[Frame Info: Sherlock. Directed by Paul McGuigan. Director of Photography by Steve Lawes – IMDB] 

Here’s a new thing I’m starting on this blog.

I’m completely obsessed with telling stories, and films are brilliant as a visual spectacle which is why I’m so into filmmaking. I have this collection of stills on my computer called my “Lookbook.” It gives me ideas for composition as well as notes on a few frames I’ve analyzed and sort of backwards-engineered so as to figure out how a shot was done, or why it is what it is.

Observing, and analyzing absolutely helps in the learning process.

So how about I start doing this here? It’s just an idea, if it doesn’t interest you I’ll take it off.

But to start off, let’s take a frame from one of my favorite TV shows SHERLOCK.

I think this shot is brilliant in its simplicity.

It feels almost awkward because John Watson (played by Martin Freeman) is off to the side… a lot. Not just by the RULE OF THIRDS, but a-damn-lot, that it almost feels uncomfortable. It’s weighted unevenly. That is, until he reaches for his phone and the text show up on the big empty space to his right.

It’s a clever way to showcase the contents of a phone screen without having to cut to an insert. Very efficient and simple.

There’s one light source, it seems, coming from the left of the frame. Moody atmosphere. And the colors used are neutral. Which I deduce (get it, deduce?) relates to the personality and lifestyle of the character, Watson at this point. Very mundane.

Well, that’s my take anyway.

If you have a favorite frame from a film, tv show, animation, comic, whatever, then let me know–I’d be very interested. Send me a message at leon@leonterra.com along with your thoughts about what makes it interesting to you. If I post it I’ll add my two cents to it as well.