MobiFilm Academy
Lesson 3 - Moving Pictures - Grammar
Lesson 3 - Storytelling
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Here's a very simple rule that tells you how to shoot:
Do With The Camera What You Do With Your Eye
But you've got to know what your eye is doing! You might think it works like this:

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That's not what happens. Your eyes nearly closed, your head and eyes whip round and open again. In effect, you CUT from one picture to the next:

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Cutting seems natural. But cut to what?

  A Long Shot?
  A Mid Shot?
  A Close Up?
  A Big Close Up?

The rule for shot size is: the greater the emotion, the closer the shot should be.

But remember that even the best phone camera screen is small; so keep close if in doubt.

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Joining Up The Shots

Whether you edit in the camera by using the pause function, or in the traditional manner, you need to make sure your cuts are invisible. One way to do that is to make your viewer expect a cut:

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Timing a cut

Hopefully that worked – but only because the cut came as he started to rise.

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Cut To See Something Different

Don't cut between these two shots:

There's no point! Cut to see something different:


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Crossing The Line
This isn't technical, but it's easy to get wrong:

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Crossing the line

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Continuous action

By the same rule, if two people are walking towards each other, or talking (even on the telephone) then if one looks right, the other must look left:

Here's what happens if they both look in the same direction:

It looks as if they're both talking to a third person!
So mind how you cross that line.
A reminder of the four main things that make a cut invisible:

  • Always cut on action
  • Always cut to see something new and different
  • Always cut with action continuing in the same direction
  • Always change size and/or angle

Happy shooting.

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