Acclaimed director Catherine Hardwicke explains how to craft a compelling fight scene. To illustrate, she breaks down an action scene that appears in her film TWILIGHT, and then explains how she employed every filmmaking element at her disposal – shot size, framing, sound design, camera angles, and more – to create an emotionally resonant action scene. 

This video was produced in partnership with StudioBinder - Production management software for creatives and filmmakers. 

Key insights:

  • Frame scenes unconventionally to engage viewers
  • Dutch angles can be used to convey a sense of disorientation
  • Use a close up to help put viewer in the emotional state of a character
  • Talk through the lens and allow camera action to convey character’s state
  • Build the stakes by creating multiple conflicts in one scene
  • Build a sequence organically for a natural build up that brings the audience along
  • Utilize spatial depth to add layers to your shot
  • Incorporate music to add depth to a scene

Catherine Hardwicke's first film as a director was the critically-acclaimed THIRTEEN, which won the Director's Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and awards at numerous international film festivals. She has since become best known as the director of TWILIGHT, which launched the worldwide blockbuster franchise, THE TWILIGHT SAGA. Hardwicke previously worked as a Production Designer on films directed by Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Cameron Crowe, and Lisa Cholodenko. Recently Hardwicke has directed television episodes for AMC and pilots for CBS, MTV and USA, all of which went to series. more...

Join the Discussion