Eva's Hollywood Blog

Don't show a player looking off-screen, then cut to what he sees - and pan the camera around and end up on the player.
The Five C's of Cinematography - Joseph Mascelli, p.23

Breaking the rules #1

Joseph Mascelli’s book, “The Five C’s of Cinematography”, is considered one of the most important books about cinematic technique. While reading it for my film study at the AFI Conservatory, I realized I broke a “rule” he set up in his book.

Actually, it is my favourite scene in the film “Moonlit Night”, exactly because of the fact that I made use of an unconvential, creative camera-set up in favour to the story. (VIDEO LINK)

It is a dream-sequence in an ancient ballroom, where we see a shot of protagonist NATALIE looking offscreen to a guy named JOSEPH, followed by a p.o.v. of Joseph. But then, her p.o.v rises above Joseph, turns around and pans back observing a beautiful chandelier on the ceiling and ends on the protagonist, NATALIE again. To see the whole movie, check out the official website!

I chose to break the rules, because her presence in the ballroom happens in her imagination, though this dream-sequence is not established through color or softening edges. But the fact that she looks back at “herself” tells us that this cannot be real. I think apart from being tolerable, in this case breaking the rules even tells more than a conventional p.o.v. would.

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