Cinematography

Fibonacci, The Golden Ratio, Video & Film

Fibonacci, The Golden Ratio, Video & Film 956 396 Ryan Northcott

Influences in the way we shoot our productions range from directors we like, movies we cherish, and math. Math? Yes, math.

If you’re not familiar with Leonardo Fibonacci, he was an Italian mathematician born in the 12th century. He is known to have discovered the “Fibonacci numbers,” which are a sequence of numbers where each successive number is the sum of the two previous numbers.

e.g. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 21+34=55 etc.

There is a special relationship between the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence, here is a surprise: if you take any two successive (one after the other) Fibonacci Numbers, their ratio is very close to the Golden Ratio:

1.61803398875…and so on.

So how on earth does this relate to what we at MEDIAPOP do for our clients? First let’s begin with how that Golden Ratio and Fibonacci numbers can be visualized.

The Fibonacci Spiral:

The Fibonacci Spiral is evident in art, nature, and architecture to name a few –

The Rule of Thirds:

With those ratios visualized we can now start to see how that can be applied to video and film, and subconsciously it makes for a more visually appealing frame when you’re watching. Ali Shirazi put together a wonderful video about the mathematical cinematography in one of my favourite movies, “There Will Be Blood” Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

Just as important as the robust content we aim for when shooting for our clients, is the visual beauty of any given frame. Using the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci sequence we can mathematically calculate the beauty of a frame.