What is Composition?

Composition very simply is how you arrange the objects in your shot so that it looks the best. There are a few rules of thumb that you can follow to help you create better videos. We explore a few of them below to help you take your video game to the next level.

Rule of thirds

The easiest way to start is to imagine your frame is split into three equal parts vertically and horizontally.

When you are filming a single  person, you want to place them in the centre of the frame with their eyes aligned to the line at the top section.

If you are filming more than one person you can place each at the top intersections.

Headroom and Lead room

When framing your picture, you want to make sure that you provide sufficient headroom, which means finding the right balance between the top of your subject’s head and the top of the frame.

There are no hard and fast rules and many people just rely on what feels right. It helps to concentrate on how people are framed up on TV and film when you are watching your favourite show to get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, you can explore the topic a bit further here.

Lead room, similar to headroom, is subjective but something to think about when composing your video. It refers to the space in front of or behind your subject, which is especially important when your subject isn’t looking directly into the camera. Check out a detailed explanation on how to use Lead room here.

Video aspect ratio

Your composition will be slightly different depending on what the aspect ratio of the final video will be.

If you are producing standard widescreen video you are safe if you stick to the tried and trusted rules of film composition, but if you are using square or vertical video you will really have to think about how best to compose the video to get the most out of it. Sometimes this might just mean adapting the rule of thirds for the different shapes, but sometimes it might mean that you have to think creatively about how you compose your picture to achieve your specific goals.

Common mistakes to avoid

As always there are a few common pitfalls to avoid, things that can be easily eliminated by taking an extra second to scrutinise your picture before you start rolling.

The first is writing in the background. It’s easy to miss the awkward things that obstructed words can spell until it’s too late, so double check and avoid if at all possible.

The next is to look for objects in the background that look like things are growing out of your subject’s head. The plants in the background may look nice in the room, but double check that it doesn’t make your subject look like they have bark growing out of their head. Following these simple rules will help your video strategy to frame your brand much better. If you want to know more about how we can help you maximise your engagement through video, please get in touch with us on hello@foxfifth.com