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breaking the 180 degree rule


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#1 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:18 PM

somehow between 3 experienced people we managed to talk ourselves into shooting the wrong angle and, after i got home and pondered it i realized we broke the 180 degree rule. i'm re-shooting once close up that we really need but i'm wondering if you have ever gotten away with breaking the rule (not including intentional shots to disorient)? The mistake was done on a shot where both people are in frame looking the same direction but one is about 10 feet behind the other so it's a kinda extreme angle. the other is the basically the reverse of that. Both kinda odd angles, i'm wondering if it's basically going to be unusable and i shouldn't even pay to have that part transferred?

thanks!
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#2 Hampus Bystrom

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:42 PM

I know that Ozu frequently broke the 180-degree angle, and he sure got away with it. Wong Kar-Wai and Kubrick aswell. I've never liked that rule, but then they all broke it for effect. If it's a mistake, and doesn't occur in the rest of the film then it might just be disorienting and weird.
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#3 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 03:18 PM

I used to believe you should never break it. Then I realized it can have it's place. I will say never break it on accident though...that's amateur.
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#4 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 03:54 PM

thanks, i guess i'll have to see the footage and decide if it's usable. for one closeup i may even be able to flip the image, but i'm not sure. :angry: stupid mistake from trying to get too many shots in a short amount of time!
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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:26 PM

Hey, I've been there. I once tried to shoot 7 pages in a 10 hour day and ended up with a whole scene like that...had to flip the image and then it turned out fine.
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#6 Thom Stitt

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:31 PM

Hey, I've been there. I once tried to shoot 7 pages in a 10 hour day and ended up with a whole scene like that...had to flip the image and then it turned out fine.


Same here, but we couldn't flip. I've got a scene with one point of coverage on the wrong side of the line. Impossible to flip because of all the props and set dec that ends up on the wrong side.

Strangely enough, because it's so close to axis, and because the character's face (and therefore eyes) aren't even onscreen (we cut him off at the neck), it's very hard to even notice. It doesn't jar you out of the scene at all. I've showed the scene to a number of experienced filmmakers, all intimately familiar with the "line", and not one of them noticed. I had to tell them, and only then did it become obvious.

I'm assuming you got the shot you did because it seemed like the best shot at the time - that can't be for nothing.

Obviously, having the angles be somewhat extreme helps a great deal. If it's one shot in a scene full of traditional coverage, then you might be in trouble.
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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 08:35 PM

If it doesn't disorient then don't sweat it. Mine was a stupid mistake of not thinking at the time. It was a dialog sequence where I did a short "ping pong" but they both ended up on the same side which is a serious no-no. I flipped one fellow and it was fine. I imagine if a person were to pay close attention to other scenes in the movie with the couch in it, they might possibly be able to tell that the previous couch scene seemed off but that might be giving people a little too much credit.
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#8 WaiHoong

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:08 AM

I did the same as well on my previous project few months ago...

a man was buying a necklace in an antique shop, the necklace as a cursed object...i crossed the line between the seller and buyers..

time- concious...

during editing, i asked the editor to put some chanting in the background together with a shot JUST on the necklace while their conversations carried along...
AND
then shifted to the mistakes...but i din let each shot carried for few seconds one after another or else could be noticable....the editor made few cuts instantaneously while their conversation still in normal continuity...

the result came out just fine although it was a bit weird

With purpose and meaning...the rule could be ignored i guess....or else just insert some cutaways or inserts...or shoot some 'smiling', 'nodding' or some kind of expressions in ECU shots which i'm not so into them...
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#9 Joseph Dudek

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

Old topic but didn't want to start a new one.

You see the 180 degree rule broken quite regularly in films. Though, it is usually following a shot which clearly shows the audience the geography of the set and the players positions - in turn, making no disorientating effect on viewer.
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