In the artistic world, “rules” can be broken and “laws” can be bent. Guidelines taught in school are subjective and flexible. Always seeking innovation, the industry and seasoned professionals occasionally ignore them to create something new.
When I was watching The King’s Speech a few weeks ago and again yesterday, one thing that really struck me was the cinematography. Composition guidelines – namely Lead Room - were blatantly ignored, yet the result wasn’t terrible.
This is a conversation between Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) and Lionel (Geoffrey Rush):
Observe these two other frames:
Too much wall! The composition in the first frame is actually motivated because Lionel’s wife is behind him while he does some paperwork at his desk. But the composition in this second frame has no reason to be.
What amazes me is that the Rule of Thirds is still there but reversed. Needless to say, it was deliberate. Who ever chose that composition knew the norm, which emphasizes the importance of learning convention first and deviting from it later.
I’m curious to know what people think. Does this “new” style satisfy or annoy? Would you implement it in your own films?