chapter  6
7 Pages

Frame

Composition can be controlled by the position of the lens and a variety of visual design techniques, but there is another ‘invisible’ force acting upon the design of a film or television image and how it is perceived. The enclosing frame of a picture exerts three powerful influences on a composition. Firstly, the shape of the viewing screen, its aspect ratio (the propor-

tion of its width to its height) has a significant influence on how a picture is to be composed. This is dealt with in the next chapter. Secondly, the spatial relationship between the main subject and the edge of the picture is critical. Lastly, how the frame contains the image, how it in effect limits and concentrates the observer’s attention on the subject of the image. Looking through a small window from inside a house we can only see part of the surrounding neighbourhood. Standing in a greenhouse we have an unconstrained view of the environment but without the guiding focus of the selective boundary of a frame. Framing up a shot is selecting and presenting a portion of the setting/subject for the attention of the audience.