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Watch: Tony Zhou on Drive and “The Quadrant System”

This quick Tony Zhou video starts by breaking down a shot from Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive in which Carey Milligan and Ryan Gosling walk to their respective doors in a hallway, pointing out how the left and right sides give us two separate stories in one composition. Then Zhou moves on, repeatedly slicing the film’s frames in half vertically and horizontally. A model of textbook visual analysis, Zhou gets to the essence of what thoughtful shot composition looks like. Heed Zhou’s wise parting words: “You don’t need Steadicams or cranes or drones, or the latest 4K whatever. You need top, bottom, left, right, and the good sense for how to put them all together.”

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