Film Art and Cinematography : Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I personally find it very restrictive and actually insulting to an audience. It's an obsolete relic of the classical Hollywood style in my opinion, just want to know if any others feel the same, or, if there are any proponents of it whose opinions I'd also love to hear?

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

It's not just a rule. It's a fact.

If you do not observe it, which you are perfectly entitled to do, then you run the risk of confusing the stage direction. If you don't care about that then fine.

As for insulting the audience. A movie is not the recording of an objective commodity or event. Everything on screen is a creation of the artform. As the audience, we experience it. The movie and our understanding of the spacial relationships of the people in them are not two complimentary concepts. It's not an insult because the movie choses the perspective from which it is necessary or desirable for expressing those relationships.

It's also a rule and a fact that if you don't pull focus as a character moves out of the focal plane then they will be out of focus. Nobody's insulting you or your ability to understand that it is still the same person only no longer in focus by doing this. That's just what the film is. If they choose not to pull focus then that is because that's what the film is.

Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

sounds interesting, but I don't know what "the 180° Rule" is. Does it involve more than just what the focus puller is doing or not doing?

Any help?

E pluribus unum

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Short version.

If you hare shooting a scene with two people talking to each other, there is an imaginary line running between them. You can cover both actors from any angle you like as long as you stay on one side of the line for the entire scene. If you cross the line then the shot taken from the angle runs the risk of misleading the audience and making it appear that the two actors are facing in the same direction or looking into space instead of facing each other.

Like all rules in film-making it's merely an acknowledgement of cause and effect. The effect of crossing the line, depending on context or intent, can be detrimental or it could be desirable. It's the artist's choice. They make their choices based on the experience they want the audience to have. Not what they expect the audience to be insulted by or otherwise.


Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?


The movie and our understanding of the spacial relationships of the people in them are not two complimentary concepts.


I don't like the rule and fact thing, and I think you contradict yourself. Bunuel played with it in Tristana for example, therefore making it complimentary to the purpose of the film. And isn't it more or less what the french new wave was all about? Transgression of aspects which weren't even conceived as choices but as obligations to the craft?

Everything can be transgressed with the intention to hold an artistic statement or to give a new meaning to a scene. There are no obligatory physical and or mechanical restrictions for artists to follow in any form of art. The only thing required is someone experiencing the art, art being communication in the end.

Later that day, after tea... I died, suddenly.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I don't mean it's a fact as opposed to a rule. It's just that by calling it a rule you acknoweldge a particular. cause and possible effect. By breeaking the rule you do the same thing.

Bunuel played with the fact that breaking the imaginary line can lead to ambiguity in spatial relationships (it's not the only factor). By defying that rule he is still acknowledging a certain fact.


There are no obligatory physical and or mechanical restrictions for artists to follow in any form of art.


Absolutely. That's why I don't understand the need to be pro or anti, or to take insult at someone else's choice to observe the "rule" because they feel it's complimpentary to the purpose of their film.

There is no governing body for enforcing movie "rules", except the artists themselves.


Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Gotcha

Later that day, after tea... I died, suddenly.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Very excellent explanation.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I wrote an article about the 180-degree rule that explains what it is and why it is used.

http://www.iadt.edu/student-life/iadt-buzz/december-2013/why-the-180-degree-rule-is-important

Rules are meant to be broken, if you know when and why to break them, Nia. In my opinion, you can break this rule if you do so DURING a shot, so the left-to-right and right-to-left logistics of who or what is facing who or what are re-oriented and are thus preserved for the audience DURING the shot. If you change screen direction on an edit or cut, so that right is suddenly left and left is suddenly right, you risk confusing the hell out of the audience. Inserting a cutaway between the screen direction change helps.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Watch the beginning of A Serious Man. The part that takes place in the "old" country. When the knock is heard at the door, there is a clever choreograph done w/ the camera to maintain the 180 rule. If you don't see it, go back and look again. This kind of thing is don't so smoothly, everyday that we don't see it. But is part of a director/cinematographer's box of tools. If you don't choose to follow it, both people in a conversation will appear to facing in the same direction, rather than toward each other. There are many and this is one of them. Learn the rest and you will be surprised at the black art.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

"If you don't choose to follow it, both people in a conversation will appear to facing in the same direction, rather than toward each other."

Exactly, mtworkowski. Inserting a cutaway of another person or something else between the "violation" of the "rule" to re-orient the audience is the only way to successfully "violate" the 180-degree rule on a cut.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

180 degree rule is not exactly a ‘rule’. It’s a technique to maintain visual continuity.
It’s applied not only in cinema, watch a soccer game on TV and you can notice that the camera captures the entire game from the same side of the stadium. What if the camera are set up on both sides, the result will be, the audience will get confused. That’s a simple application of the 180 degree rule.

I have seen great film makers (like Kurosawa) disregarding this rule very casually. I have seen some hollywood films breaking the rule for some particular disorienting effect (second scene of 'secretary’). Ozu never cared for 180 degree rule much, but he had his own system of continuity.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I agree that it is restrictive and insulting. Many of the greatest filmmakers have disregarded it.

http://kinopravda23.blogspot.com
https://www.youtube.com/user/evanchester1988

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

"Many of the greatest filmmakers have disregarded it."

Such as, Kino? Care to cite scene examples? I'm very curious to see how it is successfully disregarded. Your links only bring us to YOUR stuff.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Are you insulted by black and white films that restrict the film-maker to only depicting contrast and shade.

Then again colour is pretty insulting the way it tells the audience what colours things are and how some things are different colours from other things. I notice that many of the greatest film-makers have disregarded colour.

Or how about when something like and explosion is accompanied with a loud sound effect? Like the audience needs to be told what it sounds like. How insulting to be restricted to the artist's choice of depicting a scene?

Seriously. Anyone who claims to take insult at the recognition of simple facts of cause and effect is being rather pretentious.

Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?


Are you insulted by black and white films that restrict the film-maker to only depicting contrast and shade.



Then again colour is pretty insulting the way it tells the audience what colours things are and how some things are different colours from other things. I notice that many of the greatest film-makers have disregarded colour.



Or how about when something like and explosion is accompanied with a loud sound effect? Like the audience needs to be told what it sounds like. How insulting to be restricted to the artist's choice of depicting a scene?


I like how since he said he didn't like one rule you assume he hate all rules. It's fun to set up false narratives and run with them.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I'm not assuming that they do. I'm just following their logic of it "insulting" the audience and seeing if it stands up. i.e. If it's insulting the viewers intelligence to carefully choose angles which are consistent with spatial relationships then it's logically an insult for the film-maker to choose the correct colour film so that a red fire engine looks red on the film, or an explosion to be accompanied with a consistently loud sound effect.


I didn't create the narrative that the audience knows more than the director feels they ought to tell them. That's what taking "insult" at the 180 rule is.




Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?


I'm just following their logic of it "insulting" the audience and seeing if it stands up.


His "logic" doesn't need to stand up in other areas b/c he was specifically talking about this one rule and this rule only. YOU are the one that made it about other rules.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

If you say "it's insulting", without specifying that it's only insulting to their personal sensibilities, then the logic of your assertion, since it's being applied generally, should hold up.

A film-maker making those decisions is simply recognising cause and effect. To take insulte at a director's prerogative to exercise their aesthetic sensibilities is pretty daft.

You go ahead and humour anyone who is insulted by a couple of camera angles though.

Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?


You go ahead and humour anyone who is insulted by a couple of camera angles though.


And you go ahead and support your argument by saying things that have absolutely nothing to do with his post. Whatever you need to do to feel smarter, right?

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I actually find it insulting that the breaking of the 180° rule was employed to suggest the transferrence of subjectivity in that scene. It's limiting to literally represent contextual ambiguity with visual ambiguity.

Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

The rule is obviously a relic of the stage, where the audience was always in a certain place. Well, if they do theater in the round, why can't we break the 180° rule? 'Nuff said. Remember that there are always three other options: lead, follow or get out of the way.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

There is no such rule in theatre.

Anywat theatre audiences, particularly those in the round, have a wide range of perspectives and you can see everything at the same time, so the spacial relationships. So there is no need for any such rule.

Film audiences must view from the camera's perspective which is subject to change.


Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Speed, disagree, the rule still applies to film. If you break the 180-degree rule, on a cut, cutting from one character, who is facing left-to-right, speaking to another character who is presumably out of the right side of the frame, to the other character reacting, and the other character reacting is also facing left-to-right, both characters will appear to be, instead of interacting with each other, interacting with some imaginary third character that does not exist, thus confusing the audience. Can you explain exactly how that would work?

Breaking the rule only works when the CAMERA MOVES, DURING A SHOT, from one side of the 180-degree line to the other, or when the CHARACTERS THEMSELVES move from left-to-right to right-to-left, as in a swordfight, so the audience is re-oriented.

The only other way breaking the rule works on a cut, is is there's an insert we cut to, in between the left-to-right character and the left-to-right character, a third-party, an intermediary, that distracts the audience as to screen direction.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Mike, if you choose to use the rule with religious obedience, that's your prerogative. I'm just pointing out that those who can't imagine an exception to this rule may be assuming that their audience is no more clever than they are. That assumption may well be wrong.


If you break the 180-degree rule, on a cut, cutting from one character, who is facing left-to-right, speaking to another character who is presumably out of the right side of the frame, to the other character reacting, and the other character reacting is also facing left-to-right, both characters will appear to be, instead of interacting with each other, interacting with some imaginary third character that does not exist, thus confusing the audience. Can you explain exactly how that would work?

I can explain that I'm not a student in a classroom. I don't need to work about impressing a teacher, getting good grades etc. Been there, done that. And IME those who teach are teaching because they can't find steady work actually doing what they teach.

Maybe, just maybe the reason why these teachers can't actually do is because they have failed to progress as professionals since they sat in a classroom many years ago. Perhaps their minds are too tiny to hold more than the tired old rudiments from a bygone era. Perhaps those of us whose minds aren't as crippled need not limit ourselves "just because".

Believe it or not, change is not a 4-letter word. In fact, the state of the art of most industries does change over time.

As an example, I love watching football on TV. Thanks in no small part to brightly colored uniforms, conspicuous logos on helmets and other things, I'm not the least bit confused if the action on screen switches to another camera on the other side of the field. I have many other cues to tell me who's on which side other than a director who stubbornly puts one team always on the left and the other always on the right. IJS

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Has anyone ever stated that they cannot conceive an exception to that rule?

A football game is still generally shown from one angle and for a sustained period of time. You are given many points of reference and you know that it's live. Anyway. That type of coverage actually very rarely crosses the line and usually highlights the use of a reverse angle. The fact that it's a replay is enough to keep the audience oriented.

Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?


Has anyone ever stated that they cannot conceive an exception to that rule?

You're the one who claimed "It's not just a rule. It's a fact." You may not have said it in the exact same words, but that was what you implied, was it not?


A football game is still generally shown from one angle and for a sustained period of time.

You speak only for yourself and the limit of your personal experience there. Where I live it's not at all unusual to have as many as 20 cameras at any NFL game, including one flying overhead. I have been to places where the local TV station can only spare one or two cameras to televise a high school or college game; that is a matter of economics than some rule though.

Of course you're free to prefer the more simple-minded perspective. You're just not free to force your preferences on others, that's all.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

It being a fact does not prevent anyone from conceiving of reason to break the rule.

An overhead camera is not crossing the line. In fact, the overhead shot is the one shot which defines where the line is. Cuttiing from any angle to an overhead would NEVER constitue a 180 degree rule break, unless the previous shot came from underground shooting up.

How is it simple minded to understand and recognise cause and effect.

I'm not dictating what film-makers should do and what audiences should think. It's a fact and a rule. One which can be observed, ignored, taken for granted, abused or whatsoever.

Feeling insulted by it though. That is pretty special.

Fortunately, few good directors make choices purely based on whether they imagine the audience is worried about being insulted or not.

Here's the fact explained to you again and again. If you still think I'm pushing my preference on people rather than putting the hyperbole that the subject promtoes into some sort of proportion and rationality then it's you who is simple minded.


It's not just a rule. It's a fact.

If you do not observe it, which you are perfectly entitled to do, then you run the risk of confusing the stage directionIf you don't care about that then fine.





If you cross the line then the shot taken from the angle runs the risk of misleading the audience and making it appear that the two actors are facing in the same direction or looking into space instead of facing each other.


Several of my favourite movies are not ruined by momentary unintentional line crossings. You notice it but, like in sports programmes which reverse angles, if you are familiar with the positioning of the actors etc in a scene, you realise that it's just the camera position. Look at Assault On Precint 13 (1976) - The scene where the ice cream man gets held up.

You already know where everyone is, you know they haven't changed position between shots so you just put it down to an momentary error. Like a boom mike being in shot. They don't keep boom mikes out of shot because they want to insult your intelligence at knowing that it's a movie.


Glasgow's FOREMOST authority Italics = irony. Infer the opposite please.

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

I know this conversation is oldish but I absolutely have to throw in with Marmadukebagelhole. His or her explanations make sense in a simple and logical way, and in no way do I find them to be ostentatious or patronizing. It just makes sense. For example, when you are watching a scene with dialogue, each person's words are timed to match their lip movements, and the correct voice goes with the matching character. If the director chooses not to follow these- let's call them "conventions"- confusion may ensue. It may. But if if said director wants to ignore these "conventions," for the sake of communicating something new or "unconventional," then it certainly is his or her prerogative. I remember the first time I saw Pulp Fiction, thinking "Well, this non-linear plot is unconventional," but of course the unconventional worked well in that situation, mainly because QT stuck to so many other conventions, like having all the different plotlines actually connect somehow by the end of the film. So he mixed up some of the pieces of the puzzle, but still left enough intact to allow people to see the entire picture at the finale. My two cents. Cheers.😴

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

Geography?

Re: Anybody very pro/anti 180 degree rule?

It only matters with conversations. Otherwise do whatever the hell you freaking want.

You can on purpose break the rule to create a sense of confusion on purpose.
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