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

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Continuity of Screen Direction

We all know that the rectangular screen upon which we watch a motion picture is not the place where the actions are actually taking place. Movies can pretty much be shot anywhere and in any direction, yet to the viewing audience, that screen is their one window onto the world of the film. As a result, the filmmakers have a responsibility to the audience to present a knowable world that conforms to some constant, physical world rules such as up, down, left, right, near, far, and so forth such that when the audience watches the motion picture they do not get confused spatially. The horizon line mentioned in Chapter Three is a helpful clue, but there are other ways that you can keep your audience grounded (Figure 4.2 ...

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