Mad Max Fury Road center framing: Vashi Nedomansky and John Seale on why the movie is so easy to follow (VIDEO).

Mad Max: Fury Road’s Action Scenes Are Super Easy to Follow. Here’s Why.

Mad Max: Fury Road’s Action Scenes Are Super Easy to Follow. Here’s Why.

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Slate's Culture Blog
June 1 2015 10:15 PM

Center Framing Is What Makes Mad Max: Fury Road Such an Enjoyable Action Movie

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Most action movies made in the last decade adhere to the “chaos cinema” approach, which posits that the most compelling way to stage a scene is to discard continuity and submit the viewer to a barrage of quick, shaky cuts.

Thankfully, Mad Max: Fury Road was not made in that mode. Editor Margaret Sixel had to whittle 480 hours of footage down to 120 minutes of high-speed action, but her final cut is refreshingly coherent, with each shot flowing smoothly into the next. As Vashi Nedomansky’s latest video illustrates, that’s partly due to director George Miller’s fastidious use of center framing, which allowed Sixel to edit at breakneck pace with full confidence that the audience could follow the action. Miller is nowhere near the first to use this technique, but he was especially uncompromising about it during shooting, and for good reason: Two-hour chase scenes through a post-apocalyptic desert are much easier to watch when your eye never has to shift around the screen.

Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter