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

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Eye-Line Match

Another important notion associated with shooting for editing is the concept of eye-line match. This takes the line of attention or sight line from one shot and ties it directly with an object in a new shot after a transition. Eye-line match usually involves a character isolated within a frame (perhaps illustrated most easily with an MS or an MCU shot) when their attention is directed somewhere outside the four edges of that frame. The audience traces an imaginary line from the character’s eyes to the edge of the frame where they are looking.

The filmmaker, most often, is then obliged to have to show the audience what the character is looking at. The next shot should be that object of interest revealed to the audience. And it’s ...

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