Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


When You Forget the Laws of Life

What's Wrong with This Picture?

I realize that it's easier to see the main characters without extras in those seats. I totally understand how hard it is to get the audience to focus on the right thing when Mrs. Big Hair and Mr. Tall are right in front of your stars. I totally get that.

But if you're going to leave those two seats empty, leave a few other seats empty as well. This will do at least three things:

  1. Make your scene less conspicuously staged
  2. Save you money on extras
  3. Not make your editor hate you for doing something stupid on set that he can't "fix in post"

The Lesson: As you look through your veiwfinder or at your monitor, don't just look at color, lighting and aesthetics. Ask yourself: Does this even make sense?

In this scene from Law Abiding Citizen, it's not just the two empty seats. It's the fact that there are so many people listening to a 10 year old play cello. There should be more empty seats and/or less nice suits with some kids.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

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