but you see footage from another clip or visual element such a title board. Here’s a quick example on my Jaycut share page of a J-cut edit.
The video opens with a title card and the sound of a mariachi song that is a part of—let’s call it—the A-clip. After a few seconds the title card ends, and the visual part of the A-clip begins with the mariachi dancers; the music from the A-clip continues.
The B-roll could have also been another video shot of say people watching the performance but with the sound of that clip edited out. So if say you’re shooting a music performance with a single video camera, you might grab a shot of the audience or the outside of the venue before the performance begins, and use it for your B-roll.
While the Jaycut editor only has two video tracks and one audio, you cannot split music from a video clip as you can in say iMovie. But here’s a workaround.
After importing your clips into your Jaycut editor, drag the A-clip into Video A track. The A-clip is your main clip, with which you want to retain the sound.
Step 2<h2>The L-Cut</h2>
Now split the clip to the point where you want to show footage from your B-roll or title card.
Now drag and replace the empty space in Video A track with your B-roll clip. If you’re using actual footage from another clip, you will probably need to splice it so that it fits where you want it in the Video A track.
In my example, I’m using a title card that has no sound, but if your B-roll clip has sound, click on the audio editor and mute the sound in that B-roll clip, so that only the sound from the A-clip is heard.
The L-cut edit works almost in the same way, but in this case you insert B-roll into the middle of the A-clip, instead of the beginning.
To accomplish this edit in Jaycut, drag a copy of the A-clip into both the Video A and Video B tracks. Mute the sound of the clip in the Video A track. Clip out the part of the A-clip that you want to be replaced by your B-roll. And lastly, mute the sound in the B-roll, because you’re using the sound from the A-clip. Here’s an example on my Jaycut share page.