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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:53 AM   #1
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Take me to school: Shooting in Widescreen.

I got my degree in television production and have always shot in 4:3 until I got my FX1 a few months ago.

I *love* shooting in widescreen, particularly for the type of work I do. Many interviews and they just look great off to the side with plenty of room on the other side of the frame. Just great.

However, I've found a shot that I'm having a hard time framing. It's when someone is talking directly to the camera. In 4:3 this is a pretty simply shot, line it up in the center and all looks great.

In 16:9 however, this doesn't look so good as now you've got tons of room on either side of the subject.

Anyone have any thoughts as to how to deal with a straight on, centered shot in widescreen? How do you center a subject in the frame and have it look good?

I'm finding some of my framing instincts are having to be adjusted for the new frame size.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:03 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan McCullough
Anyone have any thoughts as to how to deal with a straight on, centered shot in widescreen? How do you center a subject in the frame and have it look good?

I'm finding some of my framing instincts are having to be adjusted for the new frame size.
I've also wondered if the old 'one-third' rule holds up in framing widescreen compositions like it does for 4:3.

Any of you school-train or life-train artistic types care to elucidate? I'd appreciate a little guidance.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:23 AM   #3
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If you look at a lot of widescreen work, I think you'll find that people aren't framed dead center very often, at least not in an interview environment. Generally they are put off-center in order to balance out the space - so you'll have your talking head on one side (usally the right) and then your well lit space off to the other side (which is hopefully not an unpainted concrete wall).
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #4
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I have never read anything to suggest that the shape of the frame affects the rule of thirds. I have been shooting in 16:9 for 2 years and always use the 3x3 layout. I even have the frame laid out on my lcd in masking tape. DVRack has the ability to impose similar markings and I find that a great help when I am using different cameras.
Sometimes I find I have to zoom in more to fill in all that side space but you can usually find some prop to balance the shot.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 11:57 AM   #5
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Rule of thirds is still a good place to start.

Framing is a subjective art, that runs from static and traditional, to the 'shaky half-framed' look. Framing HALF a face on one side of a frame while they speak directly into the camera, would seem to be a no-no... but it's done more often than you think in commercials.

Framing techniques tend to get more 'experimental' the farther you get from traditional narrative filmmaking. I'd say the continuum of framing techniqe ranges from classic to wild in this range.

Narrative,News,Docummentary,Commercial,MusicVideo,Experimental

But as always, let the story/message drive the choice.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #6
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Another outstanding, educational, informative response from the DV Info Community collective wisdom. Thanx gents!

Bryan, did you get what you were looking for?
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