Project due May 23 at 9:30am. Choose one of your favorite films or episodes
  1. Analyze scene composition for visual rules
    1. EG: In Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, I noticed that he and his production design team used circles and rectangular shapes to punctuate certain plot points and heighten the pacing of others. The following screenshots are good examples of this:
      • Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 9.58.13 AM
      • Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.14.57 AM
      • Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.21.06 AM
      • Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.38.01 AM
  2. Make note of form, color, proportion, scale, texture, etc. As you can see from the above, I saw the circle emerge as a kind of thematic shape. Your film might use proportions, or space, an interesting color palette.  
  3. Choose new visual rules – or rethink the originals. Now that you've analysed and identified some of the more striking visual rules used in the film you chose, try retelling this story – or a particular scene in this story – visually, in 30 storyboards or less. Below are some methods you might think about using to reframe a visual story:
    • If a particular shape or form reoccurs, use a different shape.
    • If a particular focal length (camera angle) is used, try a different angle.
    • For example:
      • If close ups are common, try wide.
      • In the camera angle is notably high (i.e. from above, looking down), try a sideways/profile instead.
    • If you notice a striking use of a particular color: use that color somewhere unexpected.
    • Look at the positioning of elements (e.g. people and other focal points) on screen. Are they centered? In one of the rule of third intersection points? Or something else entirely? Try rethinking how to tell a scene or sequence using alternative positioning. If the filmmakers often center a character, try placing them just on the edge of the frame.
    • Or try a combination of these ideas!


As I mentioned above, I noticed a clear usage of a circular theme in 2001 that I wanted to explore more deeply. I wanted to see if it were possible to tell this same story with a triangle. To do this, I picked a few scenes and reimagined them through sketches, trying to incorporate the triangle theme into each of them. Here are a few of my sketches:

Finished Compositions

Finally, here are three fleshed-out compositions, inspired by the above sketches:


How you'll be graded:

  1. Visual analysis – 20%
  2. Sketches – 30%
    1. Maximum of 30 sketches of re-designed scenes 
  3. Final Compositions and Critique on March 31st – 50%
    1. Minimum of 3 fleshed out re-designed screen compositions, arrived at via your sketches.


Material Guidelines

You might assume I want these done digitally, in Photoshop, Illustrator, or some other computer-based design application, (because that is what I did for my own). This is untrue: You are free to create your final compositions in any and all mediums you feel comfortable working in. [Click here] for more on material guidelines].

Please email me with any questions or comments. I'll see you next week!! 

Composting Exercise: We'll making these compositions in class, as they cover a lot of the basic concepts that you will need to make your own, such as a.)masking, b.)compositing, c.)adjustment layers, and d.)collage. [Click here] for the exercise files, and see below for a tutorial video on how I made these compositions: