So I'm laid up for awhile after a surgery (nothing serious) and I ordered some movies from Amazon to watch while I recover. I ordered "North by Northwest" and they offered me the chance to buy "To Catch A Thief" for five bucks! I've never seen it, so I ordered it. I watched part of it today, not one of Hitch's best but even Hitch's weakest efforts are better than most movies. Here's some cool screengrabs.
Here's a cool framing device:
This next one is a cool example of an important aspect of composition in film: use the whole frame. If a car is travelling through the frame, don't have it zip quickly from one side to the other, that goes by too quick and it's unsatisfying. Plus it creates big, unused and uninteresting parts of the frame. Find a way to use the whole picture plane. It makes for longer, more interesting shots. A car chase over curvy roads is a perfect example:
One of the basic rules of composition is to never have two objects of equal weight and inportance on the screen. Usually make on bigger and one smaller. Or one dark and one light. See my previous post of Rowland Wilson's Composition Notes for an example of this. But sometimes it's unavoidable to have two people talking to each other. So here's some examples of how to create interest within the frame and still have two equally weighted figures. Making one high and one low is an easy one. Look at how Hitch created lines and rhythms within the frame to keep it interesting.
And here's some interesting framing caused by good use of lighting - go back and look at my Peter pan screengrabs in the archives and see how similar they were to this. Grace Kelly is talking about her necklace...so her face is covered by shadow to emphasize the jewels. After all, the human face - even if it's not Grace Kelly's - is always what draws our eye. We can't help it- from the time we are born we are drawn to looking at our Mother's face to tell us if we are okay or not and through our whole lives we remain focused on faces - especially the eyes - no matter what.