Screen Direction

Read/Download the Text Here – Shooting for Editing

The 180° Rule

Illustrating the 180° rule
Illustrating the 180° rule

Yasujiro Ozu breaking the 180° rule in Tokyo Story (1953) in the first 40 seconds of the film

and later on in the same film…

Following the 180° rule while switching sides

How Hitchcock Blocks a Scene in Vertigo

and a bonus clip…

Akira Kurosawa and Movement in Film in comparison with Joss Whedon’s The Avengers

Blocking a Scene

Blocking a scene
Blocking a scene
Blocking a scene
Blocking a scene
Blocking a scene
Blocking a scene – indicating actor movement with broken line, camera movement with unbroken line

Eyeline Matching

Eyeline matching in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing
Eyeline matching in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing
Eyeline matching in Spike Lee's Do The right Thing
Eyeline matching in Spike Lee’s Do The right Thing
Eyeline matching from Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Eyeline matching from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Using the rule of thirds to aid in eyeline matching
Using the rule of thirds to aid in eyeline matching

Studies in Camera Movement

Night of the Living Dead, George Romero, 1968
The s-curve that brings our characters, and our fears, from a distant point down the road to a place that’s more front-and-center, then moves further down the winding road into the storyline, taking the viewer along for the ride

[introduction of the character Ben 10:07 – 17:20]

Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba), Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964

Opening sequence (5:31), a phenomenal single shot using a hand-held camera

Maria, nightclub scene (7:21)

The Killing, Stanley Kubrick, 1955 (3:12), the overhead light provides motivation for this scene in which the faces are lit and the lighting falls off rapidly into a very dark background

Going Over the Plan

and a beautiful tracking shot that lends tension to the dialogue…

The Passenger, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975 (7:34)

Long takes – the final shot. Antonioni created not only the rig for the camera, but the fall-away window grill, and in fact he had the entire motel in which this scene takes place built for the film.

L’avventura, Antonioni, 1961

Long takes, two-shots, dialogue, over-the-shoulder, cross-cutting, all expertly executed – not one wasted shot, not one clumsy edit

Weekend, Jean Luc Godard, 1968

Long take – the traffic jam scene

Ganja and Hess, Bill Gunn, 1973 (6:17)
with Duane Jones (Night of the Living Dead) as Dr. Hess

Montage, hand-held camera, documentary style, dramatic zooms and a very active viewing experience

The Searchers, John Ford, 1956

A perfect opening scene

and closing scene, lest we forget how perfect was the winning of the West

The Others, Alejandro Amenábar, 2001
Seance scene with soft overhead lighting and candlelight. The background recedes into blue tones. The tension mounts and erupts in a montage of characters’ faces.

Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash, 1991

Framing, how characters enter and leave the shot, wide angle shots that contribute to the narrative rather that merely establish location, voice-over and dialogue mixed. This clip is muddy, so it’s hard to talk about the color. Award-winning cinematography by Arthur Jaffa.

The trailer shows the cinematography much better, but it’s only a trailer: