Definition of Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is an ESSENTIAL piece of filmmaking theory to understand, whether you’re creating content with a camera or an IPhone keeping the core of this theory close will help you produce better compositions across the board – in this video we focus on utilising the Rule when shooting an interview with a subject.

In today’s world of fast information consumption, it is vital your interview compositions and beyond hold the attention of the viewer in the moments of silence as well as during dialogue. The Rule of Thirds conceptually allows you to introduce depth to the composition [sometimes] complimenting but [if executed correctly] always drawing attention to your subject in the frame – which is indeed the overall objective. The juxtaposed background can take many forms from moving physical objects to a setup shining a light on a certificate on a wall, all visible whilst the subject talks but ultimately down to maximising on foreground (subject) and background (relevance)…regardless of if it is indeed the direct talking point, this theory allows you to unlock that composition option.

The Rule (of course like every guideline not accurate 100% of the time) does span further than just interview compositions – working with structures in a landscape, physical hand-held objects or second to second captures during an event, having the knowledge of this rule will allow you to create interesting frames safely knowing the likelihood of the viewer’s engagement will be up…without even knowing it. For example, if shooting a windmill on a hill, if you frame the structure in the centre of the wide shot you do indeed achieve a capture however would you be invested enough to look around the surrounding area? Ask yourself. With the Rule of Thirds in mind you would frame it on one of the horizontals with a point of interest at one of the top intersectional parts according to the side you choose…it’s now more than just a windmill image, it potentially has a new context with the possibility of people, environmental depth, nature, but most importantly the higher potential of your viewer holding a gaze and INVESTING in the composition.

Used by Artists, Filmmakers and Photographers collectively for centuries it’s clear to see it’s effectiveness and once you’ve learnt the theory you’ll see it in movies, drawings, adverts and printed media where you never saw it before – learn this filmmaking staple, it is time well spent!

Tags: No tags