Film, like many of the arts, is a medium composed of a number of practices and elements, the mastery and combination of which are essential to creating films that properly explore and expand the possibilities of the medium. Editing, cinematography, lighting, sound, all of these are important elements to consider if a film wants to distinguish itself as one with a particular mastery of the art form. Among these important elements is framing, the composition or arrangement of elements within the frame. Are they balanced, off-center, in or out of focus, bordered within the frame, viewed from a particular angle or vantage? When considering how to frame a shot, there are a million elements to consider.
A new video from Channel Criswell, one of the more interesting and insightful Video Essayists to discuss film on Youtube, explores the history, principles of and potential uses of framing in film, spending a solid 15 minutes on a crash course master-class in composition. For those wanting to learn more about the art of composition and its uses in creating meaning and depth in film, it’s a must-watch.
You can watch the essay below.