The 180-degree rule is an extremely important, but often forgotten rule of production.
When a cinematographer blocks out camera angles, all of the camera positions should be kept on one side of the actors, delineated by the “line of interest.” By keeping all cameras to one side of this line, one character always appears on screen left, and the other always at screen right. This helps the audience maintain a mental map and expectations for the scene.
For more on the 180-degree rule, check out our Course Lesson here: Continuity: The 180 Degree Rule
We go into detail about what the rule means, consequences of breaking it, and solutions for crossing the line safely when the need arises. We also look at continuity of content, time, and motion in filmmaking.