Repetition – Repetitive actions

Repetitive actions are very conducive to comparing progressions and hammering home all sorts of messages. Besides, very short, non-repetitive actions can be made repetitive without the audience noticing, to make them more stunning. Continue reading

Repetition – Time compression and dilation (Part 2)

Loosely speaking, the passing of time and suspension of time could be considered as extensions to the concepts of time compression and time dilation respectively. These two effects have a lot in common as they both make time an abstract concept. Continue reading

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 – Two-way, multiple and chain reactions

Unquestionably, reaction shots are great storytelling assets, but as we will see in this article, repetition can really take them to new heights. In fact, techniques such as two-way, multiple and chain reactions are so important that entire scenes can be built upon them Continue reading

Repetition – Portrait galleries and evocations

Now that the topic of repetition has been touched on with fixed angles, let’s review its many different uses in movie storytelling, starting off with portrait galleries and evocations. 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 – Alternatives to the ‘cut on the look’ (Part 2)

Moving the camera or characters is not the only alternative to cutting on the look. There are plenty of other creative ways to draw the audience’s attention from the looking character to what he is looking at — and vice versa — in one shot, without the need to cut, Continue reading

Editing – Alternatives to the ‘cut on the look’ (Part 1)

The problem with the regular and reverse cut on the look is that they are so much ubiquitous in movies that they tend to get predictable and repetitive after a while. Sometimes, we need to be more creative to add variety in our shots and keep our story interesting. 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 2)

In part 1, we went over the first two most common ways to cut back to the looking character after a ‘what‘ shot (i.e. using the same or a closer scale). In part 2, we will study editing pattern #3: Cutting to a longer scale shot of the looking character. And we will see how to put all those techniques together Continue reading