How to Give Your Film Visual Rhythm | The Film Look

How to Give Your Film Visual Rhythm | The Film Look


Sometimes as a filmmaker you just have to experiment with an idea and hope it will work. one thing… we wanted to test out with our latest short The Asylum Groove was using shot patterns and symmetry within the sequence to see if it would help drive the story forward Today we’re going to talk about giving your film visual rhythm. Welcome to the film look This week’s episode is sponsored by Rocketstock.com check out their “creator” video element pack for logo reveals, end screens subscribe animations, and much, much more and they’re all designed with vloggers and content creators in mind You can find links in the description below today. We’re breaking down our latest short film the asylum groove You can find it right here A lot of our previous films have been open-ended, have involved cliffhangers, or have just finished very abruptly with the asylum groove… We wanted to improve on that We wanted to make something which had a clear start and a clear end. a piece of symmetry… which a lot of films incorporate is the connection between the first and final frame in the movie These can be mirror images… clones, or a perfect opposites, and they help give the film clear bookends with distinct contrast from the start and end of a character’s journey We’ve put a Vimeo link down in the description below of a 5-minute compilation of first and final frames of loads of famous movies It’s definitely worth checking out we connected the first and final frame of the asylum groove with the use of curtains the film begins with Sam cleaning the assembly hall for the bedsville disco So having him literally open the film by drawing the curtains We hoped it would give the impression that he is inviting the audience into the world Kind of like when curtains open during the start of a film or a play The final shot in the film is when he’s about to be electrocuted the curtains clos and we are left with his mother’s hand pressed against the window before it slowly fades to black. at the end of… the film we see a different sight to Sam: his rage, his terror, and his bad side. at this point… we wanted the audience to distance themselves from the character and flip their perception of him from a protagonist to an antagonist This is why we place the camera on the other side of the glass we would hope that symmetrical first and final frames are a clear indication to the audience that the film has started and the film has ended. no post credit… sequence, no teaser to a sequel, and no cliffhanger ending. another principle… we wanted to incorporate to help drive the story, retain the pace, and create visual rhythm, was the use of the rule of three the rule of three is a writing principle, which… suggests a sequence of exactly three is the smallest amount of information needed to create a pattern This is a way to keep the information short and snappy but also to help emphasise the point being given. the rule of three is used all over the slogan “stop, drop, and roll” the three little pigs, the three musketeers, a feature film usually uses a three-act structure and photography composition often uses the rule of thirds we wanted to experiment with a rule of three and see if we can incorporate it into the film. each shot during the opening montage… after the curtain shot, is grouped into sets of three. First of all, you have the tasks we wanted the audience to know he was cleaning straight away. instead of a single shot of him cleaning… we use three to solidify the… information while keeping the shot count to a minimum. any more than three shots might be boring and any less might not emphasise his task enough Next up you have the blue shots. a blue balloon, blue paint brush, and the paintbrush dipped in water these three shots show that the work he’s doing is not just… moving furniture around. he’s painting and hanging up balloons which gives the audience clues to the party and the disco Again, any more than three shots might be a waste of time and any less might feel random We bridged the furniture shots with the panting shots by including blue paint on his fingers in the final furniture shot This was to help bridge the gap between the sequences and help it flow. the last set of three are the shots at the record… player, again… we included a bridging shot by using the jar of blue water in the first shot of the record player sequence to help with pace… and continuity. the last shot in this montage, the slow fall of the needle, was chosen for a few particular reasons We wanted the fast pace of the montage to slow right down in order to match the pace of the character as he walks to… the mop and bucket. the needle falling onto the record player, and the long cross dissolve between the two shots, gave the smooth transition… between the speeds and would hopefully give a clue to the audience that the rule of three has come to an end Using techniques like the first and final frames and the rule of three… aren’t something which instantly give your movie the film look things like casting, camera, costume… lighting, set, and story line are the most important parts of a great film But once you have those down it’s worth experimenting with alternative and maybe subconscious tricks for your film and see what comes of it. but did these tricks actually work? Why don’t you let us know in the comments below. and while you’re there… vote with your thumbs if you liked or disliked this video. hit that orange lens cap to subscribe… stay notified, and remember to achieve it one shot at a time

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  1. Nice video lads! Haven't really thought about the Rule of three before! I think I might incorporate this in my future projects!

  2. The slow drop of the needle transition is nice, not sure if it was by design but the record label fading out looks like a spotlight as if he is coming to center stage to begin his performance. 😎

  3. It's amazing just how many absolutely unnoticeable details you've put into this film. Damn, even down to the presence of blue to move us between the shot sequences! It is mind-blowing to see how many things make up your simplest short film yet, but definitely my favourite so far! Keep it up!

  4. That's some very great tips. Thanks! It looks like you put much more effort into the planning of this film that to your other films. I didn't think of all this when I saw the film for the first time, but now I see what techniqes you used if that makes sence 🙂

  5. OMG. I was impressed with the connectors between the different sets of "Rule of 3". The jar with the blue paint? damn… who would have thought of that? well… you did 🙂 You're awesome!

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