When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule?
Thanks Thanks:  0
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
+ Add Reply
Results 1 to 30 of 30

Topic: When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule?

    People always say to follow it, and don't cross the axis, but you see it being crossed all the time in movies. Here is a clip from one of my favorite movies, where axis looks like it's constantly being crossed, at least to me, and I wonder, when can the filmmaker get away with it, or use it to his/her advantage to give different perspectives:



    What do you think?

    Related Topics:

  2. #2
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    YouTube blocked the video


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yeah sorry, it's happened before. I can't post any scenes from movies, otherwise youtube will block them. I guess I can't show the example therefore, but basically a lot of movies will break the rule if they want to show a different perspective. I'll show an example that was uploaded by someone else that youtube hasn't blocked. This is a different scene from a different show but a similar concept. At 3:19 into the clip, the axis is crossed for example:



    This scene also breaks it several times throughout:



    Last edited by ironpony; 09-08-2017 at 01:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Steve Olander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    720
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    What do your film school instructors say?


    Steve


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well basically he said that the rule has been broken so much to the point where it's unclear if audiences will have a problem with it, and it's a matter of opinion. So does that mean that if I break the rule, I will get enough viewers to not mind it then? I just wanted other opinions on it.

    I reuploaded the video and did a horizontal flip cause so far, youtube will not block a movie scene if it has a horizontal flip... so far... Here it is. What are they doing here, that allows crossing the axis to be more acceptable?



    Last edited by ironpony; 09-08-2017 at 09:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    lol, youtube recognized sound, silly.

    And flipping an image often changes it's meaning.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. Flipping the image would not change the meaning in this scene.

    Well youtube is not going to accept the video, but for anyone who has seen High and Low, why was it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule in that movie?

    Or what about the other examples I posted? Or is there anywhere that explains better when to break the rule? The explanation I usually get is that it's okay to break the 180 axis if you want to throw off the audience intentionally. But that's such a vague reason, and there are a lot of specifics within that, that are excluded. I mean here is the way I see it, when I see it being broken.

    It's okay to break the axis as long as you can see that the characters are still looking at each other. I mean if it's a close up profile shot, then it's not okay, cause it will look like the actor is looking in a completely different direction, but as long as the two actors are seen looking at each other in both shots, then it's okay to flip the axis in one, as long as the shot itself works within itself from flipping the axis. This is my perception of it, but is that agreeable for the majority of viewers at all?

    Also, it's okay to break the axis as long as one is switching the perspective. If no perspective is being switched, then it's probably not okay. Would this be true?

    Last edited by ironpony; 09-09-2017 at 11:56 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Steve Olander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    720
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I was interested in what a "Pro" has to say about that.


    In the two videos you put up that I could watch, a general rule is that in fight scenes the 180 degree rule often times goes out the window. Also, in the first of the two videos, the break of the rule does not disorient the audience. As far as they are concerned they are just looking at the front of the man in the black suit. Whether you look at him as you lean left or lean right doesn't affect this scene.

    There are exceptions to every rule, and you can also bend rules, where flexibility exists. Basically you need to know if the breaking of the rule is going to disorient the audience. That is why the rule was created, to avoid that.


    Steve


  9. #9
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. What about this time I break the 180 degree rule in my last short film? I was told that I cross the axis as if it's a problem, so I flipped it, based on my film school classmates advice, but I didn't really like the flip cause the shadow ends up on the wrong side. However, in the original form where I decided to cross the axis while shooting, I didn't feel it was a problem because in both shots, the woman is looking down the center of the screen to the other character. It happens at 1:02 into the clip:



    I was told I crossed the axis by classmates and by people on here as if it's a problem. However, since she is looking down the center of the screen in both shots, is it really jarring to cross the axis? It makes sense not to cross if it was a profile shot of her head, and she was looking down the side of the screen, cause then it would look like she is looking in the wrong direction. But since you can see she is looking in the same direction in both shots, down the midlde of the screen, at the actor, is it really jarring as a result in this case?


  10. #10
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Do what you want: it is your movie.
    You have been arguing against the 180-rule for years now.


  11. #11
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well I am just wondering what the rules are, since everyone has something different to say about it, and it's broken so many times in movies.


  12. #12
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Steve Olander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    720
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    They are correct that is was broken, but as Walter said, it's your movie. If you don't feel the audience is going to be confused then go with it. It is usually going against the rules that causes Directors to gain notoriety for their "pioneering" ways.

    If you are wrong and the audience (someone other than a film student or filmmaker) does get confused, well then that is a lesson learned. Don't be afraid to fail, that's how you learn.


    Steve


  13. #13
    Pro Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,153
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I can tell you that there are still many times the 180 rule is needed. If any instructor says its no longer needed (especially merely because its often broken) he/she is not an instructor I'd be putting my money in. Sure you can show many Hollywood films where its broken. But its broken by pros who know when its ok. If you want to see why its important to follow the rule, just watch amateur films. It will stand out.


  14. #14
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. Does it stand out in mine at all? But aside from mine, I want to shoot my next project similar to High and Low (1963), but High and Low broke it several times. So what is it about that movie, and how they broke it, that made it okay?


  15. #15
    Pro Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,153
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I am not familiar with the scenes you are asking about. For your clip, it does nt work. It throws off the orientation and looks bad. The types of scenes it is acceptable are action scenes. In these types the people are running around. Moving about the area they occupy. If there other characters they are interacting with also move around the area, you can violate the 180 rule as long as you show the progression of the orientation. Watch this clip and you'll see how the camera works with the action to violate the 180 rule with success.



  16. #16
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks, I will watch the clip. But in High and Low they break the rule a lot during dialogue scenes though. So if I am inspired to shoot like High and Low, when it is appropriate to break the rule during dialogue scenes?

    I tried uploading a clip of High and Low before youtube will keep blocking it, so I can't show the scene. I uploaded it to youtube again. What do you think of how they keep breaking the rule, throughout this scene:



    But at what times can you break the rule during simple dialogue exchanges?

    The way I see it is, is that I am not disoriented as long as the 180 degree is rule is being broken while cutting from one clop up to another. If cutting from master to a close up, like I did, I am not disoriented, and I only become disoriented when cutting from a close up shot, to another close up while breaking the rule. But that is just the way I see it. Another student in my class did the same thing, where he cut from a master shot, to another master, and he was told he was breaking the 180 degree rule, while cutting from master to master.

    But I didn't even notice, until it was pointed out to me and I was not disoriented by it. So maybe I am just not as easily disoriented as the average viewer and I have to watch out for that when I plan my shots I guess?

    Last edited by ironpony; 09-15-2017 at 12:22 AM.

  17. #17
    Pro Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,153
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Example;



  18. #18
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. I saw those videos before actually. But I feel that certain examples of the 180 degree rule are not covered. Like what the High and Low clip I posted for example? Whenever a video is made on the 180 degree rule, no one ever uses that movie as an example, even though it's broken several times during dialogue exchanges, so why is it broken in that one?


  19. #19
    Pro Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,153
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    pony, its a rule for a good reason. Because 100 years of film making has proven it works. Of course there are exceptions but for the most part you need to stick with it. Don't break the rule merely for the pleasure of breaking it.


  20. #20
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. I don't want to break it for the mere pleasure of breaking it, but wanna storyboard my next project like how High and Low was shot, and High and Low breaks it several times, so I want to know why that movie broke it, so I make sure I am doing it for the right reasons, or reasons that work. I feel that there are exceptions in that movie that are not covered in all the youtube tutorials I've seen, or in school and would like to know what those exceptions were in the High and Low video specifically, if anyone can tell me what they are.


  21. #21
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    (you never listen:
    you high and low upload doesn't work: the sound is being recognized.
    And maybe the picture as well.

    What to do to 'fix that'?
    Add color and music, eventhough it makes the clip weird, it might show us what you want us to see.

    But no: you just try to do the same hoping for a different outcome.)

    Last edited by Walter B; 09-18-2017 at 05:08 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks, I will watch the clip. But in High and Low they break the rule a lot during dialogue scenes though. So if I am inspired to shoot like High and Low, when it is appropriate to break the rule during dialogue scenes?
    Are you inspired by the breaking of the rules??
    Or do you just want someone to tell you you are right?

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    But I didn't even notice, until it was pointed out to me and I was not disoriented by it. So maybe I am just not as easily disoriented as the average viewer and I have to watch out for that when I plan my shots I guess?
    You weren't because they did it right.

    Since you have no clue what they did and why they did it, you might not be the best judge to figure out whether or not your short will work.


  23. #23
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. But the High and Low video does work. I took the sound out. This website says it doesn't work, if you click on it within this website. But if you actually click on the youtube URL itself, it will take you to youtube, and it will actually then work. For some reason this site says it's not working when it is, if you click on the youtube link and watch it in youtube.

    Basically I want to be able to put the camera where I want at times, like High and Low in order to see things from different perspectives, but I don't want it to be seen as doing something "wrong". I want the freedom of putting the camera where I want, for the sake of showing different perspectives of what is going on in a scene, so I want to learn how to do it right, so it's not seen as wrong, if that makes sense.


  24. #24
    Senior Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Walter B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Rotterdam area, The Netherlands
    Posts
    443
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Plan your mise-en-scene in such a way that you follow the rules and still can show what you want.
    That is one of the reasons you make floor plans in preproduction.

    And no it doesn't play on YouTube either.


  25. #25
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    That's strange cause it plays on my youtube perfectly fine. I just checked again and it's still playing. Wonder what's going on.

    I'm making the storyboards and floor plans now, just wondering if I should break the rule in certain shots or not. A lot of advice I have gotten from the school and from videos on it is to go with your gut, but sometimes my gut is wrong, so I thought maybe their is a higher knowledge on the rule.


  26. #26
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I watched this movie which breaks the 180 degree rule in several parts. There is a scene where the rule is broken at 6:23 into the video:



    Do you know why the director decided to break the rule at that time? Mainly the focus was between Dustin Hoffman, the bartender, and the bar patron, so why is it that the director decided to break the rule and go outside the 180 rule triangle, and place the camera over the patron's right shoulder at 6:23 into the clip?


  27. #27
    Pro Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,153
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The reason it (barely) works is the break in the 180 rule is from Hoffman's perspective. He is watching the interaction between the bartender and the drunk and from his point of view is from behind the drunk. The director shoots it first with Hoffman watching from a distance. But he also wanted to illustrate the angle Hoffman sees with his eyes. In the shot you see the bartender, drunk and Hoffman in a single frame. The shot needed Hoffman's reaction to the glass breaking and the director wanted a closeup of Hoffman's face and did it from the same angle to maintain that Hoffman is still watching the two guys.
    So you have Hoffman's, the drunk's and the baternder's established location in the bar. You have Hoffman's view of the drunk and the bartender. Then you have Hoffman's reaction to the glass breaking. I personally would not have done it that way as there were better ways to shoot that.


  28. #28
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Oh okay it looks like to me that he is alongside the drunk at his side, and not behind him at the time he is looking at him when they go outside the 180 degree triangle. If you look at the previous shot at 6:21, Hoffman is not behind him and is along side him at the drunk's side. So why cut to the opposite shoulder of the drunk at 6:23, if he is alongside him at 6:21?


  29. #29
    Pro Member   When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Tampa Bay
    Posts
    1,153
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Dont make the mistake of thinking all of a directors choices are good ones. Its not a well shot scene.


  30. #30
    Senior Member
    ironpony started this thread.
      ironpony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    1,617
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Okay thanks. But there are still several times it's broken in other cases, that I cannot figure out why it's okay though.

    OTS shots confuse me the most, cause they say if there is a conversation between three people, not to go outside the triangle. But OTS shots go out of the triangle, cause they have to show the reverse OTS of one of the characters. This confuses me the most as to why this is allowed.

    Like for example in this clip where they have a triangle conversation between actors 1, 2, and 3.



    However, in this clip, they actually go outside the triangle. Pardon the quality of the clip. I had to change the coloring so youtube wouldn't take it down, since it's from a copyrighted source:



    In the clip, it starts out, outside the triangle, and then it goes back into the triangle at 0:03, and then goes out again from time to time, whenever they want to show the one characters reaction. Why do they go outside the triangle for the one character?

    Attached Images Attached Images When is it appropriate to break the 180 degree rule?-alan-over-shoulder-jpg 
    Last edited by ironpony; 12-03-2017 at 04:47 PM.

+ Add Reply

Tags for this Thread



Contributing Members

Follow us on

Twitter Facebook youtube Twitter