Crossing the line
- Making artistic decisions
- When you create a thumbnail storyboard, you make many wonderful artistic decisions. This is the fun of movie making.
- You can design the movie the way you want. You are in total control.
- Making technical decisions
- However, there are some technical things to worry about that you don't have control over. The most important is "crossing the line".
- The "one hundred and eighty degree" rule
- When two people are in a conversation, you must draw a line between the two actors and NEVER move the camera across this line (unless the camera is filming as you move across the line so that the audience sees you cross the line.)
- There is a good reason for this rule. When you edit two shots together which "Cross the line" then the image looks like the actors suddenly flip from one side to the other. This is not good.
- It looks awkward if you move the camera across the line. When you move the camera between shots across the line, the image looks reversed. It looks like the actors jumped from one side to the other for no reason. (Normally, the only acceptable reason is the camera is running when the camera crosses the line so the audience sees ths actors switch positions.)
It seems only natural
- Looking at their faces
When you storyboard, it seems only natural that you look at the faces of the actors.
As you are drawing, it seems perfectly natural to show frame #3 below followed by frame #4.
- In the editing
It is only when you begin to edit the two shots together that you will see the problem. It is not evident when you are storyboarding.
- An extra effort
That is why you must make a special effort to check your storyboards for "crossing the line". This is a last step that you draw your thumbnail storyboards.
And if you find this problem, you must try again.