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In Premiere Pro CS4 Beyond the Basics, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins explains how to take video editing from simple nuts and bolts to an art form. He shares tips for shooting video in the field to get the most from a subject and get the best footage for a project. He demonstrates how to build a project through the careful use of cutaways, pacing, and suggestive edits. He covers special effects, color correction, and keying and compositing, integrating all these concepts as he builds a music video project from scratch. Exercise files are included with this course.
This next tip is beneficial both for those shooting video and editing video. It's called the 180 Degree Rule. In a nutshell, this rule specifies that when you have a two-shot, you have two people in a shot, and with the conversation, or like in this video here, it's generally a good idea to keep each person on the side of the camera that they initially are seen in. So we have here, this guy in this striped shirt, and notice that as we cut, even as we go to different angles, he is still on the right side of the screen.
So we could change, like, how we see this guy, over the shoulder, so we could have had him in front and then this other guy in the back, but that would break this rule. Basically, the rule is, again, is that whenever there is two people talking or it maybe an interview, for example, you want to make sure that whoever is on the right side of your two shot stays on the right side. So if this was an interview, and this guy was facing this way, what I would do is I will put the camera over this guy's right shoulder so that this guy would still be on the right side of the camera.
Likewise, if I needed to get his face interviewed by this guy, I would put it over this guy's left shoulder. So that way this guy would still be able to be on the left side of the screen. You'll notice that even later on this video, when we change the whole scene entirely, I still keep this guy on the left and this guy on the right, just to maintain continuity, so the viewer always knows who is who. This might seem at first like a really inconsequential rule, but trust me, if you ever watch an amateur video production and you see this rule violated, it really is uncomfortable.
There is something about seeing the flip side of what you're used to, that is very off-putting. It just really throws you off- guard. It just feels wrong. And the reason why I mentioned that this is good for people editing video as well is that you might have a director that made a mistake, and so you might need to do a flip. You might need to actually flip the footage, so that the people can stay on the correct side that they should be on.
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