Rules about eyeline match for filmmakers.

Learn how to use eyeline matches to maintain continuity in your film.

Consistent eyelines are a huge part of maintaining film continuity during the shooting and editing process. Done well, you’ll barely notice them but if done incorrectly, they’re incredibly distracting and can ruin your audience’s suspension of disbelief. We’ve compiled this handy rulebook to help you get eyeline matches right every time.

The three rules for eyeline matching.

To ensure a consistent eyeline match every time, you’ll want to follow some simple rules and techniques when you’re setting up and shooting a scene. Here are our three rules for eyeline matching:

  1. Position your performers first: To determine the correct eyeline, position every performer interacting in the scene in their “natural” positions. This helps determine the right eyeline height and position.
  2. Direct your performers to pick an object to use for eyeline: This can be a prop, furniture, picture, or another object near their original eyeline they can use for reference.
  3. If no object in the space can be used, create an eyeline marker on the camera: Sometimes, the camera is positioned in a way that blocks the performer from seeing past it to their original eyeline reference. If so, carefully match the new shot with the previous one and place a marker on the edge of the camera to give the actor a correct eyeline.

The most critical part of eyeline matching is maintaining continuity between shots. Have a script supervisor or other crew member carefully review each shot setup to ensure that the eyelines match between shots. Discover more video tips that can help to both inspire and improve your filmmaking.

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