Plenty of people don’t love math. But math is one important reason people love certain characters in movies. The geometry of cinematography is something filmmakers carefully consider in order to manipulate viewers’ emotions. Yes, the secret weapon of movies is math! Put simply: friendly characters are round and soft, while evil characters are sharp and hard. Think about Mickey Mouse versus Darth Vader. There you have it.
But the geometry in movies goes beyond characters’ development. Cinematographers will frame characters in cell-like rectangles (think windshields and window frames) to indicate that they are trapped in their current situations. A circular focus within the frame gives the impression that you’re spying on something. Shapes inside the frame of a screen help indirectly alert the viewer to what is going on, how you should feel about it, and how you should interpret an on-screen scenario. Pay attention during your next trip to the movies, and find out what else to look out for in the videos below.