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Phml

Where does the camera cut effect come from and why do people find it funny?

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You know what I'm talking about. You watch a video of a guy talking in a sarcastic tone in a fake documentary style, then there's a half-second cut with a fuzzy "lost camera signal" animation. Some egregious examples use it for every single transition.

Where does it come from? Why do people find it funny? I'm guessing it's supposed to give an idea of shoddy production values, because ha ha ha look at that man stepping on a banana, pretending to be clumsy never gets old.

Still I wonder who or what started the trend and why is it so ubiquitous with that particular style of videos? Perhaps parroting some British/American comic I'm too much of an unwashed foreigner to know? Educate me, Doomworld.

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I think I understand what you're talking about, but could you provide an example? The camera cut effect is used far more widely than for just the situation you described. What you described is a series of events involving the use of the camera cut technique to create a comedic scene & I do not know how to term that. The camera cut technique itself does not automatically make things funny, it's a question of how its used.

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could you provide an example?


Yeah I ought to, but can't seem to find any... The effect annoys me so much I never watch much less bookmark videos with it, and I'm not sure what to search for.

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you mean this picture?

A couple decades ago, some public broadcast television networks would go out of service for a few hours and you wouldn't get to watch anything on that channel. I think it is supposed to reference low budget entertainment, but I think today its simply a trick to get out of thinking of a conclusion for a scene that's escalating in recklessness or something.

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Ha, 40oz, that's my childhood. Not the one I had in mind, but it's used in a similar manner, yes. Although this one is often used just once to close a video (acceptable), whereas the effect I'm talking about is literally half a second, and sometimes used every half minute or worse. It's sort of like TV static, black and white, with a sharp cut and a screech noise which I assume is intended to mimic a malfunctioning handheld camera.

Finally found an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgG-qWQmLH0 (7 seconds in)
Well, this one looks like static, but it's the same idea.

"a trick to get out of thinking of a conclusion for a scene that's escalating in recklessness" - sounds about right. I'm overthinking it because I hate abrupt transitions in general.

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In that example, it seems to indicate a change of scene (though it doesn't seem to always be the case), sort of like changing the channel. It makes more sense in shows like Robot Chicken, but not so much here.

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It's probably from old analog TVs, where you would get that static when you switch channels. Or whenever the broadcasting station went off-air for any amount of time. Probably a combination of both these things, but it's definitely an anachronism in this age.

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I think you sometimes see this used with comedic intent for conveying "something was starting to happen that we needed to censor in a hurry, as in yank the cable out hurry". Other times I think it's just a stylistic "channel surfing" sort of transition that's not meant to be funny per se.

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40oz said:

you mean this picture?

A couple decades ago, some public broadcast television networks would go out of service for a few hours and you wouldn't get to watch anything on that channel. I think it is supposed to reference low budget entertainment, but I think today its simply a trick to get out of thinking of a conclusion for a scene that's escalating in recklessness or something.


The local CBS channel where I live actually still does this on the weekends. At 1am they play a video of the US national anthem being sung, then they go off the air and those vertical colored bars are seen for the next 4 hours, then at 5am they resume regular programming.

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The transition itself I don't think is meant to be funny, but just to be a change in scene or a change in skit. THe effect itself isn't funny, it's just a tool. So I don't know who you're finding literally out loud saying "Oh GEEZ LUUUWEEEZ that static effect sure is GOSH DARN hilarious!!!"

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What I like is analog static on digital phones in movies and video games.

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chungy said:
It's probably from old analog TVs, where you would get that static when you switch channels.

Yeah, because there are dead channels in between, but it may represent a stop and start in a VHS tape recording.

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myk said:

it may represent a stop and start in a VHS tape recording.

Yes! That's what amateurish tape recordings do, I remember it from my childhood. This connection seems more probable than a dead TV channel.

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