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

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“Jumping the Line”

It does happen from time to time, but most filmmakers do not notice it until they get into the editing process. To “jump the line” or “cross the line” means that you placed the camera on the opposite side of the action line and recorded coverage shots from the wrong side of the 180 degree arc—effectively reversing the established directions of left and right and inverting the film space on the unaware viewer. In the series of shots shown in Figure 4.13, the first two are repeated from our example given earlier, but the third shot is taken, by mistake, from the far side of the arc. The result is a nice CU of character B, but the real mistake is not apparent until the three shots are edited together. B’s screen direction and ...

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