Part of Unit: Basic Camera Operation & Shot Composition
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
This lesson teaches students the concept of the 180 Degree Rule of composition. This rule best applies when filming a two-shot, or two-person dialogue scene. Students will write a short two-person dialogue script and then storyboard at least three different camera angles showing proper use and understanding of the 180 Rule. Students will produce a short video showing a dialogue sequence utilizing the proper use of this important composition rule.
- Lesson & Project
- 2 - 3 Class Periods
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- AME.A.A18.104.22.168 Use point of view, characterization, style (e.g., use of irony), and related ele...
- AME.B.B22.214.171.124 Use the vocabulary of theatre, such as genre, style, acting values, theme, and d...
- AME.B.B126.96.36.199 Advanced - Make acting choices, using script analysis, character research, refle...
- AME.B.B188.8.131.52 Advanced - Improvise or write dialogues and scenes, applying basic dramatic stru...
- AME.B.B184.108.40.206 Proficient - Write dialogues and scenes, applying basic dramatic structure: expo...
- AME.C.C1.2 Apply knowledge of equipment and skills related to production in a variety of ar...
- AME.C.C1.4 Know the elements involved in creating a media or performing arts production for...
- AME.FS.5.1 Apply appropriate problem-solving strategies and critical thinking skills to wor...
- AME.FS.5.2 Understand the universal, systematic problem-solving model that incorporates inp...
- AME.FS.5.3 Use critical thinking skills to make informed decisions and solve problems.
- AME.FS.9.1 Understand the characteristics and benefits of teamwork, leadership, and citizen...
- PS.C.C2.1 Understand the qualities of effective leadership and how to exercise them in a g...
- PS.C.C2.2 Exercise people skills, including respect, adaptability, and interpersonal skill...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.6.LS.2.1c Deliver narrative presentations that use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dia...
- ELA.6.W.2.1c Write narratives that use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dialogue, suspense).
- ELA.7.LS.2.1c Deliver narrative presentations that use a range of appropriate strategies, inc...
- ELA.9-10.R.NAGT.3.10 Identify and describe the function of dialogue, scene designs, soliloquies, asid...11
- M.4.MG.3.2 Identify the radius and diameter of a circle.1
- M.5.MG.2.2 Know that the sum of the angles of any triangle is 180° and the sum of the angle...1
- M.7.MG.2.1 Use formulas routinely for finding the perimeter and area of basic two-dimension...31
- M.8-12.G.21.0 Students prove and solve problems regarding relationships among chords, secants,...1
- T.5.AP.DVT.1.1 Use the vocabulary of theatre to describe theatrical experiences, such as sense ...
- T.6.CE.CT.2.3 Write and perform scenes or one act plays that include monologue, dialogue, acti...
- T.9-12 (proficient).CE.CT.2.2 Write dialogues and scenes, applying basic dramatic structure: exposition, compl...
English Language Development Standards
- R.LRA.EA.SFL.I Identify the function of dialogue, scene design, and asides in dramatic literature.
- W.SA.A.OFRT.W Write documents (e.g., fictional biographies, autobiographies, short stories, an...
Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)
Common Core Standards (Reinforced)
Objectives and Goals
If you're shooting a short film or interview, it's important to set the scene and establish your characters in space and time in order for the viewer to follow the action. One of the most basic continuity rules is the 180 Degree Rule. Students will demonstrate the mastery of this important rule by producing a short dialogue video.
Activities in this Lesson
- Don't Cross The Line! - Hooks / Set
To introduce the subject to your students, play the videos included here. There are three short, videos that explain the 180 rule pretty well.
• The FIlm Lab 180 Degree Rule
• Movie Making Techniques 180 Degree Rule
• Videomaker- 180 Degree Rule
- 180 Rule Demonstration - Demo / Modeling
Before we begin this section of the lesson, place the students into groups of four. These will be the production groups for the video assignment. Hand out the document titled, "Don't Cross The Line! to each student.
TEACHER* Ask the students to read the hand out, as you bring out a camera on a tripod.
Now, you need one of the groups to volunteer (or choose one group) for the technique demonstration.
Ask the class to refer to the handout as the demonstration takes place.
(I have included a Power Point presentation I use when I demonstrate this technique. I control the PPT, and have the student group move the camera around in various locations - following the 180 degree rule.)
PROCEDURE: Have two students stand or sit and pretend to engage in a conversation.
Ask the other two students to handle the camera and tripod.
STEP 1: Ask the students the following question: "remember in math class, geometry to be specific - how many degrees are there in a circle? or How many degrees make up a complete circle?" ANSWER: 360 degrees.
OK, imagine a circle around the subjects of this scene.... where is the action line, or the 180 degree line? Make sure to point out the line. (you could use string to emphasize this line)
Now simply follow along to place the camera along different angles - all on the same side of the 180 degree line as indicated from the videos and handout.
- The 180 Degree Rule Assignment Introduction - Demo / Modeling
Show the three student video examples of the 180 Degree Rule assignment, and ask your students which one they liked best and why. This is a great time, to have an open discussion and reinforce the concepts of this lesson. (These three videos are from students of different levels of ability and experience.)
Go over the Assignment handout and give each student the Video Rubric.
*Make sure to provide deadlines for each group to finish the script, the storyboard, rehearsal, production, and finally the editing and turning-in of the video.
- 180 degree rule student example 1 [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- 180 degree rule student example 2 [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- 180 deg rule student example3 [ Watch Video ] [ Download Original Video ]
- 180 Degree Video Assignment Handout [ Download ]
- 180 Degree video RUBRIC [ Download ]
- Assessment Types:
- Rubrics, Projects, Writing Samples, Demonstrations, Observations,
Students are observed working in groups as formative assessment,
Student groups produce a video demonstrating mastery of the content of this lesson.
- 180 Degree video RUBRIC [ Download ]