Dialogue Scenes, The Rule of Thirds, and Angles Please

In the case of a beginner like myself, I know nothing about dialogue scenes aside from what I see in movies.  However, I recently learned about the rule of thirds and how much it improves the quality of pictures and videos.  In my opinion the horizon line looks much better closer to the bottom of the frame, in the bottom third to be more specific, for one.  if you don’t believe me, try reading this and using some of the techniques and tell me what you think.


       What goes into a dialogue scene?


In a dialogue scene there are generally 3 shot angles:

1.  a wide angle shot that shows both/all of the actors at once.

2.  a side angle showing one actor’s face

3.  another side angle showing the other actor’s face

here are 3 steps to make sure you don’t fail: 

Step 1:

When taking any kind of picture or video, the rule of thirds is very important.  It creates a different effect when you put more of the frame on the background and only a third of the frame on the actor/subject.  This causes there to be more balance and contrast between the face and background and just looks better in my opinion, but you can figure out which looks better for you during your shoot because although it is titled as rule it is more of a guideline.

Step 2:

The lens you use is also important.  For example, a 35mm lens will look clearer and more focused with the backdrop completely visible, while 100mm lenses are going to cause the backdrop to be blurrier which can be good if you wanted to separate the background from the actor/subject.  The 100mm lens will create more focus on the actors/subjects while the 35mm will cause less emphasis on the actors and create a more open looking space.

Step 3:

After you have one angle set up with a certain camera lens when you start recording it is imperative that you keep it consistent; using similar lenses throughout all angles.  Otherwise it throws the viewer completely off to see the background fully on one side angle but see it’s blurry on the other side angle or vice-versa.

Step 4:

Now that we know all about the rule of thirds, let’s see some examples in film as to how to bend or flat out break those rules while still achieving the shots be visually gripping:

Mr. Robot is one perfect example of breaking the rule of thirds as you can see from just the cover photo on this video.  It purposefully ignores the rule of thirds and still keeps the viewer completely hooked.

Final Thoughts:

Composition is about feeling; how does the viewer feel when experiencing the shot.  In the end, if the feeling achieved matches the intended goal, that’s all that matters.  Happy shooting!