Sparks Olney: Shooting Symmetrical Shots

We have just finished the third week of our filmmaking course at Sparks Olney and our young filmmakers are letting their creative juices flow for our exciting project of 'Double Acts' ...

Our film crew, made up of 8-14-year-olds, were tasked this week to photograph a range of symmetrical shots from around The Olney Centre where our workshops take place. Each crew member got a chance to take a number of shots, which the group then discussed.

Taking symmetrical shots is a simple composition technique, but when used well it can be extremely powerful. These shots create dynamic frames and are ideal for emphasising the main subject or a shot that requires full attention from the audience!

It has been said that viewers find symmetrical shots pleasing to the eye (even if they do break the rule of thirds - a basic rule for filmmaking and photography), but only if they are completely accurate. If a shot isn't entirely symmetrical, it could ruin the visual impact for the viewer.

Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick are both famous for using symmetrical shots in their films and have gone on to develop an easily identifiable style. Anderson is known for using symmetry to perfectly frame his characters, whilst Kubrick likes to use this technique to make his audience feel uncomfortable.

"Remember that shot of the twins in The Shining? Scary or what?!"

When using these shots, it is important to know when you want to make a visual impact or evoke emotions and use them sparingly. If used too much, it can be emotionally draining for your viewer or potentially lose its impact.

There is a lot to take in here, to understand how and where to use this technique to get the desired impact. But this is what learning and practice is all about. Here at Sparks Olney, we want to give our knowledge and experience of filmmaking to this talented bunch of young people so they can go off and create some amazing films.

Our creative crew were fantastic at spotting symmetrical shots and working together to come up with scenarios on how to use them as part of their project. We are excited to see what happens next!

"If you are interested in finding out more about filmmaking techniques and joining our film school, please get in touch!"

We meet every Sunday from 10am - 12pm at The Olney Centre on Olney High Street. It doesn't matter if you haven't been with us from the start of the term, we continually go over things and our sessions are very much hands on, which we feel is best for learning.

Discover more about Sparks Olney by clicking here to visit our website.


If you'd like to find out more about anything I've written here, call me on 01234 241357 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch.