What is the Hitchcock Rule?

Kyle Biggs
Nov 27, 2017 · 2 min read
Photograph from freestocks.org

Alfred Hitchcock was famously known for his specific and attentive techniques that he used in his films. While many of his techniques were relatively simple, many of them — such as the Hitchcock rule — have become essential vocabulary in the cinematic language.

What is the Hitchcock rule?

The Hitchcock rule states, “The size of any object in your frame should be proportional to its importance to the story at that moment.” (1) Essentially, subjects of greater importance should be permitted a larger scale while items of little importance should be restricted to smaller sizes.

How does it apply to filmmaking?

This rule comes into play when deciding the composition of shots, and can be applied both on set or while editing. It is a technique used to enhance the story, and thus, should be kept in thought when creating a shot list or filming a scene.

What is one example of when you put a close up of detail in your film? Why did you choose it?

One example of when I put a close up of detail is when I had a shot of the phone of my subject in my film “Blacklisted.” By showing the website that she was viewing on her phone, (crime reports), and then a shot of her pulling out pepper spray, the audience can make the connection that she is afraid of encountering trouble, and for her life.

(1) Lee Watanabe Crockett. “10 Powerful Visual Storytelling Techniques to Remember.” Global Digital Citizen Foundation. 12 Feb. 2017. Web. 19 Oct. 2017.

kylexbiggs | kylebiggsfilms

Kyle Biggs

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17 y/o Filmmaker, student and aspiring music video director from the SF Bay Area. Expect short reads! http://instagram.com/kylexbiggs

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