Shot Deconstruction – Seven

Our Project


wind_up_girl_by_raphael_lacoste.jpgLooking into making a shot for CGI the idea of composition comes into play, Blender Guru mentions that shot deconstruction is one of the most important things you can look into when creating a scene. A well-organized shot can be the make or break point in composing visually appealing art. Our project is centered on creating a sequence based on Paolo Bacigalupi’s book “The Windup Girl”. For inspiration, I decided to look into the inner working of David Fincher’s “Seven” to learn the techniques he uses to composite his movies to captivate his audience in the bitter, dark and ominous worlds. Before going more in-depth we need to know the inner workings of what makes a good composition.

Rules of Composition


Focal point – When constructing a scene you need to add a focal point. This is a character or object that stands out in a shot composition. This both draws the viewers attention and over all makes you scene seem that much more interesting. You can include this into your scene through Natural Focal Elements such as High Contrast, Saturation, Camera Focus, Motion, and Faces or Figures. More ways that you can draw the viewers attention in through Focal Element Influencers which include Guiding Lines, Framing, and Geometry.


example of framing 

Structure – Another way to make a well-composed shot is through the use of the structure. Rule of thirds automatically structures things however sometimes that isn’t enough, you need to align things to look organized. Blender Guru does this be representing these clumps of chairs in a scene, the first image is rather displeasing, however, the second image is much more of a satisfying composition. Simple ways to achieve this is through the structures like Rule of Thirds, Golden Ratio, Pyramid, Symmetry and Full Frame.

Chaos.PNGOrder Chair.PNG
Blender Guru – Structure Examples

Balance Finally, you can include Balance into your composition, this is the process of trying to make it feel as though there is an equal amount of substance distributed across the scene. Techniques that you can use to incorporate this is Size, High Contrast, Saturation, Faces, Figures.  Below is yet another image shamelessly stolen from Blender Guru showing a balanced composition. The Bright Crystal at the bottom left third is extremely bright and stands out, however in order to balance the a character has been placed on the top right.


Blender Guru – Balancing

The Box


The scene I chose for my shot deconstruction is known through out the viewers as “The Box” This scene is the main inspiration for my world builders, Specifically, It’s  gorgeous lead up to the climactic ending. The first thing that comes into play in this scene is the overall mood to it, this is the climax of the movie and because so it is that brightest. Every other day besides today has been shown as rainy and dimly lit. The remote power lines serve many distinctive purposes. The scene seems to balance itself out nicely. On the left half, the power lines are slightly closer therefor appearing bigger, on the right is our object of focus. This is is a good indication that Fincher thought about Weighting when creating the shot. This composition also has an indication of using Lines pointed out in the images below. Finally, the Power poles also help to Frame the shot nicely.

Shot 1.PNGshot-1.2.png

Bonus round – The Powerlines have been arranged to look a lot like they have the number 7 embedded in them

The next series of shots convey a string of messages hidden into the composition of the shot. Using the rule of thirds we can determinant that Mills is in charge as shown in the top right corner in our rule of thirds where as “John Doe” is blurred out in the low corner. This is to show that he is being ignored and cast out of Mills conscience. This is a very sudden yet key moment, for this is the exact moment where the killer turns the table on our detectives. As put of (in text citation) “This is the last time “John” will be ignored”

shot 12.PNGshot 12 lines.png

A van comes onto the stage and Somerset drives up to meet him. There in the van is the iconic “box” addressed to Mills. Somerset makes the hard decision to open it without any backup. There he finds the severed head of Mills wife. He looks on to Mills and now the composition is reversed. The horizon line is flipped from high to low. Mills is now very small in the grand scale of things, he has now become helpless to John Does scheme. This closes up also looks to display more emotion of the character.

shot 1.PNGshot 1 lines.png

“What ever you do now stay away, John Doe has the upper hand now” After Soumeset stutters this chilling phrase our killer rises up. The camera is positioned in a low angle shot giving the killer a look of power and intimidation. The sun halos showing that he is reaching his “divine” intentions.  This composition is a solid example of Contrast. He as a person is a slightly darker where as the background is slightly lightershot w.PNG

World Builders

David Ficher is very good at communicating something visually. He is often thought to have drawn inspiration from classical television films which were renown for communicating to the viewers without any real sound. I really hope to bring some of his techniques into my own composition. One thing that wasn’t as noticeable in “Seven” is David Fincher’s technique of camera movement. He has a tendency to make a camera look as though it’s piloted by something “beyond human”, meaning the camera will often pass through places that someone can’t easily traverse. This is very easy to set up in 3D but I feel like it will add a lot to my composition. Making apartment complexes will also help bring in some of the suggestive lines in which is something I was very inspired by when looking at the high tension power poles.



E. (Ed.). (2014, October 01). David Fincher – And the Other Way is Wrong. Retrieved from

C. (2015, September 09). Se7en’s “Box Scene” – Art of the Scene. Retrieved from

(n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2017, from

003 Composition. (2014, July 15). Retrieved August 24, 2017, from

Carroll, B. O. (2017, June 11). Guide to Composition in Photography – 20 Tips. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from

Composition. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2017, from

Staff, C. B. (2015, March 18). 12 pro tips to improve your artistic composition. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from

A. (2014, October 15). Understanding Composition. Retrieved August 24, 2017, from



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