Part 2: Cinematography and Composition Lessons from All the Money in the World (2017) film by Ridley Scott

Continuation of Part 1: Cinematography and Composition Lessons from All the Money in the World (2017) film by Ridley Scott.


Note the epic layers here: the man in the foreground (silhouette in red), then the people dancing in the background (blue), and the leading lines of the set (yellow):

Epic layers/framing

I absolutely love the framing here; it reminds me of ‘Gypsies‘ by Josef Koudelka.

You see the man on the far right creating a triangle composition (giving a drink tot he man), and you have the older man’s head in-between the arm.

Then you have the spacing of the subjects on the left:


The strong scene here, with the drama of the kid in the home of the corrupt police officer. Note the cross in the background, the decoration of the stuff around, and the positioning of the boy (in the far right):

The white diagonal lines demonstrates the ‘golden angle‘.

Minimalist composition:

Boy on the far left, diagonal movement, looking into the lights of the car coming towards him (with the nice reflection of the green-lens flare on his head):

Minimalist composition 2

This time you have this man on the far right of the frame– note all the negative space on the left of the frame:


This scene is very tense: the mom is on the phone with the bandits. I especially love these details:

  • You can see only one eye of the mom
  • You can see the interesting geometry of the recording device in the background (lime green)
  • The intensity of the way she’s holding the phone with her left hand, and the nice detail of her wedding ring (interesting symbolism, because she divorced her husband earlier in the film):

How to study cinema

I’ve been using the iPad Pro 10.5 for a lot of my creative work, making traces using the ProCreate app.

What I do when studying cinema is this:

  1. Watch the film on my laptop (VLC)
  2. Pause (spacebar) when I see an interesting composition, and take a full-screen screenshot (Shift+Command+3)
  3. Import the photos (from my desktop) into Lightroom
  4. In Lightroom, pick the scenes I like (hotkey “P”), then export into JPEG
  5. With JPEG files, transfer to iPad using AirDrop, then using the ProCreate app to trace the photos/compositions I like. Option 2: Use Photoshop to trace/analyze the compositions.

Contact sheets

Another tip: See the compositions as small thumbnails, to better understand the compositions:

Tip: Study composition as small thumbnails

Take screenshots on the iPad (home button+power button at the same time), and then you can import the photos into ProCreate, then trace the compositions you like:

Moral lessons from ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

The reason I loved this film:

  1. There is a scene when GETTY is asked, ‘How much more money do you need? You’re the richest man in the world! How much more money do you need to feel secure?’ Getty smiles and then says, “More.” (The morale is that no matter how rich we are, we will never feel ‘secure’).
  2. Strong heroine (mother figure) // reminds me of my umma.
  3. Phenomenal cinematography. Will inspire your photography greatly.

Cinema and Cinematography Composition Lessons

Cinematography and life lessons: