Crosscutting is a technique that is used in storytelling to show the audience different perspectives. For our purposes, it’s a technique used in film and video editing.

Crosscutting is often used to show two or more characters and their stories happening at the same time.



What Is Cross Cutting and Parallel Editing in Film?

Cross cutting is when a director cuts from one scene to another scene. It can be done with dialogue, sound effects, or other aspects of the shots.

When using this technique, the director will cut back and forth between two scenes to create suspense or show how time has passed without showing it on screen.

While Parallel editing is a film technique that is used to show two different scenes happening at the same time.



It can be as simple as cutting back and forth between two people in conversation or it can be much more complex, like cutting between an argument at a family dinner table and a car chase on the freeway.

Cross-Cutting vs. Parallel Editing

A lot of people are not aware that there is a difference between these two editing techniques.

In filmmaking, editing is the process of assembling shots into a coherent sequence.

The editor’s work is usually assisted by an assistant who helps to line up and synchronize soundtracks with picture edits while viewing the footage in a non-linear editing system (NLE).

The most common type of film cutting technique is sequential or crosscutting editing. This involves alternating between different shots within one scene or between scenes in rapid succession.

This is used either to:

  • contrast two simultaneous actions, such as consecutive dialogue exchanges,
  • to show changes over time: for example, day turning into the night,
  • or to create suspenseful anticipation.

When you edit your video, there are two ways in which you can cut the shot. Cross-cutting is when the editor switches back and forth between shots, while parallel editing is when they stay on a single shot for an extended period of time.

Let’s take a look at an example:


One of the most important features of a video is editing. Editing is the process of taking many shots and combining them to form one cohesive story.

There are two types of edits, cross-cutting and parallel editing.

Cross-cutting is when there are multiple scenes shown at once with no clear order or sequence in which they were filmed, while parallel editing shows a series that all happen simultaneously alongside each other.

Why Use Cross-Cutting Or Parallel Editing?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between parallel editing and cross-cutting?

There’s an alternative with an editing technique called cross-cutting. Cross-cutting is when the editor intercuts shots of two different events occurring at the same time.

What Is Cross Cutting

The idea of parallel editing is to have two or more editors working on the same project at the same time and then combining their efforts.

This provides a fresh set of eyes on the work, which can help identify problems that may not be apparent when looking at it for too long.

Cross-cutting is another term for this process, but it’s become less commonly used in recent years because people tend to associate cross-cutting with film editing rather than video editing.

A common technique in video editing, cross-cutting is a method of shifting back and forth between two scenes that are occurring simultaneously.

Parallel editing is similar but instead cuts back and forth to the same scene at different points in time.

These techniques have recently evolved into new forms because of digital media like Instagram and Snapchat.

In these social media platforms, people create short clips that they share with their followers or friends while preserving the original content’s unedited feel by using filters, adding text or drawings over it, or changing its speed.