This week in our Production Tip video we’re talking about the Rule of Thirds. Watch the video below for our 3 minute film school and see if it can help you compose your shots.

Th Rule of Thirds is a composition technique, imagine your screen split into thirds- 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines. This will split the screen into 9 boxes. Now you can use these lines as guidelines to compose your image. Generally speaking the important visual aspects such as horizons or eyes should be placed on these lines.

The Rule of Thirds actually dates back way before film and even photography. Look at the Van Gogh painting ‘Starry Night’ where the horizon is on the lower third, or even the Mona Lisa where her smile is two thirds of the way up the painting. Studies have shown that the viewer’s online lands naturally on one of these points of the frame rather than dead in the center.

Of course do not forget, rules are made to be broken! The Rule of Thirds is more a composition tool and you don’t have to use it. A shot can be composed in a different way in order to get a certain effect across, for example by placing a person in the center of the frame it can make them seem more powerful. Tony Zhou shows in an episode of his Youtube series Every Frame’s a Painting how a shot can be cut up into quarters rather than thirds:

 

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