Continuity in video is when the cuts cannot be seen and the video flows smoothly. There should also be no mistakes in wardrobe, props, etc. In order for there to be continuity, certain rules must be followed.
The Hangover is a trilogy. It begins with three friends having a wild bachelor party where they wake up with terrible hangovers and cannot remember where the bachelor is located.
The scene located at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_5YoG-iXjQ exhibited continuity. It began with a wide shot to establish the location and then changed to a medium shot. It also followed the 180 degree rule.
Spider Man (2002)
Spider Man is based on the comic strip. It is about a high school student, Peter Parker, who is bit by a spider and gains super powers which he uses to fight evil.
The scene found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM7Eou4bV-Q is where Parker discovers he has unusual powers. Cutaway shots are used for continuity. A variety of shots, including extreme close-ups, and angles are used as well. Parker ends up fighting a fellow student, Flash. The fight scene is seamless as it uses match on action to hide cuts. Over the shoulder shots are used to confirm location. The upside down view of the students watching the fight when Parker leaned backwards to avoid contact with a punch was amazing as it showed how he saw onlookers.
The Mask is about a man who is transformed into a peculiar superhero when wearing a strange mask.
The transformation scene is found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKSJpE6dj1A. It is flawless. It offers a variety of shots, from wide to medium to close-up. The angles are amazing. Shots are taken down low and up high. The shot looking up where the audience sees the mask and then the reverse looking down of Jim Carrey looking at the mask helps with continuity. Cutaways are also used.
Sometimes films and TV shows have continuity errors.
Martin is a 1990s sitcom starring comedian Martin Lawrence. It portrays him as a radio/TV talk show host and is centered around him, his girlfriend, and friends.
A Christmas scene found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJAt_jn_gw8 exhibits a lack of continuity. Lawrence is dressed as Santa Claus and is telling children the story of The First Christmas. At 13:15, in a medium shot, his cotton beard looks fine. At 13:16, in a wide shot, a cotton ball is hanging from the beard. It cuts to The First Christmas. Then, at 16:03 Lawrence’s cotton beard looks fine again.
Plot errors are also common. This occurs when a mistake is made in the consistency of the made-up imaginary world of the TV show or movie.
The Cosby Show
The Cosby Show, starring comedian Bill Cosby, was a sitcom about a successful African American family living n New York City.
The clip found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLspETilM0c shows Joseph C. Phillips playing Daryl, a man coming to the Huxtable residence to date the oldest daughter Sondra, in 1985. Whereas this clip, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt3KO4qfD-w, shows Joseph C. Phillips playing Lt. Martin Kendall, the younger daughter Denise’s new husband, in 1989. This represents a plot error because he was already established as a different character, resulting in a lack of continuity. The writers may like Phillips enough to bring him back, but Sondra was already married and they may have thought that enough years had passed for the audience to not remember his original character.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a sitcom about Will Smith, The Fresh Prince, moving from “Philly” to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel-Air to escape his rough neighborhood.
At :28 in this clip found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NrsaTwx3OA the original “Aunt Viv,” played by Janet Hubert, is in the hospital after having a baby in 1993. At 1:28, in this edited clip, it shows “Aunt Viv,” played by Daphne Reid in the same year. This represents a continuity error because we already established a different actress as “Aunt Viv.” The rumor was that Hubert and Smith did not get along. The executives made light of the new “Aunt Viv” by having “Jazz” look at her strangely and say that there is something different about her since she had the baby.
Roseanne, starring comedienne Roseanne Barr, was a sitcom which started in the 80’s, was recently rebooted, and then cancelled. It’s the story of a working-class family.
At :57 in the clip found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDg3bhBH0DM, Roseanne is thinking about how she got through life the last year after her husband Dan died. At :10 in the clip found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDCeE-XFksg, many years later in the reboot, Dan is alive. The writers make light of this continuity error and act like his death never happened. Roseanne tries to wake him up and says she thought he was dead. He says he was sleeping and wonders why everyone always thinks he’s dead. This occurred because they wanted to bring him back in the reboot with the original cast.