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 pattern – Cut on the look (Part 1)

The ‘cut on the look‘ is probably one the most natural — and common — cuts ever. Whenever a character turns his head and looks off-screen, we invariably want to know what has grabbed his attention and expect the following shot to answer that question. It seems we are never tired of that simple ‘look-what‘ sequence of shots. Continue reading

Editing – Breaking the 180-degree rule (Part 4)

So far, we have limited ourselves to studying the different effects of breaking the 180-degree rule from the standpoint of the story. But storytelling is not all about the story. Crossing the action plane can also be a way of pushing the audience around and spreading a bit of panic as they struggle 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

Editing – Breaking the 180-degree rule (Part 2)

As we saw in part 1, breaking the 180-degree rule can have a disruptive effect on the audience, which can prove very helpful when tackling disruptive kinds of situations, like a character harassing another one, barging into a relationship or splitting off from a group. Continue reading

Editing – Breaking the 180-degree rule (Part 1)

Now that we have spent some time demonstrating the virtues of the 180-degree rule, let’s have it the opposite way. There are many reasons why you would want to deliberately ‘break the rule’ and step through the looking glass. Continue reading

Editing – The 180-degree rule (Part 4)

Life would be easier (and boring) if we only had one action plane to deal with. But virtually all scenes are based on multiple conflicting action planes. As the 180-degree rule is merely related to one plane only, how are we supposed to comply with multiple planes without breaking the rule? Continue reading

Editing – The 180-degree rule (Part 3)

Keeping the camera on the same side of the action plane is easy when actors stay relatively still, but how about letting them move around? Whenever a subject crosses the viewing axis, the action plane shifts from one side of the camera to the other accordingly. Continue reading