The BEST Episodes of Every Frame a Painting

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2021

Network: YouTube

An online series of video essays about film form.

Mother (2009) - Telephoto Profile Shots

#1 - Mother (2009) - Telephoto Profile Shots

Season 2014 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 16, 2014

A brief analysis of one aspect of Bong Joon-ho's great film Mother (2009). WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS. For educational purposes only.

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The Imposter (2012) - Looking into the Lens

#2 - The Imposter (2012) - Looking into the Lens

Season 2014 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 25, 2014

A brief analysis of Bart Layton's The Imposter (2012). WARNING: SPOILS EVERY GODDAMN THING.

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The Spielberg Oner - One Scene, One Shot

#3 - The Spielberg Oner - One Scene, One Shot

Season 2014 - Episode 3 - Aired May 6, 2014

One overlooked aspect of Spielberg is that he's actually a stealth master of the long take. From Duel to Tintin, for forty years, he has sneakily filmed many scenes in a single continuous shot.

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Wolf Children (2012) - The Lateral Tracking Shot

#4 - Wolf Children (2012) - The Lateral Tracking Shot

Season 2014 - Episode 4 - Aired May 16, 2014

Looking for a unique lateral tracking shot? Consider this example from Mamoru Hosoda's excellent film Wolf Children (2012). NO SPOILERS.

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Edgar Wright - How to Do Visual Comedy

#5 - Edgar Wright - How to Do Visual Comedy

Season 2014 - Episode 5 - Aired May 26, 2014

If you love visual comedy, you gotta love Edgar Wright, one of the few filmmakers who is consistently finding humor through framing, camera movement, editing, goofy sound effects and music. This is an analysis and appreciation of one of our finest comedic voices.

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Martin Scorsese - The Art of Silence

#6 - Martin Scorsese - The Art of Silence

Season 2014 - Episode 6 - Aired Jun 14, 2014

Even though Martin Scorsese is famous for his use of music, one of his best traits is his deliberate and powerful use of silence. Take a glimpse at fifty years of this simple technique from one of cinema's masters. SPOILERS for Shutter Island (2010), Superman (1978) and Man of Steel (2013)

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Michael Bay - What is Bayhem?

#7 - Michael Bay - What is Bayhem?

Season 2014 - Episode 7 - Aired Jul 3, 2014

There are filmmakers we love and then there's Michael Bay. Even if you dislike him (as I do), Bay has something valuable to teach us about visual perception. This is an exploration of "Bayhem" — his style of camera movement, composition and editing that creates something overblown, dynamic and distinct.

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Satoshi Kon - Editing Space & Time

#8 - Satoshi Kon - Editing Space & Time

Season 2014 - Episode 8 - Aired Jul 24, 2014

Four years after his passing, we still haven't quite caught up to Satoshi Kon, one of the great visionaries of modern film. In just four features and one TV series, he developed a unique style of editing that distorted and warped space and time. Join me in honoring the greatest Japanese animator not named Miyazaki.

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A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film

#9 - A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film

Season 2014 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 15, 2014

Is there a better way of showing a text message in a film? How about the internet? Even though we’re well into the digital age, film is still ineffective at depicting the world we live in. Maybe the solution lies not in content, but in form.

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Robin Williams - In Motion

#10 - Robin Williams - In Motion

Season 2014 - Episode 10 - Aired Sep 9, 2014

Robin Williams was a genius, but he was also a dedicated craftsman who explored how an actor could express character through movement. Join me in honoring this tiny facet of his work.

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David Fincher - And the Other Way is Wrong

#11 - David Fincher - And the Other Way is Wrong

Season 2014 - Episode 11 - Aired Oct 1, 2014

For sheer directorial craft, there are few people working today who can match David Fincher. And yet he describes his own process as “not what I do, but what I don’t do.” Join me today in answering the question: What does David Fincher not do?

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The Silence of the Lambs - Who Wins the Scene?

#12 - The Silence of the Lambs - Who Wins the Scene?

Season 2014 - Episode 12 - Aired Oct 14, 2014

In drama, two characters walk into a room. Each wants something from the other. The question of the scene is: who gets what they want?

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Snowpiercer - Left or Right

#13 - Snowpiercer - Left or Right

Season 2014 - Episode 13 - Aired Oct 28, 2014

Characters make choices which they cannot take back. The question is: how do you show it visually? Here’s one solution from Snowpiercer. Warning: SPOILS ENTIRE FILM.

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Jackie Chan - How to Do Action Comedy

#14 - Jackie Chan - How to Do Action Comedy

Season 2014 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 2, 2014

Some filmmakers can do action. Others can do comedy. But for 40 years, the master of combining them has been Jackie Chan. Let’s see how he does it. The 9 Principles of Action Comedy 1. Start with a DISADVANTAGE 2. Use the ENVIRONMENT 3. Be CLEAR in your shots 4. Action & Reaction in the SAME frame 5. Do as many TAKES as necessary 6. Let the audience feel the RHYTHM 7. In editing, TWO good hits = ONE great hit 8. PAIN is humanizing 9. Earn your FINISH

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The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - The Geometry of a Scene

#15 - The Bad Sleep Well (1960) - The Geometry of a Scene

Season 2015 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 28, 2015

One of Akira Kurosawa’s many gifts was staging scenes in ways that were bold, simple and visual. I’m working on a longer essay about him and this piece didn’t make the cut, so I’m releasing it as a short standalone video.

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Drive (2011) - The Quadrant System

#16 - Drive (2011) - The Quadrant System

Season 2015 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 30, 2015

One of the many pleasures of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” (2011) is that the shots feel both tightly composed and weirdly unpredictable. Even though most of the images follow a simple quadrant system, Refn puts plenty of subtle touches within the frame.

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Akira Kurosawa - Composing Movement

#17 - Akira Kurosawa - Composing Movement

Season 2015 - Episode 3 - Aired Mar 19, 2015

Can movement tell a story? Sure, if you’re as gifted as Akira Kurosawa. More than any other filmmaker, he had an innate understanding of movement and how to capture it onscreen. Join me today in studying the master, possibly the greatest composer of motion in film history.

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F For Fake (1973) - How to Structure a Video Essay

#18 - F For Fake (1973) - How to Structure a Video Essay

Season 2015 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 31, 2015

If you want to make video essays, there’s no better film to study than Orson Welles’ 1973 masterpiece, F for Fake. There are a million lessons to take away from it, but today, let’s see what it has to teach us about structure. NO SPOILERS.

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Lynn Ramsay - The Poetry of Details

#19 - Lynn Ramsay - The Poetry of Details

Season 2015 - Episode 5 - Aired May 7, 2015

What can one detail tell us about a scene? If you’re Lynne Ramsay: absolutely everything. Today I consider the poetic possibilities of cinema and one of our finest contemporary filmmakers.

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In Praise of Chairs

#20 - In Praise of Chairs

Season 2015 - Episode 6 - Aired May 29, 2015

One of the great things about detailed production design is that it pays off in unexpected ways. So today I explore the weird possibilities of that most common of objects: the chair.

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Chuck Jones - The Evolution of an Artist

#21 - Chuck Jones - The Evolution of an Artist

Season 2015 - Episode 7 - Aired Jul 16, 2015

If you grew up watching Looney Tunes, then you know Chuck Jones, one of all-time masters of visual comedy. Normally I would talk about his ingenious framing and timing, but not today. Instead, I’d like to explore the evolution of his sensibilities as an artist.

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Vancouver Never Plays Itself

#22 - Vancouver Never Plays Itself

Season 2015 - Episode 8 - Aired Sep 9, 2015

Perhaps no other city has been as thoroughly hidden from modern filmmaking as Vancouver, my hometown. Today, it’s the third biggest film production city in North America, behind Los Angeles and New York. And yet for all the movies and TV shows that are shot there, we hardly ever see the city itself. So today, let’s focus less on the movies and more on the city in the background.

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Buster Keaton - The Art of the Gag

#23 - Buster Keaton - The Art of the Gag

Season 2015 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 21, 2015

Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him. Today, i’d like to talk about the artistry (and the thinking) behind his gags.

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Memories of Murder (2003) - Ensemble Staging

#24 - Memories of Murder (2003) - Ensemble Staging

Season 2015 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 30, 2015

How do you emphasize to the audience that something is important? Well, you could always cut to a close-up, but how about something subtler? Today I consider ensemble staging — a style of filmmaking that directs the audience exactly where to look, without ever seeming to do so at all. NO SPOILERS. Eight Ways to Get the Audience to Look at a Character: 1) Let Them Speak 2) Make Them Brighter or Bring Them Closer 3) Let Them Move (Especially Hands or Eyes) 4) Put Them in the Center of Frame 5) Turn Them Towards the Lens 6) Separate Them from the Group 7) Isolate Them by Moving the Camera 8) Have Other People Look at Them

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Joel & Ethan Coen - Shot | Reverse Shot

#25 - Joel & Ethan Coen - Shot | Reverse Shot

Season 2016 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 25, 2016

How do you film a conversation? Most likely, you’re going to block the actors, set up the camera, and do shot/reverse shot. But where do you put the camera? What lens do you use? And how do you cut back and forth? Today, I consider the Coen brothers — Joel & Ethan — and see how these choices lend a particular feel to their version of shot/reverse shot.

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