Travel / Journey sequences

To make a journey sequence you want to have the character traveling in the same direction when on the same side of the 180 degree rule. The 180 degree rule is that the camera should always be on the same side of a 180 degree line as demonstrated by the picture below:

this is so if two or more people are having a conversation it will always look like they are looking at one another however if the camera crosses that line it looks as though they have switched positions or aren’t looking at one another which can give the piece a disorientating feel.

This is so when two or more people are having a convocation it will look like they are facing each other whereas if the camera crosses that line it can become disorientating. It also means that a traveling character looks as though they are traveling in the same direction otherwise it will make it look as though they are back tracking.

The 180 degree rule can be broken however for instance in this intro sequence:

This has broken the 180 degree rule but prevents the disorientation because it first establishes that the stereo is in the center of the vehicle  and then the sound is used to establish the viewers global position. By using stereo sound they are able to control the direction the sound seems to be coming from. The journey is done by masking the trip with dialogue and music as this is more interesting than showing the movement of the car for the same length of time. this makes the journey seem longer as the shot lasts longer whilst remaining engaging for the viewer.

This travel sequence uses cross fades to show the passing of time and in each clip the character is in the same position as where the last shot left them. This makes the movement seem more continuous and therefore of greater distance. Every shot is wide as well: this creates a greater sense of scale and shows the passage of time better as it establishes a good number of very different locations quickly which automatically lets us know that time has passed since the last shot.

2.53 – 3.19 shows a traveling sequence done with long wide tracking shots which look though they were taken from a helicopter. This means that you can see more of the expansive  landscape making the characters look smaller and so it makes it seem that they have a lot further to travel. This scene breaks the 180 degree rule but prevents disorientation as the characters are running from right to left whereas before they were running from left to right. (They didn’t run in the opposite direction, but if they did then because it is the same location it would look as though they were back tracking.)

This clip uses slow motion to make the sequence more dramatic as it emphasizes close calls and expressions as they run and has a great contrast with the fast clips. An interesting shot that they use is at 7 seconds where the pace of the clip increases showing the root ahead. this is useful as it is quite different to the other scenes and makes the journey more about the getting away from a threat rather than reaching a destination. In a way this is a chase sequence.

About kitjaytaylor

Film student
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2 Responses to Travel / Journey sequences

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    Good research here, Kit, showing a much better engagement with how to use a general technique in your specific film. I’m pleased to see you move into much more specific factors and use industry examples to demonstrate your points. The more focused you are, the more you show critical skills in your reflection. Keep it up!


  2. Pingback: Evaluation | Kit Taylor

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