Mastering Cinematic Compositions in Video & Film | Jordy Vandeput | Skillshare

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Mastering Cinematic Compositions in Video & Film

teacher avatar Jordy Vandeput, Filmmaker and Youtuber

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      What is a Composition?


    • 3.

      The Rule of Thirds


    • 4.

      The Golden Ratio


    • 5.

      Depth of Field


    • 6.

      Colors & Exposure


    • 7.

      Perspective & Focal Lengths


    • 8.

      Center Composition


    • 9.

      Leading Lines


    • 10.

      Point of Interest


    • 11.

      Picture Motion


    • 12.

      Camera Movement


    • 13.



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About This Class

Take your videography skills to the next level and learn how to create cinematic compositions that tell a visual story. Learn how to balance your framing to a composition, create a dynamic flow and add a visual story.

By the end of the class you'll be able to make use of the Rule of Thirds and Golden Ratio. As well as expressing your story through a visual set up using various techniques like leading lines, colors, point of interest and more.

Who's this class for?

This class is for those who are already familiar with the basics of videography, but struggle to get to that next level. Whether you're a professional or an enthusiast, this class is perfect to learn a new insight in filmmaking. The class is designed to learn many new techniques in a short time.

Class Objectives

You will learn a solid basis of how to create interesting compositions:

  • Learn about composition rules
  • Make use of depth of field, colors, exposure, perspective and focal lengths
  • Create dynamic shots with leading lines and point of interest
  • Add flow to your videos through editing techniques and motion
  • Tell a visual story by the kind of composition you make

Meet Your Teacher

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Jordy Vandeput

Filmmaker and Youtuber

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Jordy and I hosts one of the biggest YouTube channels about filmmaking & video editing; Cinecom.

With more than 2.5 million subscribers, we publish weekly tutorial videos. After graduating from film school in 2012, I immediately began teaching online where my real passion lays.

I've never liked the way education works. So I wanted to do something about it. With the classes I produce, I try to separate myself from the general crowd and deliver a class experience rather than some information thrown at a student.

Take a look at my unique classes, I'm sure you'll enjoy :-)

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Introduction: You've picked up a camera and started shooting videos, but you struggle to get to that next level and achieve those same shots that professional filmmakers make. Let me tell you a secret, it's not about your camera, it's all about the person behind the camera. Hello guys, my name is Jordy and I'm a filmmaker from Belgium, but most of you might know me from the Cinecom YouTube channel where we share all kinds of tutorial videos about video editing and cinematography to more than two million subscribers. Now, composition and art is everything. This is what makes great painters stand out, why you look for hours at a single picture and to drop your jaw when seeing a gorgeous video. That's what I love to help you with. In this class you'll find 12 short lessons which are very practical and hands-on, so that you can learn how to make a great compositions in no time. I'm not going to bother you with the boring theory. After all, filmmaking is about experience, and this comes from someone who spent three years in film school. We're going to see how to put the rule of thirds to practice as well as the golden ratio. We're going to create different compositions, work with movements, and look at the story behind them. By the end of the class you'll be able to make great compositions based on your creative choice. Join my class right now and let's learn how to make those cinematic compositions together. I hope to see you back in the first lesson. Thanks for watching. 2. What is a Composition?: Well, hello there. So great that you've joined the class. I'm really excited to work together with you and dive into the world of compositions. But before we can do that, we first have to understand what exactly a composition is and why it's so important. So you have something that you want to capture, we'll call this the subject. Whether that's a person or a landscape, it doesn't matter, it's your subject. Now, there are different ways that you can capture that subject. You can place your camera low to the ground, you can zoom in or out, perhaps even moves the camera. Where do you place your subjects in the framing and how many elements do you involve in your shots? So many questions. For instance, my subject is Lucia. She's going to assist throughout the entire class. So Lucia, student, student, Lucia. Now I can choose to put her in the middle of the frame alone or together with a tree. Even though that my main subject is Lucia who I'm asked to film, I can choose to add more or less other elements into shots. You have thousands of different ways to capture your subject on the video, but only a few of those are the right choice. Once you understand how composition works, making that decision can go super fast. With a lot of practice, it becomes more of a feeling rather than following a set of instructions. That a way that different elements are arranged in your shots can feel good and relaxed or just odd and irritating. To with help with that feeling, there are a set of rules, some of which you might have already heard about, like the rule of thirds or the Fibonacci spiral, also called the golden ratio, leading lines, the Theory of Colors, etc. Now these rules will help you to define where your subject should appear within the frame, like the rule of thirds, which is one of those most basic set of rules which will help you to drastically improve your videography work, and so we'll have an extend look at that in the next lesson. Next up is flow, also an important ingredient of a composition. Even though that your elements could be placed correctly by the rule of thirds, the flow might be completely off. Flow means, where did the eyes look at and where do we guide the eyes to? Now for instance, we have Lucia, very prominent in the shot, so that's the first thing we look at. But she's looking over her shoulder to Lorenzo now. Oh, yeah, Lorenzo, student, student, Lorenzo. You might know him he is also from our YouTube channel. Anyways, the second thing that our eyes do now is move into the direction that Lucia is looking at until we reach Lorenzo. So that is one way of using flow, guiding the eyes to explore the shots. We can even bring this a step further in the way we edit, but that is for later in this class. So far we've got the rules and the flow. The last one is story, or more specific, the visual story. If your character feels lonely and sad, we can play that. But we as the filmmaker, we can also visually show that. For instance, we can place Lorenzo very small in a shot with lots of empty space around him. You can see what I'm doing right here, right? In function of the story that I'm trying to tell, I change my composition. These are the three ingredients that we're going to tackle within this class to create a composition, which are the rules, the flow, and the story. Thank you for watching. In the next lesson, we're going to start with the rule of thirds. 3. The Rule of Thirds: The rules. As a creative person, you might not like rules. But trust me, the rule of thirds is there to help us better understand where to place our subject and the different elements in a shot. Basically we divide the shot in three parts, both horizontal and vertical. This raster is the rule of thirds and oftentimes we can set this as an overlay on our camera. Even smart phones have these. So you're probably familiar with it already. Now the way that we use these guidelines is by aligning important elements to these lines. For instance, place the horizon of a landscape on one of these horizontal lines. Depending on the what's most interesting or what's happening in the shots, you choose the top or the bottom. When you have interesting clouds, for instance, we usually pick out the bottom guideline to place to horizon on. When you're sky is not so interesting or you have something going on in the bottom of your frame, on the grounds, you do the opposite. That's a choice that you have to make. Do you have things like a tree or a mountain or anything else prominent in your shots? Then try to align that to one of the vertical lines as well. It balances out the elements in the shots. What we're doing here is creating a composition by following the rule of thirds, filming a person who looks directly into the camera, we can place them in the middle of the shots, but the eyes go onto the top line. When that person is looking away from the lens, there exists a viewing direction, The direction that this person is looking at. Important is to give space to this viewing area, and so we place that person under right guideline in this example. Placing your subject on a line draws attention. If you shoot two people at the same time, you can choose to place one person on the vertical line and the other one between two lines. In this case, Lucia is more prominent than Lorenzo, we focus on her. You can already see how we can play around with the rule of thirds. Now going back to that idea of placing someone in the middle of a shot, it's not a bat's composition. But the way that this worked is that you put the focus into the middle of the shot. That's where the audience will look at. This is great for presentations or where you have someone directly communicating to the audience like I'm doing right now. But if you want to add some more story, more flow into your composition, you place your subject on either the left or the right line. This creates space and allows for more elements to be introduced. We'll see how story and flow exactly works later in this class. For now, this is the rule of thirds. I encourage you to go out and practice this a little bit. You can use your phone for that. Take some pictures or shoot some video of your cats or the street or a friend, it doesn't matter, create a subject and create different compositions using the rule of thirds. Thanks for watching. 4. The Golden Ratio: Just like the rule of thirds, the golden ratio is a second guideline to align elements to a grid. This time, that grid looks something like this, which I'm sure that you've seen before. The golden ratio is a mathematical equation, which I'm not going to bother you with, but in short, we are dividing a frame in such a way that the left part is approximately 1.6 times bigger than the counterparts, and we keep dividing that. The right part will now be split vertically by the same 1.6 ratio. The next part is split horizontal by the same ratio, and this goes on and on. Finally, we can draw a spiral through all of these rectangles, and this is that famous Fibonacci spiral, named after the mathematician who came up with this equation. But what's in it for us? Well, the golden ratio can be seen anywhere. The lower part of your arm is 1.6 times bigger than your hands. The same goes for the position of your eyes, which lay at the same ratio on your head, the shape of a flower, the shell of a snail (which is very often used in this example), even the solar system, galaxies, or the smallest things like our DNA. Everything in the universe seems to line up with the golden ratio. What if we make a composition that also follows the guidelines of the golden ratio? Well, we would end up with a very balanced shot. The rule of thirds is kind of similar and definitely originated from the golden ratio, but having that extra spiral helps us to align elements with a greater empty space. For instance, we're placing our subject to the golden ratio, and we can flip it so that the spiral goes to the most important area, which are the eyes of Lucia. Using the rest of the spiral, I can look for things in the background or the foreground to follow that line. Another example is where we ask Lorenzo to sit down. He is the subject, so I'm going to flip the overlay to make sure that the spiral aligns with the other elements again. We can also apply this rule to close-ups where we choose a focus point and align the rest of the elements in such a way that it follows the spiral. You'll notice that it actually goes quite easy, as the golden ratio is something that comes back in our everyday life. That is in a nutshell the golden ratio. Now, you might be stuck with the question: which rule should I follow now, the rule of thirds or the golden ratio? Well, both of them are good, so there's not really an answer to that. At first, it's important to practice both. The more experience that you gain, the more you feel which rule that you have to follow or even mix together. As of now, we're also going to mix different techniques together to create even more interesting and dynamic shots. Now, the rule of thirds is mostly used in television work, news, event videos, daily production that don't require a specific cinematography, because aligning to the rule of thirds is easy. With a little bit of practice, you can memorize the guidelines and without thinking, you're aligning your shots correctly. The golden ratio is a little bit more complex and is also seen as a more cinematic way of compositing, as it opens up a whole lot more to tell a visual story. Those are the two biggest differences. All right. I'm going to invite you again to go out and practice the golden ratio, and if your camera can't overlay that, there are various apps for your smartphone which can. As long as you're practicing, your phone is a great tool for that. Again, take photos or short video clips of stuff that is laying around or ask a friend and practice the golden ratio a little bit before coming back. Because in the next lesson, we're going to take a look at the depth of field and how we can incorporate that into these new composition rules that we've just learned about. Thanks for watching. 5. Depth of Field: With our camera, we can focus on a subject, making that person sharp and the background unsharp. We talk about having our subject in-focus, and the rest out-of-focus. The whole idea behind focus is that you can create more adept in your shots. After all, we're looking at a 2D flat video. It might not seem like we're shooting it ourselves, but the audience definitely perceives the video as two-dimensional. That's why we, as filmmakers have to create the illusion that our scene is three-dimensional, and focus is one of the ways to do that. Having your subject in focus and the background not, separates to two layers, the audience will get a more three-dimensional sense as Lorenzo was loose from the background. Currently, we've got two layers, but we could also add a third one in there by also bringing in a foreground object. We now go from out-of-focus to focus and back to out-of-focus. Or we can even capture a gradient and have a middle part in focus. We fall with the rule of thirds and the golden ratio, we've only been working two-dimensional. With the depth of field, we can add an extra dimension to the composition. With the rule of thirds, we're defining where the audience should look at by placing the eyes on the horizontal line. With focus, we can make the subject sharp and thus the audience looks at that point. Combining these two techniques, we can place our focus point on the guidelines and really define where the audience should look at. But also, we're going to avoid having an out-of-focus foreground element to be placed on the thirds. In a shot like this, it feels like we want to draw too much attention to the foreground object, which is a rock. It's out-of-focus. In this shot feels irritating. That's why we're going to place it next to the vertical guideline and use the foreground to fill in the empty space, but not draw attention to it. Now in some exceptions, the out-of-focus foreground object can actually be important. Like in this example, we have Lorenzo looking to the landscape and the backgrounds. The background isn't focused as that's my subject. I want to show the landscape to my audience. But at the same time, I also want to show that Lorenzo is looking at this landscape and enjoying this. He becomes more than just a foreground element. That is why we can't place him more prominent in the shots on the guidelines on the rule of thirds or even in the center like in this example. Working with the golden ratio, we can use this spiral to place that on an out-of-focus shoulder and where spiral goes to, replace that and the characters eye, which we have in-focus. This is a typical over-shoulder shot. But we can also work with a tree branch or other elements as a foreground object and align it to the rule of thirds or the golden ratio. The great thing about a foreground element is that it's often easy to arts, and it doesn't always have to make sense because it's blurred out, it doesn't draw attention, and you can't really see what it is. Backgrounds are often a little more tricky, but you need to ask yourself, how important is my background, is it distracting? Then make it out-of-focus. Is it important or interesting? Then don't put it out of focus and create depth using other techniques. To recap, out-of-focus elements are usually a way to create depth and add a fill to the empty space. That's why we are aligning them to the composition rules, so that they not draw too much attention, unless there is an exception like we've seen before. This is how the depth of fields plays an important role in making a composition. In the next lesson, we're going to work with colors and exposures to help make a more interesting composition. Thanks for watching. 6. Colors & Exposure: Colors and exposure levels work a little bit similar as the depth of fields. Apart from color of psychology, its purpose is to also creates depth in your scene. Let's start with exposure as it's the easiest one to understand. If you have a dark background and your subject wears something dark as well, everything has the same tone and nothing really separates one from another. If we ask the talent to wear something bright, we immediately pull attention to her. She pops because she's being separated from the background. This example works exactly the same as an out of focus background. So we can start applying the same techniques. Like before, we focused on the background and headed our talent prominent in the rule of thirds. This time, we'll keep everything in focus but instead, make sure that the talent is wearing something bright and opposite to the backgrounds. When working with foreground elements to create more depths, it would also be good to make them less brighter than the subject. In this example, we have a tree branch that is folding the golden ratio towards the subjects. If this were to be too bright, it would get too much attention, so work with shadows in your foregrounds to separate it more. I think this is pretty obvious. Now with colors, it works a little bit similar. If you have a certain color palette than your shirts like this yellowish from the sands, and that just happens to be that Lorenzo was wearing a similar colored sweater, the whole color palette is very similar hence nothing really stands out because of that. If we change the colors in the backgrounds or for instance perhaps change the colors of the clothing of the subject, you'll see that Lorenzo pops out a whole lot better now with his blue jackets. I think that this is quite obvious. But once we start to mix in more colors, it's important to know what they stand for so that we can make a decision whether a color is prominent or not. Prominent colors are usually the warm colors, like yellow, orange, reds, and we can find these back in skin tones, fire, the sunlight, etc. These are bright vibrant colors and they pull attention. When looking at the color wheel, we can see that all of these colors lay close together. On the opposite side, we can find the opposite colors. These are the cold colors, like blue, purple, green. We can find those back in trees, the sky, but also shadows, the nights. We are usually not drawn towards those colors. Looking at this example, we've got a bluish environments and the talent is holding a warm light. We are instantly drawn towards the subjects, not only because there's a color difference, but also because of the color contrast. The warm orange color lays in contrast to the opposite blue. When shooting in front of a green tree or a bush, we can make our subjects pop by giving her a red colored scarf, the opposite of green, which pulls the subject forwards and draws attention. This is the very basics of color theory. Now, how does this help us make a composition? Well, for instance, taking that blue environment bag and the talent holding a warm light, we can use the golden ratio and use the spiral to guide the eyes of the audience to the talent. What we're basically doing now is making the whole shot more interesting and dynamic as the audience will have more to look at. The spiral guides the eyes to the talents, and I'm going to break the scene even more, but also adding a purple reddish light in the background. This is going to be less prominent because this color lays closer to blue, there's less color contrast, but it still stands out. The audience follows the spiral to the subject, then going back to the reddish backgrounds, and back to the spiral, back to the subject. We are guiding the audience across the entire shots. That is one of the strongest things a composition can do, we can choose to focus on one specific element or we can choose to guide the eyes in a certain path across the shot. Now we're going to play a lot more with this once we're going to start working with leading lines and editing techniques with the point of interest. But, that's for later. For now, I want you to remember that brighter areas and the warm colors have a bigger attraction than darker tones and cold colors. Knowing these two differences will help you to decide where the eye of the audience should go to. Now, I painted the wall behind me blue. That was for a clear reason, it makes me pop as my skin tones are in contrast, also my red shirt. But to make the shot a little bit more interesting, I've also let that warm color comeback in the backgrounds together with other colors like green, it makes you look around. I've chosen to do that because after all, you also need to see me for a long time, so you've got something to look at. I don't want you to get bored and click away. This is one of those small tricks to keep the audience hooked up. All right, thanks for watching. In the next lesson, we're going to play around with perspectives. 7. Perspective & Focal Lengths: The perspective of the camera, and this boils down to, where do I place my camera, but also, from which perspective are we looking at the subject or the scene? Let's start with the very basics again, and you've probably heard about this already. In terms of height, there are generally three stands points. The first one is eye height, just having the camera at the same height of your subject. This means that we don't have to tilt up or down. A very neutral shot without too many story behind it, we level with the character, and we don't emphasize anything or pull any attention to something specific. It's going to be up to other composition techniques to make up for that. The second is low perspective. We're going to look up to the subject, which now appears to be bigger. Not only visually, but also story wise the person shows confidence because of that. We are literally looking up to Lucia. Usually, the sky is going to take up a larger part of the shot and less of the environment, which means that we are drawn more to the talents. The third one is high perspective. This is the opposite, we look down on the talent, we're making Lucia smaller, more vulnerable, more of the ground is visible, which also acts upon that. Now, when shooting architecture or nature, you're usually always at low perspective. Here it's usually a matter of distance. The closer you get to a tree for instance, the more you need to tilt up and thus the tree seems bigger and more imposing. This shot here feels way different than if we take distance from that tree. Now when it comes down to your composition, we could do some different things. For instance, when filming from a high perspective making your subject small, we could place the eyes of the talent onto the upper guide of the rule of thirds, but we could also place it on the bottom guide. This is considered a wrong composition as we're creating too much head space. But for a storytelling reason it could work. We are suppressing the character even more by framing her on the bottom. We could even pan to also frame her on the side of the frame, revealing more of the surrounding, making that surrounding more prominent and the character smaller. You can see how we can leverage a wrong composition to a better storytelling. The same technique can also be done with a low perspective, by framing the subject on the bottom guideline or in the center of the shot or giving more space to the surrounding. So not only Lorenzo now is impressive, the surrounding is even more. This shot is not only about the character but also around the environment. Now, interesting, is that we can actually make our subject feel small from a low perspective, by the kind of composition that we're creating. The trees in the back take up so much in the framing that Lorenzo seems very small against it. But he shows confidence because we're filming from a low angle, something that we don't get when filming from above. That is in essence the height of the camera and how we can leverage it towards a storytelling composition. The second part of perspective is focal length or in other words, how much do we zoom in or zoom out with your lens. Think about the following, you can zoom out, go wide angle, and stand close to the subject. Or you can zoom in, go tilly, and stand far away from the subject. Both have a similar framing but look very different from each other. In the wide-angle shot we see a lot more of the background and that's because our lens opens up as we zoom out. What I love about the wide angle, is how it adds a lot more of the environment to the shot. This is going to be easier when adding more elements to your framing, to align them to a composition rule. Now, for instance, here we have a foreground element in the shot, and they are laid out on the golden ratio. This goes a lot easier on a wide angle lens, plus the environment also gets more prominence and plays a bigger role in the shot. When zooming in or going tilly, the perspective contracts, and we see less of the environment. We're isolating the subject a lot more and since our adaptive field becomes more shallow, this is great to work with foreground objects or an over shoulder shot. Anything where the focus lays on the subject and the environments plays less of a role. Now, in terms of editing, this is something great to play with. We could introduce an environment in a wide-angle shot, perhaps shoot is a little bit from below, and place the character on the bottom. She's exploring the surrounding, and then we cut to a tilly shot of a close-up of her, because now she might be saying something or we want to show her emotion as a reaction to the environment. We could even bring the camera a little bit up, making her slightly smaller, and opposite to what she's seeing, and her reaction to it. So one choice in terms of camera perspective is never the case. It's always a combination of these to create an interesting edit, but do think about the story that you're trying to tell with each shot that you take. Thanks for watching. 8. Center Composition: Center composition, a short lesson but it needs to have its own story. So far, we've seen two major composition rules, the rule of thirds and the golden ratio, and apart from these two, there are more, but it would be overwhelming and honestly not so interesting to cover all of them as they all originated from the golden ratio or the rule of thirds. But there's one that does need its own attention and that is center composition. Super easy, you just put your subject in the center of the shots. Like here Lorenzo stands in the middle of the frame. He is therefore very prominent and everything is about him. But let's place his eyes in the middle as well, and now it gets interesting. The shot is unbalanced. There's too much headspace as the environment capsulates him and becomes as important as the subject, so either we align the subject on the side to make room for the environment, or we just place the subject in the middle, making him a lot stronger and more prominent. Placing the eyes as well in the middle gives again room for the environment to tell its story, and a shot like this would also be considered a more creative shot. You won't see these kind of shots a lot in television, but you would see them in film. In long shots, I love to work with central composition. Definitely, if we can add some color contrast in there, see how prominent the subject is, but at the same time how the environment plays its role around the subject. That is basically it. I just wanted you to know that center composition is not a bad choice after hearing me talk about using the rule of thirds and the golden ratio, so definitely make use of it if you want your subject to be prominent. That's also why I'm sitting in the middle, I'm talking to you. It's not about other elements, it's about me and you. We are having a conversation. If I were to have an object with me like this cube, then I could place myself on the rule of thirds as well as that cube, something like this as I would talk about this thing. So you can see how both of us are now communicating with you. Hope that all makes sense. Thanks for watching. 9. Leading Lines: Compositions come down to guiding the eyes of the audience. Do we want them to look at one strong subject or let them wonder around the picture? Leading lines is probably a technique that is the strongest in doing this. What is a leading line? Essentially, it's a visual element that acts as a line, and when following that line, we end up with the subject, so we have leaded the eyes of the audience to the subjects. Now, of course, that subject can be anything. It could be a person where we have a branch leading towards them, but it could also be a path leading towards this entrance of the park. Now, since leading lines are such a strong element to focus on the subjects, it's therefore often used in establishing for long shots where it's not as easy to locate the subjects. All right. We get it, imaginary lines that lead the eyes of the audience. But just like anything else in your shots, leading lines are also elements. They are either an object or something visually that grabs attention, and like we've seen before, we have two composition rules, the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. What if we would place these leading lines onto one of these compositions? Then we get a very interesting shot. Take for instance the rule of thirds. We have a couple of leading lines here towards the subject. As we can see, these leading lines lay on the guides of the rule of thirds. It's a balanced framing, but where it really gets interesting is if we would use the golden ratio. The spiral that we're seeing right here is a leading line, so if we can find an object that somehow fits that spiral, we get a super interesting shot. In this example, we've got Lorenzo as the subject, and this path right here forms a leading line going into a spiral to him, and as we discover him in the shot, our eyes are being guided back to the beginning of that spiral with this branch right here that forms another leading line. We're going back to the start of the spiral, which guides us back to Lorenzo, and so the viewer has seen the entire shot. Through a very simple composition technique, we have made the shot so interesting that we look at every corner of the picture. This also means that we're able to have this shot longer in the edit without it getting boring. Look around in your environment. Can use see elements that form a line or a spiral? Great. Now align that to the rule of thirds or the golden ratio and you've got yourself a super interesting shot. Now, keep in mind that all of the other techniques that we've seen previously still apply. Work with depth of field, color, exposure, and the perspective of the camera. Now until now, we've mostly been working with still images, so everything also applies to photography. In the next lessons, we're going to see how to bring motion into our shot or how video editing works with different compositions. Perhaps, take a break. Go out and practice the leading lines techniques together with all of the other tips that you've seen before, and I'll see you back in the next lesson. Thanks for watching. 10. Point of Interest: The point of interest, now as a filmmaker and editor myself. I find this one of the most interesting techniques because we can really start playing around now with the eyes of the audience. What is a point of interest? Well, it's a point in your shots where the audience is looking at. It's that simple. We have already seen how we can use various composition techniques, such as leading lines to determine where the audience should look at. Usually that's going to be your subject, the point of interest. When we're editing and we have two shots that follow each other, we can use that point of interest to play around to with. For instance, when the point of interest lays right here in the first shot, it means that it will also start on that points in this second shots and we can make it the audience easy by also making sure that the subjects lay in the same area as the point of interest of the previous shots or the opposites. This is where it really becomes interesting. We can have the subject in the second one be on the other side of the framing. The audience first have to search where the subject is or even better, we're going to use leading lines to guide the audience to the new point of interest. Of course, we don't always have to work with leading lines. We've seen other techniques as well. Let's have a look at a small sequence. With every shot we change the point of interest, but we use leading lines, depth of field, colors, perspective, and exposure to do that. Now a change of point of interest is also a psychological change. See that we're shooting a classic over shoulder, as we cut to the other person, that point of interest shifts to the other side. We're not only changing the point of interest, we're also saying, hey, this is a different person, there's a change, and you can use that same technique as well for different scenes. We're going from a forest where the point of interest lays right here to a sand surface where we changed the point of interest. Now do we always have to do that? No, of course not. Keeping the point of interest in the same area has its benefits as well. There's no change. So we've linked the two shots more together. Here you've got loose Lucia looking deeply into Lorenzo's eyes. Filming this in a classic way still kind of separates them from each other. Let's shoot this straight on and both of them have to look into the lens now. Their point of interest is the same and so their love is even more connected as well. Small things like these can make an amazing cinematography. Of course, there's a lot more than a typical love story. Let's have a look at those typical travel videos where you have this fast-paced edit. Why does this work? How come that we understand what's going on in every shots even though it's going so fast. The answer, point of interest. You see, when you cut to a shot where the point of interest lays somewhere else, it takes some time for the viewer to notice that. We have to make sure to hold that shot long enough, where we cut to a shot for the point of interest stays the same. The viewer also understands much faster what the new shot is about, and this is what makes those fast paced edits possible. Every shot is linked together through the point of interest. During a shot we can move that point of interest around. That's the beautiful thing about video. We can move the camera or the subject, and this way we can keep the edit interesting and not have the viewer look at the same area the entire time. But with every cuts that we make, the point of interest does stay in the same area. So that's the point of interest and how we can play around with it. It's important to know is that we first need to create a point of interest through various composition techniques that we've seen before. We can then cut to a new shot and either guide the viewer to a new point of interest or cut to a shot that had its point of interests in a same area. Use them wisely and to your advantage. Thanks for watching. 11. Picture Motion: The most remarkable director is probably Akira Kurosawa when it comes down to movements in his shots. There's a link to a YouTube video in the class notes down here that you should definitely see. It chose the work of Kurosawa and how he turns movement into a composition. It's really interesting. There are two ways of treating movements. Either you move the camera and to basically change the perspective of the shots, or you keep the cameras still and let your objects move. This could be your talent walking or the rain falling down, smoke coming out of a chimney, etc. Having movement in your shot changes the way that you composites, for instance, leading lines. In this example, we have Lucia looking to the left. Behind her, on right, stands Lorenzo. Now, when we ask Lucia to look to the other way over her shoulder, her eyes function as leading lines that go into the direction of where Lorenzo stands. During a shot, we're creating new leading lines. The rain could also function as leading lines. It allows you to have a very prominent sky, but the focus still goes onto the subject to the bottom of the frame. When adding movement into your shots, we're changing the point of interest, and we can use that to our advantage. Here we have our talent standing at a pond. We're looking at Lucia. But as she throws a rock into the water, we're automatically folding depths and the point of interest goes to a new and different area. This allows us to cut to a new shot or the point of interest lays on the same site, perhaps. Movement also draws attention. Say that we have two people in a shot. One of them suddenly starts to move. I bet that you saw that. Your point of interest was right here. That is another great way to change the point of interest. Here, we've got a shot of Lorenzo. He's the only one in the framing, but suddenly someone walks into the shot, a new movement. Instantly, your point of interest changes to that's points. Think of it as waiving. If you'd like to have attention in the big crowds, you start to jump and to wave your arm, you make movements. We know that we can manipulate the point of interest through movement, but movement also allows for something else, the change of framing. Also one of Kurosawa's amazing techniques. We can have a talent in a long shot and asks them to run towards the camera making a medium shot. There's a distinct beginning and ending to the shots. We could have cuts between the two framings, or we could have led to the movement, connect them together, creating a flow. Now, one of the last things that I'd like to mention is that you could also make use of overlay effects like rain, flares, or smoke to create movement in post-production. A chart like this becomes more interesting when adding movement into it's like the mist that flows through the scene. These movements makes you wonder more around the shot as your eyes are being pushed into the direction of the mist. Suddenly, the environment becomes more important because of that simple motion. We're making video, not photos. To the biggest advantage we might have is the ability to add actual movements into our shots. Make use of that. Let your actors move. Create a new leading lines, or use environmental movements to your advantage. Thanks for watching. 12. Camera Movement: The second way to add movement into your shots is by actually moving the camera. What's happening is a change in perspective, where we first look at our talent from a low perspective, now might change to a high perspective, and like we've seen before this also changes the visual story. Camera movement is a lot about story and emotion. Now you can write books about this. For this lesson, I solely want to focus on camera movement and compositions. In this shot, we're following our talent. She's placed on the rule of thirds with the empty space in front of her. This is the walking space and gives reason to why she's walking forward. Now at a sudden movement she stops, but I make sure to adjust the camera, framing her on the opposite side. So we've changed the composition during a shot through camera motion, by having the empty space behind her, we're saying, "Hey, she forgot something and needs to return back." We're changing the visual story from her wanting to go forward to her wanting to go back. In the next example are following our talent walking over a path. There's a central composition because it's all about these subjects, at a given moment a second talent comes in. We've got two choices here, either we ban the camera a little bit to make room for the second talent hence have them both walking on either side of the rule of thirds. Now, both of them are equally important but what if we let the talent stay centered, the new person that comes in feels off. It doesn't fit in a composition. It's that discomfort which is so great, the new subject is not welcome, therefore, we keep the most important person in the center and the other one is better not here to stay. We're selling a whole different visual story by simply changing or not changing the composition. Camera movements doesn't always have to be the actual camera moving. It can also be a change in focus. Here's Lorenzo again, and as he looks behind him, we pull focus that depending on your shot, you might need to adjust the framing, but it is the focus pull that created a movement in the first place. We can also add new elements into the scene with camera movements. Right here we've got a nice shot where the talent is aligned to the golden ratio. We're not really using the spiral yet, but we can make a change to that, as we move the camera backwards, introducing a new element that is going to function as that spiral, interesting about this is that we first have the point of interest on the subject. As we move backwards, introducing new elements, the point of interest changes. This forms a spiral that we follow and the point of interest is back at the subject. We've guided the eyes across the entire shots, making it very dynamic. We could also emphasize leading lines. Here we have a leading line going towards the subject. By following the direction of those leading lines, we make them much stronger. What I also like to do a lot is change the perspective of leading lines. Here we have a pretty flat shot where the talent sits on a bench. It's correctly balanced to a composition and the bench is working as leading lines. But as I move closer to that bench, it becomes more three-dimensional, pointing towards the talent as she stands up and walks away. Again, we're making a leading line stronger, why should we do that? Well, at first the talent is standing still no real reason to have leading lines going to her but when she decides to walk away, we change the camera perspective, making those leading lines stronger, which points to her direction. There exist a more dynamic flow within the composition. Camera motion is great to add depth and more dynamics to your videos, but think about the composition as well and that you can change the composition through camera motion. Thanks for watching. 13. Conclusion: We have come to the end of the class and I really hope that you've enjoyed it and learned a new filmmaking insight. Now making compositions is something that you need to practice, so very important is to go out and make videos. I've made sure that every lesson in this class is short so that you can easily watch them again as you practice with these techniques. The best way to do that is by watching one lesson and then practicing that one technique. You want to do that for every lesson within this class, and once you feel ready, you can start combining multiple techniques together in a complete video. here on Skillshare, you can upload your own projects, and for this class, I want you to make a small video of around one minute in which you create different compositions. Pay attention to colors and exposure, but also think about movements and point of interest. When done, upload your video to here and I'd be happy to provide any feedback. I wish you all the best in the future with your passion for filmmaking. Thank you so much for watching this class, and as always, stay creative.