An imaginary line for dialogue.
When you position the camera for a dialogue scene, the key is to keep the camera on one side of the imaginary axis along this straight line for the duration of the scene. Why? For many films, the goal is to keep the viewer focused on the action of the scene, keeping them keyed into what is happening with the actors. Obeying the 180 rule maintains continuity — along with following a solid shooting script — so the viewer is not distracted by inconsistencies in spatial relationships.
A cutaway across the line when filming a scene breaks continuity, potentially disorienting or confusing the viewer. But sometimes that confusion is helpful.
How do you visualize this? The answer is simple, says director Whit Ingram: “Watch movies, observe the 180 rule, and then go out and practice.”
Controlling the scene.
Search Bins save time.
Another useful feature for editors working in continuity is Search Bins. When you create a Search Bin, Premiere Pro asks you for metadata information, which is essentially labels for your clips. With that metadata, Premiere Pro will automatically populate the bin with the results of a metadata search for clips that have the search terms.
When you first watch all the footage for your film, the Metadata tab is a powerful assistant. Fill in details there, so when you create Search Bins to assemble your edits, all your footage will be at your beck and call. You can write single keywords in the Description field separated by commas, serving as important keywords that can then later be pulled with a Search Bin.
At the end of the day, camera placement and clever editing are everything for maintaining continuity. “Where you place your subject, where you place your lighting, and how you control movement decides the scene,” says Martin. So gather up your gear and start experimenting. You’ll have a handle on film logic in no time.
Share this article