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When shooting a film or video production, actors need to know where to look. Consistent eyelines affect continuity in editing, so it is important to consider eyelines in every shot.

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What Is an Eyeline in Film?

Eyelines are where actors look while acting in a scene. They help the audience understand what the character is looking at. Often, when an actor appears to be talking directly to another character, their eye line is directed at the camera, not at the other actor. Maintaining the right eyeline is an essential part of film acting technique—learn more about film acting here.

What Is Eyeline Match?

Eyeline match is a film editing technique to indicate to the audience what a character is seeing. Eyeline match allows the audience to believe that they’re looking at something through the eyes of the character. For example, you might see a character looks at someone or something outside of the frame. In the next shot, you’ll see exactly what the character sees, from the same angle they appear to see it.

Eyeline match also refers to an editing technique that ensures continuity of the characters’ gazes. It gives the illusion that the two characters are looking at each other. In a scene with multiple shots of different characters interacting, it must be clear who is looking at whom. This is achieved through having the actor focus on a mark—usually a pink X next to the camera lens— when shooting close ups. Characters are shown talking to one another in a wide shot, and then in the close up they look at the camera from the same angle that they previously looked at the other character, and the shots are intercut in post production.

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