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Every frame of your story is an opportunity to say something—and it’s an opportunity to be intentional in exactly what that message conveys.

And a HUGE way to convey that message lies in the composition of that frame.

Below we have a special tutorial on loan from the Academy of Storytellers that we want to share with you for free.

It breaks down Hitchcock’s 3:1 Rule, the idea that the size of any object in your frame should be proportional to its importance to the story at that moment.

Let’s take a closer look at exactly what Hitchcock’s Rule is and how it can help you become a better storyteller.

[Tweet “How Hitchcock’s Rule can help you become a better #storyteller!”] [vimeo video_id=”145332674″ width=”400″ height=”300″ title=”Yes” byline=”Yes” portrait=”Yes” autoplay=”No” loop=”No” color=”ff9933″]

This video is on loan from the Academy of Storytellers, an amazing online filmmaking education platform run by the friendly folks at Story & Heart.

While complementary, what Story & Heart offers with the Academy differs from Muse. Our online course is devoted entirely to empowering you with the storytelling process developed by Stillmotion.

Muse is a process that helps you and your team tell stronger, more remarkable stories in a number of extraordinary ways. The process teaches you how to identify characters who will create the greatest connection with your audience. Through Muse you learn how to develop tools that will help you and your team achieve focus and clarity in your work. And even better, through Muse you learn how to structure your story to create maximum engagement and impact.

Again, the Academy of Storytellers is very different.

Story & Heart’s Academy of Storytellers is an online resource for filmmakers that focuses on all aspects of improving your craft (including the business parts of filmmaking). These are a series of tutorials, courses, and webinars wholly devoted to every conceivable filmmaking how-to (and corresponding why)—from interviewing, to drone filmmaking, to budgeting for profitable projects.

The Academy of Storytellers is all encompassing for a filmmaker in that it addresses gear, theory, and business. And it’s appropriate for beginning to advanced filmmakers.

And it’s taught by filmmakers from all over the country (and soon world) from all different industries (wedding, documentary, commercial, and more).

And now the Academy is offering a special deal for folks who want to take their craft to the next level.

If you dug the tutorial above, know that the Academy hosts another 120 tutorials that are just as helpful in their vault—and they’re adding more tutorials every week. And you get access to those videos, the online community, and the webinars as soon as you sign up.

From now until November 13th at 9PM PST, register for the Academy of Storytellers with promo code “awesomesauce” and save $80 off the annual Academy membership fee (bringing the total down to $299 for a year of filmmaking education).

As a bonus, you’ll also receive a promo code for 25% off a new Vimeo PRO subscription. (!!!)

It’s a pretty cool opportunity to join the Academy if you haven’t already.

Again, head here and use the promo code “awesomesauce” to get in on the deal for the Academy of Storytellers before November 13th!


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  • Rish says:

    Great tutorial and insights about using the frame to tell the story. We at did something similar in one of our wedding films. Would love to get your feedback on it:

  • Excellent guidance for a film/video creation neophyte like me! Please consider offering a two track course with one of them directly aimed at shortshots (TM ) 7 minutes or less promo stories.

  • Allina Flores says:

    Very informative! I gained a great deal of knowledge from your advice within your posts. I really appreciate you all taking the time to do these videos and upkeep on your helpful postings to assist other independent filmmakers and even those who aspire to be filmmakers. One thing I enjoyed about this particular post was the detailed advice you provided about filming specifically. There are many blogs that I find where there will be basic framing techniques and what kind of framing there is when shooting. However, what made yours different is your explanation in how to carry out these techniques as well as how to use them with in your actual story telling. The whole point in using strategies for shooting is so that you can portray the story appropriately. This was very insightful to me. I enjoyed how this post gives reason for certain shots being as they are for a particular purpose of how to bring out a specific scene to an audience. It can be difficult to figure out. But the way you put things into perspective with Hitchcock’s strategies with selecting the correct shot for what you are trying to say at hand. Details are so important but from this video I’ve learned that you can’t just simply place tight shots for the heck of it. Detailed shots need to be important to the story or else it is irrelevant and is a pointless shot. It is enlightening to know that everything in the film matters for the outcome of the entire story and there is a purpose for all scenes no matter how long or short. Thanks!

  • Currently producing a weekly video series on local artists and business owners. I always try and get a wide, medium and tight shot for every the subject does. I will definitely adopt and use these rules thanks!!

    To produce this series every week I had to develop structure for every phase. These videos helped a lot with that!

    Link to videos if anyone is interested.

  • Tom Bradley says:

    No video. Just a black box where it should be. Is it no longer available?

  • Amazing article I am professional photographers from India, and I like the way of your writing.thanks for sharing this information piece of content with us. keep writing