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Breaking 180 Rule


In the world of cinema, the 180° rule is the foundation of visual continuity, guiding directors and cinematographers in maintaining spatial orientation on screen.

The Tamil film “Vikram Vedha,”  directed by Pushkar-Gayathri, offers a masterclass in applying this basic principle, enhancing the clarity of the story and its emotional impact.

The 180° rule states that the camera must be on one side of the imaginary axis between two characters or objects in a scene to maintain a consistent left-right spatial relationship. 

This consistency helps the audience understand the geography of the setting, ensuring that the characters appear to be facing each other rather than suddenly changing locations. “Vikram Vedha” features many tense confrontations between the protagonist, Vikram, and the mysterious Vedha.

In these confrontations, the 180° rule is carefully respected to emphasize the psychological and moral dichotomy between the characters. For example, in their first big encounter, the camera placement strictly follows the 180° rule, reinforcing Vikram’s legitimate point on one side and Vedha’s mysterious presence on the other. This visual coherence highlights their ideological divide, allowing the audience to easily grasp the underlying tension.

 However, the film does not hesitate to break this rule when the story allows. In moments of intense psychological conflict or when the story needed a change of perspective, the filmmakers skillfully crossed the axis. This intentional violation temporarily disorients the viewer, reflecting the characters’ agitation and moral ambiguity throughout the film. Such moments are handled with precision, ensuring that the audience’s momentary confusion matches the emotional rhythms of the story.

A notable example is the climactic interrogation scene, where the tension between Vikram and Vedha comes to a head. Here, the filmmakers subtly shifted the axis, reflecting the blurred lines between good and evil. This calculated movement heightens the impact of the shot, immersing the audience more deeply in the character’s internal conflicts.

In conclusion, this scene inspired by the movie Vikram Vedha illustrates the effective use of the 180° rule in cinematic storytelling. By following this rule and breaking it thoughtfully, we tried to recreate a scene that not only maintains visual coherence but also amplifies thematic depth, providing viewers with a compelling and immersive experience.

Casting: Arun Kumar M, Sathish Kumar C R
DOP: Kavya Pandav
Edited by: Sathish Kumar C R, Architha B
This scene was inspired from the movie “Vikram Vedha”.

Copyright: All the videos, photos, and text in this post are the copyright of  Sathish Kumar C RCreative Hut Institute of Photography and Flim. Their reproduction, full or part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.

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