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Maintaining the eyeline

In classical video and film, visual continuity is a characteristic of professional production values. One important element is the question of where you place the eyeline of a person filmed.

Classical film or video cultivates visual continuity. It is achieved by a set of standards that ensure that transitions between shots and sequences are smooth. The change from one shot to the next should be such that the audience only perceives it as disruptive if the plot demands it. In other words: the audience’s first focus should be on the evolving plot, not the transitions between scenes.

This focus is also important for video abstracts. If the flow of images isn’t smooth, your audience will notice. A disruptive flow could lead your audience to lose focus. Your viewers will, for example, wonder about the importance of the ceiling lamp in your lab when the only thing you wanted to do is to insert a new perspective from a low angle to make your tale more interesting.

One good trick to avoid this is to be aware of the so-called eyeline. This is the height at which you place the eyes of a filmed person in respect to the frame.


University of Basel