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Circles

Circles

Using circles in your composition – whether they are formed by the setting, props or the arrangement of actors – is an aesthetically pleasing way to draw your audience’s eye to a particular part of the frame.

In Duel (1971), director Steven Spielberg uses the circular door of a coin laundry tumble dryer to frame up David Mann (Denis Weaver) as he has a telephone conversation with his wife. In this case, the circle creates a frame within the frame and draws the audience’s eye to this character.

In the opening scene of The Untouchables (1987), director Brian De Palma begins with an overshot of Al Capone (Robert De Niro) sitting in a barber’s chair in a circular room, surrounded by a circle of people, visually implying that he is the centre of attention.

When you’re on location, consider how you can use circles created by your location, props and the arrangement of actors to draw your audience’s eye to particular parts of the frame.