You see match action all the time. Movies, television shows, even commercials contain match action.
Take this Heineken commercial for example
At [:13] you see match action of the guy in pink juggling the beer in glasses.
At [:18] is a match action shot of a guy throwing beer bottles from the stage to the guys on the couch
At [:27] is a match action shot of a a guy serving beer balancing a glass on his chin.
Match action is an edit that connects two shots together via the action within the two shots. Editors who are meticulous with match action understand how edits work. The idea is to edit to shots together using the action within the shot. Having movement in both shots, editing on that movement hides the edit. In the commercial you see
The action continues in too uniquely composed shots
It appears as if the shots are done with two different cameras rolling at the same time
It’s an easy way to create a very clean looking sequence
The match action edit hides that there actually is an edit
Editing two shots together on a movement will often make the edit invisible.Â Good edits are invisible edits.Â Good edits are edits your audience doesn’t notice.
Watch this story I edited on my youtube channel.
There a lot of match action in this story.
The beginning of the story is a sequence of Michaela and her mom in the kitchen.Â Within that sequence I use match action from the shot of Michaela tight at [:11] to the wide shot of her and her mom in the kitchen.
Match actionÂ make edits very smooth.Â Match action doesn’t always have to be a person.Â It can be an item.Â In this next example you see Michaela lifting the weights and then begin to put them down.Â She doesn’t complete the action of the weights going to the ground in this shot.Â In the next shot you see the weights land on the ground completing the action.
When the barbell leaves the frame your eye naturally drop down.Â Your eye expects to see the barbell hit the floor.Â The match action is very natural and expected.
When you hear people talking about edits that don’t get in the way these are the types of edits they are talking about.