The 5 C’s of Cinematography Camera Angles, Composition, Cutting, Close-ups and Continuity The 5 C’s of Cinematography COMPOSITION Composition Composition is the heart of good filmmaking. It’s the placement of your subject within the frame, so it’s as pleasing to the viewer’s eye as possible. Select a Subject A shot should have only one subject. If a shot has more than one subject, you can break it up into two or more shots. Film Your Subject Thoroughly For example, you should shoot the entire scene from different angles: one shot of both parties, a second shot with the one person or group as the primary subject, and a third with the other person or group as the primary subject. Find A Frame for the Subject If you have control of your subjects, place them at their first positions. Then look for an angle where the subjects and all the other objects in the shot can be contained comfortably in the frame and each is angled the way you want. Use the “Rule of Thirds” The rule of thirds is a guideline used by cinematographers and photographers to determine positioning for a subject within the frame. Use the “Rule of Thirds” Imagine the frame divided into thirds, with equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines dividing the frame. Use the “Rule of Thirds” The four points where the lines intersect are where you position your subject to conform with the rule of thirds and create good composition. Use the “Rule of Thirds” Putting the subject in the direct center of the frame is generally considered to be bad composition. “Rule of Thirds” Examples “Rule of Thirds” Examples “Rule of Thirds” Examples Find A Balanced Composition Notice how, or if, all the objects in your shot are balanced. Look at the shapes, colors, and areas of light and dark, and imagine them as simple shapes and lines. Find A Balanced Composition Objects in shot balanced? Shapes, colors, and areas of light and dark. Imagine them as simple shapes and lines. Find A Balanced Composition Objects in shot balanced? Shapes, colors, and areas of light and dark. Imagine them as simple shapes and lines. Find A Balanced Composition Find A Balanced Composition Find A Balanced Composition Lead the Eyes and Movement For example, if a person is standing looking off the right side of the frame (frame right), it works better to place him on the left side of the frame. Lead the Eyes and Movement If a person is walking or running across the frame from left to right, the viewer will feel more comfortable if the person is framed on the left so there is space in front. In Conclusion: Check Your Shot Use the zoom and focus, and find the best framing for your subject. In Conclusion: Simplify If you know what your primary subject is, you can simplify the composition. Strengthen the focus on the subject by selecting uncomplicated backgrounds. Get closer to the subject, if necessary, to cut out distractions. In Conclusion: Balance & Frame You have to size up your shot, set the camera, and start rolling, but not before you have determined that you have a completely balanced and framed shot. The End Happy compositioning!