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Production Quality

Page history last edited by Justin Hennaut 7 years, 5 months ago




Rule of Thirds 


The rule of thirds is the backbone of photography and filming.  It is easy to manipulate by simply changing one's position, making it easy for beginner photographers, creating a dramatic impact on the outcome of the final shots.


Studies show that the human eye doesn't like to rest on objects in the center of a photograph.  It is more natural for our eyes to rest off to one of the intersecting lines on the rule of thirds grid.  If you place your main objects of interest there you will allow your viewers eye to sit comfortably there instead of fight against a center placed element.


To understand the rule of thirds you need to break your photograph down into three horizontal parts and three vertical parts which will create 9 separate boxes.



Look at the following frame.























Notice how this photographer put his character on the intersecting points of this photograph. This photograph is much more natural for the human eye to look at than if this photograph was composed with the framing placed dead center in the middle.


When shooting a landscape photograph or video, you should always place the horizon either one third of the way up the picture or one third of the way down the picture. 


Placing the horizon dead center in the middle is less appealing and less natural for the eye to look at. When deciding where to place your horizon line you usually only have to ask yourself one easy question: Which is more interesting: the sky or the ground?


In the picture below notice how the main subject of interest is placed at one of the intersecting points while the horizon is placed down on the bottom 1/3rd line allowing the sky to take up 2/3rds of the picture.






Lighting can be a very complex component of filming, however, with just a few easy tips, you can be assured that your video will be adequately lit and your subject will be easily identified.




Why Filmmaking Needs Lights

Video does not respond to light the same way our eyes do.  Specifically, video sees things in a much more contrasting way. In other words, it cannot handle the lighting contrast of real life: if you shoot a scene without artificial lights, either the shadows will go completely black or the highlights will go completely white.  This means that if you want a scene to look natural, ironically the only way to do that is to have enough light to make film see the scene the way our eyes see the scene.


There are many situations in which natural light will not result in exposure at all. For example, there is no way you can do an exterior night shoot without lights, even if there is a full moon.


Traditional photographilighting, known as three-point lighting, uses a key light, a fill light, and a back light for illumination.  Look at the diagram below for an example.




Understanding key is crucial to ensuring the amount of light you want is appropriate to the tone of the film.


Color Temperatures

Like paint, colored lighting can be described as warm and cool.  Warm colors are traditionally red, yellow, and orange, while cool colors include blue, purple, and green.  Using lights of different color temperatures can be used to great effect. This simply means using lights of different color in the same shot. This was used to great effect by James Cameron in the steel mill scene of “Terminator 2”, in which he used blue and orange light (motivated by moonlight and molten steel respectively).



The only caveat with this is that you must determine the relationship between the two different colors before filming, because it is not really possible, for example, to make the blue bluer without also making the orange bluer (i.e. less orange).




Video Lighting Basics




B Roll Footage 


B-roll footage is supplementary pictures and/or video used as a cut away feature in video production. B roll footage keeps the audience engaged in the video and can help tell the story without as much dialogue or speech. 





Students can create their own B roll material or footage can be downloaded using the resources below:  


Creative Commons Search Engine




Public Domain Collection



As a reminder: 

Check out the following link prior to posting music to any video… BCPS Copyright and Fair Use page




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