Thursday, June 7, 2012

180 Degree Rule

I found the the theory of change blindness to be interesting. "The difficulty in detecting changes in is called change blindness.  The importance of of attention (or lack of it) in determining change blindness is demonstrated by the fact that when Rensink added a cue indicating which part of a scene had been changed, participants detected the changes much more quickly"(Goldstein 140). Basically it was very difficult for people to perceive the the differences in the shot of a movie when viewing the scene in real time. There was a picture indicting how different each shot actually was from the other. A woman had a scarf on in one picture, and in the next one she didn't have it on. There the other comparison of a woman with her arms on the table in one shot, and her arms off the table in another shot. Upon looking at this in still time the perceived motion doesn't look believable and is disorganized.
There is another rule I'm surprised the book didn't look at which is the 180 degree rule. Successfully perceiving the illusion that shot a to shot b has an effortless perceived motion is largely based on this one rule. As the video clip shows it can be a complicated process, and accidentally breaking this rule can ruin a movie.  Unless a director is deliberately breaking this rule for artistic reasons the movement from shot to shot will be a visually disorganized and disorienting experience.


  1. I've taken film classes in the past and never even knew about the 180 Degree Rule until watching this video. I've always been familiar with the concept since it is evident in nearly all types of filmmaking, I just never knew the proper reason and term. It definitely ties into a type of filmmaking psychology which takes an understanding of how our minds work to appeal to the general public without seeming disorienting. Personally, I like when a director will jump the line, as done by Ozu and Mann in the video - it seems to create a more intimate and authentic feel when done in the right setting, almost as if you (the viewer) are in the room with them and have simply gotten up to go to the other side of the room.

  2. It's funny that you made a post about this because I'm currently on the film crew for a series right now. We use this rule ALL the time. It's probably the most important rule for filming besides not letting the camera shake, haha.