In this video, Steven Spielberg tells the story of the time he met Director, John Ford (filmmakers Jon Favreau and Ron Howard also in frame).
He was 15, in the studio through a family connection, and after Ford arrived, he was hastily ushered into his offic. John Ford said:
"So, they tell me you want to be a picture maker…"
How is this story relevant to presentations?
When selecting images and ever-increasingly, videos for presentation, we make choices. These choices mostly involve decisions on content, but in presentations and storytelling you say and show your point of view.
Placing the horizon in a picture is all about point of view.
"What do you know about art?"
When you look at a picture, you make judgements. In "The Gleaners", Millet shows the pain and struggle of backbreaking work. The women in the picture are almost literally being pushed down by the sky.
The character in Frederic Remington's "The Bronco Buster" has a very different relationship to the horizon. We, as viewers look up to him, he is fully in charge of this moment. On his horse, he is heroic.
So, the question of where the horizon is in the picture is key. For presentations, art, storytelling – communication – to be interesting, you need a point of view.
Here is some of John Ford's finest work – Watch the horizon: