The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds is a concept in video and film production in which the frame is divided into into nine imaginary sections. This creates reference points which act as guides for framing the image.

I edited this image in photo shop. I am still extremely new to this so I have much room for improvement.

rule of 3.png

Each square section covers 11% of the whole frame and each column covers 33%.

I chose an image from the film ‘The Orphanage’ where you can clearly see that the cinematographer has used the rule of thirds. The creepy looking child with an unsettling posture and mask is placed in the middle column, therefore drawing the most attention. It appears that he is facing the light where everyone else would usually be but he seems to be in the darkness, no colour, almost quite sinister like the child is hiding something under the mask.

The film ‘The Orphanage’ was directed by Juan Antonio Bayona a Spanish film director. In addition to directing TV adverts and music videos, Bayona is best known for directing the 2007 horror film ‘The Orphanage’ and the 2012 drama film ‘The impossible’. He will also direct the fifth installment of the ‘Jurassic Park’ film series.

My Film

In my film that I am making with friends from secondary school ‘The Final Mission’ I’m the cinematographer, Director, Script writer and I’ve also wrote the story.

It is currently about two-thirds of the way through with 21 minutes worth of footage.

I used the Rule of thirds in many shots. The following are a couple examples that I screen-shotted this morning.


In this shot I have the camera look from over Jack’s (my friend’s) shoulder up to the man with the gun, symbolising that he is a threat and is more superior than Jack. The colours are also very dark and with only light around Jack, meaning they can see him but he can’t see them. I wanted to achieve a really negative and hostile feel to both unsettle and convince the viewer that these people are truly evil.


In this shot I wanted the window to be near dead centre of the screen. There is a lot more to say about shot however. I planned it so as Jack climbs in to the darker area owned by the evil antagonist you see the light from outside no longer on him as he steps into the shadows. This symbolises that he is heading into danger.



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