How Filmmakers Use Geometric Shapes to Tell Stories with Visuals

Geometric Shapes in Films Tell Stories

Pic Credit : halloweenalley.ca

Geometric shapes are filled in films. All legendary filmmakers use geometric shapes one way or their in their films. Its a very interesting subject and I have already wrote a post about the The Geometry Of A Scene which you must read here. But this is a different topic altogether. So lets begin.

Now the first question arises is why the joker picture? Well isn’t he the greatest villain of all times? And that is the reason why I have used his picture. While researching I stumbled upon a You Tube video essay by Now You See It and I just loved it. So first lets watch the video essay.

Isn’t that a great video essay? So what is the first thing we learn from this video essay.

Geometric Shapes in Films Help to Evoke Certain Feelings, Responses and Reactions

Wow so how does that happen? Lets analyse it.

Triangles

Our brain feels threatened by the pointy/sharp objects. Triangle represents a pointy or sharp object and hence our brain process it as a threat. So when we see a film character which as pointy ends or sharp features we get threatened. Filmmakers use this subconscious response to design a character by adding triangles (even to their costumes and props)to make it more scary. When a kid draws a scary drawing he always used downward pointy triangles for teeth and if you notice nobody tells him to do that. That is his brain which tells him downward triangles are scary. The above picture of joker has a triangular jawline.. which represents fear, distrust, and suspicion and everybody loves joker for that.  But there is also a trick. If you use triangle pointing down it becomes scary in the film but if you use triangle pointing upwards it represents stability or success or rise just like mountains. The best example is Logo of Paramount Pictures.

Circles

Ever wondered why you like mickey mouse? Its nothing but 3 circles. Circles represent things that are soft, nonthreatening, natural, and maternal. All the characters which have circles in them are processed by brain as chubby, soft and cute. So most of the lovable super cute characters have circles in them be it mickey mouse, minions, teddy bears or even Forest Gump… I am forced to watch Doremon by my daughter who is a robot from future and has come to help is also a circle.

Squares/Rectangles

Squares are seen as unnatural as very few rectangular things occur in nature. Square represents boring or old-fashioned. Squares and rectangles also represent getting trapped in something. The best example of rectangle in films is the title of the movie Room. In this movie a mother and son are trapped inside a room for many years. The square / rectangle in the title represents they cannot run away from the room.

Pic Credit : http://www.geekinsider.com

I encourage you to see for yourself how geometric shapes are used in all types of cinema to tell more dynamic stories with visuals and please let me know your thoughts in the comment box. I hope you like the post and please share it with your friends also.  Thank you very much for your time.

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