Profile talking to background

Here’s a neat variation on the standard two shot. Instead of having two characters standing or sitting next to each other in the frame, have one in profile in the foreground while the other person is talking to them in the background.

Director Gore Verbinski uses this style of composition in The Ring (2002) in a conversation between Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and Noah Clay (Martin Henderson).

Although this style of composition is a variation on having one character facing away from the other, it can still be used to convey a sense of emotional distance.

This shot is also aesthetically pleasing because it adheres to the rule of thirds as well as using both the foreground and background of the shot to tell a story.

Next time you’ve got to shoot a dialogue scene, see how this works for you!