A Sweet Shot from "Equilibrium"
While watching it again this weekend I noticed a very important use of framing. In film, normal conversations put the actors on the opposite side of the screen looking toward the empty space between them. This creates comfortable distance between the characters, but keeps them close.
However, in one scene of "Equilibrium", the filmmakers wanted to emphasize the disconnect between the main character and his son. Toward this end, they placed the two characters on opposite sides of the screen, looking off the near edge. This is not only a little discomforting to the audience, it also places a huge gap between the characters.
Two Framing Options for Conversations
Beyond the interesting lesson in framing, it is important to note another vital tip: You can learn a lot about filmmaking from paying attention while you watch TV and movies. If you keep your eyes open, and your brain engaged, you will find many lessons taught in film school exemplified right before your eyes. DJTV has a good episode on this topic as well.
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