Cheating – The Six C of Cinematography

By Rahul Nair
In Cinematography
May 28th, 2013

Joseph V. Mascelli is the author of “The Five C’s of Cinematography”. He prescribed some of the rules, recommendations and definitions of shooting methods. The such concepts have been gradually developed through the years in motion pictures. They can be applied for feature films as well as in documentary making.

The Five C’s of Cinematography are :

  1. Camera Angles
  2. Continuity
  3. Cutting
  4. Close-Ups
  5. Composition

The sixth C’s is Cheating.

five c's of cinematography

Camera Angles: The camera angle is the point of view of camera, people or objects. Every angle has its own meaning so it is very important to know which angle and from where it suits best for the story or plot.

Continuity: A film should have continues meaning of pictures to show the feeling and emotion in it. It can be achieved with a shooting script and a story board. Every action in the film should be pre-planned before shooting for editing. A final product requires a series of scenes and sequence to portray an action completely.

Cutting: Cutting or Editing is the post production stage of film-making where the director and editor decide on the footage’s shot. It is the editor who arranges the videos into shots, scenes and sequences. It is he who gives the final continuity to the film where unwanted shots or scenes are removed; which are made during the shooting.

Close-Ups: Close Ups are used in films to portray an action or emotion of characters in the story. It focuses more on the actor rather than the background. Close-Ups help the audience to interact more with the characters visually as they seem to be so near to them.

Composition: Every good composition should have three basic elements in it. They are the Foreground, Midground and Background. These three elements in a frame can be used to divide a shot for its scenic beauty. It is the Cinematographer who decides which elements to be used or not. Every shot in a film has its meaning whether it’s static or moving.

Cheating: Cheating is the sixth C of Cinematography; which cannot be learned from any book or article. It is the art of arranging people, objects or actions, during filming or editing. Only experience can teach a cinematographer or editor to cheat, it is he who decides what, when and where to cheat.

These are some of the basic rules and definitions that are used in film-making. It is however important to know the rules, to break the rules. These are some set norms that are being used in the film industry but are even broken when needed!


Rahul Nair loves everything about Cinema, Photography, Cinematography and likes Journalism.

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