Common techniques of continuity editing
The establishing shot is one that provides a view of all the space in which the action is occurring. Its theory is that it is difficult for a viewer to become disoriented when the story is presented before them.
On way of preventing the viewer becoming disorientated in editing is to keep to the 180 degree rule. The rule prevents the camera from crossing the imaginary line connecting the subjects of the shot. This rule prevents the camera from crossing an imaginary line. Another method is the eye line match. When shooting a human, he or she can look towards the other human, which will then cut to the other side to show the characters have swapped places.
If wishing to convey a disjointed space, or spatial discontinuity, one can take advantage of crosscutting and the jump cut.
Crosscutting is a technique which can be achieved by cutting back and forth between shots of unrelated places. In these cases the audience will clearly understand that the places are supposed to be separate and parallel. In this situation the viewer will not become disorientated.
The jump cut is a device of disorientation as it cuts between two shots that are so similar that a noticeable jump in the image occurs. The 30 degree rule was formulated for the purpose of eliminating jump cuts. The rule requires no edit should join two shots whose camera viewpoints are less than 30 degrees from one another.
the characters switch places on the screen.
This describes the deliberate or accidental violation of rules of continuity when editing films. As a deliberate technique it may be used to create alienation. The viewer's expectations of continuity can be violated by changing the image size or tone between shots, a change of direction or shots before the viewer has time to realise the change. Also known as a Montage Theory. (Found on the Montage Theory Page)