Cinematography Composition

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As incredible as it may be there are rules in art, and when it comes to cinematography some of the most important rules to know are the rules of composition.

Cinematography Composition refers to the frame of an image and how the elements of the scene appear to help enhance the emotion in it. There are two insights to approach your composition: 

  • Film Scholar’s Insight: The traditional one, composition rules and conventions are older than cinema and photography. Filmmakers and photographers have borrowed many techniques from painters and used them as a springboard for new ideas and practices.
  1. a) Lead Room: The subject looks into an open space, giving “air” to the take always to the front of the subject helps make the viewer feel comfortable.
  2. b) Rule of Thirds: Imagine that the frame is divided with two vertical and two horizontal lines, as to create three vertical sections of the same dimensions and three vertical sections also of the same size.


  • Composition: Arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form.
  • Insight: The ability to have a clear, deep, and sometimes sudden understanding of a complicated problem or situation.
  • Aesthetic: Relating to the enjoyment or study of beauty.

This can help you make an aesthetic by taking the intersections of the lines as points of interest to put the object or subjects in the scene.

  • Filmmaker’s Insight: Filmmakers, like any other group of artists, like to break rules but every rule broken has to have a creative purpose. Some examples of it are Static Composition and Dynamic Composition.
  1. a) Static Composition: A Composition with the majority of lines being horizontal or vertical, usually the subject is located right in the middle of the shot that way, not even being in one of the intersections of the Rule of Thirds, you create a symmetry in the shot that can help intensify the situation on the scene.
  2. b) Dynamic Composition: A Composition with the majority of diagonal lines, is usually used to create tension on the viewer by removing the feeling of stability.

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