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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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The Horizon Line

We are going to leave our human subjects aside for the time being and put our attention into shooting a generic exterior. Shot-wise we are talking about the long shot family, especially the extreme long shot (XLS). Depending on the surrounding topography of your shoot location and your camera angle, this shot should result in capturing a large field of view of the world—the ground, the sky, and many things within those zones. For illustrative purposes we will keep the environment rather bare and start with just a horizon line (Figure 3.2).

The horizon line is what keeps a viewer locked in a knowable spatial relationship with the film space. In other words, it keeps them grounded by allowing for a clear up/down and left/right ...

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