Roger Ebert was a well known film critique who also taught about film. He received advice from a friend that showed him how to look at film in new ways. He implemented watching films for shots that spoke on their own in his classes. All the scenes he thought were worth mentioning made use of intrinsic weight and the rule of thirds. He was quick to point out that just they made use of them did not mean they didn’t break these rules. The rule of thirds being at its most simplest terms anything left, down, dark, shadowy, or seen from the back can have negative connotations while the opposites will hold for positive connotations. Weight and meaning can also be interpreted by colors, lighting, angles of the camera, and points of view.
The next example of how to interpret film was from Hitchcock Loves Bikinis. This was an interview where Alfred Hitchcock explained how showing scene that cut from face, to scene, and back to the face is very useful filming technique. His example is a man, then we see a woman, then we see the mans face again and he smiles; that makes us judge the man as sympathetic and happy. Then he changes one thing. Instead of seeing a woman with a kid we switch for a woman in a bikini; now the man is judged as disgusting and perverted. It is a simple show of expression but it says so much to about a character.
The next technique, and my new personal favorite, that I studied through example was the power of point of view. Specifically from a low point of view. In the clips pulled out from Tarantino films they are all from a lower point of view. This gives more drama to all the fight scenes, like we are almost going to die. It gives the other characters “standing” above more power and strength. It gives bad guys more of an evil aura and good guys more of a god like stance.
These are just the tip of the iceberg in the bags of techniques used in videos. We can also use some of these techniques in a “rule breaking” way. If you feel one way is used too much flip it.