Shot Composition

Video 101 Home
Start of this lesson

Lesson Outline
Long Shots
Medium Shot
Extreme Close-ups
High Angle
Low Angle
Looking Room
Lead Room
Diagonal Lines
Getting Close

Composition > Space > Lead Room

Lead Room: Note how there is more space to the right, where the action is going. The player is, CORRECTLY, not centered in the frame.

Similar to looking room is the concept of "Lead Room." The idea here is that viewers want to see where a moving object is going--not where it has been.

A football game provides a nice example. When a player is throwing, we want to see what is ahead (who will catch the ball?)--not what's behind. So we frame the shot to give him lead room.

In simple terms, you adjust the shot to offer a bit more room in the direction the person is throwing or running or hiking or biking--and a bit less room behind.

I remember watching a Green Bay Packer game as a kid that must have had an inexperienced camera crew (the Packers stunk when I was a kid, so the top network crews were not visiting Wisconsin!) Anyway, the main camera operator didn't seem to understand the concept of lead room. It was REALLY frustrating to watch. I'd see shots of Packer running back John Brockington with no lead room, so there was no way to tell if he was about to be tackled by a dozen evil Chicago Bears, or about to score a touchdown.

Are you a teacher using this site in a class? Stay legal (and get some great teaching resources!)

Copyright © 2000,2001
Michael Trinklein