One of my favorite films is the movie 300, based on the graphic comic novel (300) by Frank Miller.
Reading the comic and studying the compositions, I am BLOWN AWAY! I am so inspired. Let me share some thoughts:
First of all, let us study the compositions. Things I noted:
- Off-center compositions (asymmetric compositions).
- Use of negative space.
- No dialogue in some spreads, to heighten drama.
- Great laconic (short and strong) words.
- Great cross-over by Zack Snyder to cross-over the comic book vibes to the film 300.
- Insane amounts of opportunity to innovative with storytelling with comics and graphic novels. For example, one of my favorite panels is when you see the scene “POV” style (point of view) of King Leonidas.
The top view (silhouette) is that of King Leonidas’ helmet. Even notice the small details– the subtle crack in his helmet towards his eye scar.
Film vs Comic
The comic as actually having a more complex composition. Note the silhouette of the character at the very top (which is missing in the film):
THIS IS SPARTA!
One of the most iconic moments from the 300 film vs the comic:
Think the comic is still more epic.
High angle scene– far more epic in the comic (better angle in the comic, and you can see more of the drawing):
More perfect top-down perspective.
My favorite spreads
“His form was perfect”. Love the heavy-left composition (with the shadow composition). I like the guy on the top of the temple in silhouette. Great criss-crossing of the spears (diagonals) Very interesting and epic POV — the horses charging directly ahead. Nice arabesque curved composition going downwards. Love the minimalism here. Great dynamic composition and side-angle. Historically accurate quote. The quotes get you inspired! “Only the hard. Only the strong”. Love this moment — good mirror to the film. Love all the negative space and heavy-left composition. Feel all the curves and arabesque in the composition. Also historically accurate quote. Note how the different panels curve and lead your eyes through the frame. Love the silhouette and high contrast here. Dramatic scene with hands on the shoulders. Love the dramatic shadows here. In photography, it would be -2 exposure-compensation here. POV from King Leonidas’ eyes. Heroic.