Cliffhanger

Repetition – Time compression and dilation (Part 1)

Repetition can hugely impact our perception of time. A long sequence can be radically shrunk to bring out its repetitive nature, while fast motion can be stretched out to emphasize its importance in the narrative. Continue reading

Repetition – Fixed angle

Before moving on to a thorough discussion on repetition in film storytelling, let me dwell for a page on the concept of fixed angle. A fixed angle is a shot configuration that is used more than once in a movie in order to make a specific place or action sink deep into the audience’s mind. Continue reading

Editing pattern – Reverse cut on the look

So far, we have studied the cut on the look for all it’s worth. But equally important is the ‘reverse cut on the lookediting pattern. Cutting from the looking character to what is grabbing his attention is merely done in reverse: The ‘what’ is displayed just before we see the character looking at it Continue reading

Editing pattern – Three ways to cut on the look and back (Part 1)

Cutting on the look from a looking character to whatever-is-drawing-his-attention is great, but the story doesn’t end there. Once we have figured out the situation, we (very) often want to cut back to the character and see him reacting. Continue reading

Editing pattern – Cut on the look (Part 3)

Although the cut on the look — either objective or subjective — is already a very efficient technique as such, it is still possible to increase its effect with simple tricks. Let’s ‘look-what‘ we’ve got here. Continue reading

Editing pattern – Cut on the look (Part 2)

Cutting on the look to a subjective shot might be the most straightforward answer to the question: “What is that character looking at?”, as we do it through his eyes. Not only do we fully identify with the looking character, but we can also focus on the ‘what‘ without worrying about anything else. Continue reading

Editing – Breaking the 180-degree rule (Part 3)

In part 3, we will see that inverting characters’ positions on screen by breaking the 180-degree rule is a common way to bring out a shift in power between opposing characters. The temporary loss of bearings it causes on the audience’s side is also very frequently used to describe minor to major turning points Continue reading

Scaling down – Truck out (Part 1)

A truck-out is the opposite of a truck-in. Instead of moving forwards, the camera pulls back along its view axis to scale down the characters and their environment. Unlike zoom-outs, the camera actually moves backwards Continue reading

Scaling down – Have subjects move to the background (Part 1)

Making characters move towards the background scales them down on screen. Unsurprisingly, the emotional response from the audience is more or less the opposite to that associated to having them come to the foreground. But shrinking characters in the frame comes with Continue reading