RULES OF CINEMATOGRAPHY

Head Room & Lead Room

 

     One of the biggest mistakes an amateur makes when shooting video is leaving too much or too little head room.  Head room is the distance from the top of your subject’s head to the top of the film frame. You don't want a huge empty area above a person's head.  This is called dead space.  It is a useless area.

 

     Place the subject's head close to the top of the frame with their eyes roughly in the top third of the picture.  If you have to cut off a small amount of the top of their head, that is fine.  Just don't ever cut off the actor's chin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Lead Room is the distance in front of the actor’s nose.  This can also be called "nose room".  The actor projects an energy when they are looking at someone or something in the scene.  When you are filming, the actor should be placed on the opposite side of the screen from where they are looking.  For example, if they are looking to the left, the lead room should be on the left.  The actor should be on the right

side of the screen.  If the are looking right, the lead room is on the right with the actor being positioned on the left hand side of the screen.