Much of human communication is accomplished without words. As that translates to visual storytelling, you’ll find that the angles, color tones, and even frame rates we choose, form a sort of language of their own.
In the same way we sometimes struggle to find the right words to say, you may also struggle to find the right angles to tell your story. Sareesh Sudhakaran aka Wolfcrow has made that task easier with a list of questions whose answers will guide you to a solution.
1. Whose point of view is the story from?
This tells your audience who they should identify with in the scene and potentially the entire story.
2. Who should be in the shot?
When you include a second or third person in the shot, you guide the audience to look for their reaction to what is being said or happening in the scene.
3. Who or what is the most important subject in the shot?
If you want to emphasize someone in a shot, you do so by making them biggest object in the frame.
4. High Angle, Low Angle, or Eye Level?
Generally, the angle communicates the power dynamic between people in a scene. If you know how you want your audience to feel about a character, you can start by framing your shots accordingly.
- High Angle – Stronger
- Lower – Weaker
- Eye Level – Neutral or Equal
5. Do we follow the point of focus or not?
Maintaining a consistent point of focus from shot to shot allows your audience to follow the story without searching for where to look after every cut. This is a general rule, but if you want to create tension or anxiety, this can help foster those feelings.
6. Does the angle make you feel excited?
If each shot doesn’t make you excited, something is wrong and it is worth the time find the shot that does.
7. Is the shot providing new information?
They should. If you aren’t advancing the story you want to tell which each shot, you can bog down a good story with poor visual execution.
There are three additional tips that push this list to ten, but you’ll need to subscribe to get those via his Cheat Sheet PDF.