TV teleportation

I don’t usually notice shot-to-shot continuity errors. Not on first viewing, anyway. But this one really jumped out at me when I saw it last week: a character is standing on one part of the set, there’s a cut to him standing in that same spot, and then, without an intervening cut away from him, he’s magically moved to a different part of the set. Continuity errors are inevitable when cuts are made to get a show down to time, but usually there’s something to keep the error from being too noticeable – most commonly, just a cut away to another character so that, in theory, the other character could have moved really fast during that other shot. Here there’s none of that, though the editor seems to have made a valiant effort to at least keep some continuity in the way he eats his food, hopefully distracting us from the fact that he’s teleported across the room.

I’m sure this sort of thing happens on shows I like better, and that I wouldn’t have caught this if I had been enjoying the scene. (I’ve heard it said, for example, that Norm’s beer on Cheers goes from empty to full in all kinds of magical ways, but I never notice.) But that’s always the way; when it happens on a show you like, you can forgive it or you’re having too much fun to notice it.

One shot-to-shot continuity error that always stuck in my mind was this one where the late Tom Bosley’s glasses appear out of nowhere. However, there is a cut to the other characters, so you can always say that he just put those glasses on incredibly quickly during that one second when the camera wasn’t on him.




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TV teleportation

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