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Glossary

FILMMAKING TERMS


Term: Swish Pan

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An extremely rapidly-executed panning movement, which briefly causes the picture to blur (i.e. the camera moves quickly from one character to another, whom we could not see before). The swish pan usually begins and ends with the camera at rest and often functions as a transition without a cut. However, this use of a swish pan generally requires careful planning of the mise en scène. In contrast to the common transitions that are standardly used in the style of continuity editing, swish pans are always very striking and thus immediately draw attention to themselves. Sometimes a swish pan is used in combination with an adjacent cut, thereby covering this cut. This kind of usage may suggest the passage of time or a change of location.

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