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Screen Direction In Film Editing

Posted on the 31 January 2012 by Nandu1985 @vivek_arumanda
Screen direction In Film Editing-Hello friends, screen direction is the usual term used in editing of a film. This is nothing but as i told u screen direction is used to maintain the continuity in the shots while editing. I have explained u in short about screen direction my last post regarding 180 Degree Rule. This post explains u in detail about what is screen direction and how it is used in film editing. I dint find time to update my post about film editing please forgive for that..i will try to update it as soon as possible.

Screen Direction:

Screen direction is a common term used in film editing which tells u the direction of the subject or an object  moving on the screen with respect to the camera or with respect to the audience. That is nothing but the point of view of camera or point of view of the viewer in order to maintain consistency between shot to shot with out confusing the viewer. This is also very fundamental rule in film editing. As i told u in my last post 180 degree rule i told u, the things which are on right on the camera should be on tight and the things which are on left should be on left else it will result in jump cut or disorientation in audience.


"Camera left"  or frame left indicates that movement towards the  left of the screen and "Camera Right" or frame left indicates movement towards right of the screen. "Foreground" refers to the area close to the camera or close to audience. "Background" refers to the apparent space far away from the camera or the viewer.  This was directly taken from Wikipedia because it is very easy for understanding. if u can't able to understand the concept still i will try to explain in detail with few examples.


Just imagine a person  is walking from left to right of the screen in one shot and in very next shot if he is walking from right to left what will u feel..? we will surely feel that person is again coming back to his normal position where he started..This is nothing but confusing the audience. To avoid this confusion, the very next shot shot be the person walking from left to right so that audience may get convinced that he is continuing his action without any confusion.

Another Example:

Just think of two persons in a medium shot talking to each other with line of action. Let one character name be Arun and the other character name be Tarun. Assume this is the very first shot in a scene. let it be Arun is on right of the screen and Tarun is on left. This is nothing but we are establishing that who is on right and who is on left.Both of them are looking each other. Now when u cut to the close up to the single character  it will create a confusion in the mind of audience that where this character is looking at..To avoid this kind of confusions screen direction is a must and a fundamental rule to be followed.
I have already told u in my last post it is the duty of director, script supervisor and cinematographer to follow the screen direction all the way to avoid jump cuts. If in any case if u want to violate this screen direction rule then u have to skillful to do so.If u have any comments or suggestions please feel free to do so.

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