An Introduction to Shot Typesand Camera MovementCreative Media Production
Close Ups(Extreme to Medium) Close ups connote that the audience is next to the character. It suggest intimacy and emotional closeness. Close ups are normally used in dramatic scenes.
Close Ups There are three main types of close up.Extreme Close Up Close Up (CU) Medium Close Up (ECU) (MCU)
Mid Shot A mid shot is an approximation to how you would normally see someone while talking to them. You are not too close, or too far. You can see the character in some detail, it is useful for when a character is giving information, but not for expressing an emotion. Medium Shot Medium Long Shot
Long Shot(Extra to Wide) Characters are now further back from the camera. This connotes that environment they are in is as important as the characters themselves. Just like close ups, there are extreme versions of long shots i.e. The extreme long shot. This can also be called a wide shot.
Two Shot A two shot simply has two characters that are present on screen. The characters could be facing each other or be side by side. The camera cannot be too far away otherwise it will become a long shot.
Over the shoulder Shot This is self explanatory. The camera takes place over the shoulder of a character, usually talking to another character. This allows you to see things from the subjects point of view without going into a POV shot. This could also be called a third person perspective.
High Angle/ Low Angle A high angle shot makes A low angle shot makes the audience feel as if the audience look up at they are towering above someone. a character. This can connote a sense This can connote the of intimidation or character is vulnerable, symbolise the power of a isolated or powerless. character.
Eye LevelThe camera is positionedas though it is a humanactually observing asceneActors heads are on alevel with the focus
POV Shot POV stands for point of view shot. This is where the audience sees events from the characters’ perspective. This could also be called the first person perspective.
Establishing Shot This is a shot of an exterior location, that precedes a scene that takes place inside of the it. It usually does not last any longer than a few seconds. Establishing shots are well used conventions in soap operas and TV dramas.
Master Shot A master shot is generally a long shot that covers all of the actors in a scene at once. Master shots are useful for group scenes. They include everyone. All of the action is seen through this one camera, the editor can always fall back on the master shot if there is no other angle to take.
Aerial Shot Aerial shots are taken using cranes, helicopters or planes. They provide a good long shot of the surroundings of the area.
Camera Movement Just as important as the camera shots, is the way that the camera moves in a media text. By moving the camera draws the audiences’ attention to whatever the producers want the audience to look at. Camera movement can draw attention to, reveal and lead the audience. So understanding what each movement is called is vital to conducting a good textual analysis.
Tilting A camera tilt moves the camera from vertically up or down. It could create a high or low angle shot. Tilt shots can heighten an audiences’ suspense as they are not sure what the shot will reveal.
Panning A camera pan is a horizontal movement left or right. It can follow a character walking in a particular direction, or move away from a character standing still. It can reveal parts of the scenery not seen previously.
Zoom/ Reverse Zoom A zoom is when the camera stays fixed in position but zooms in on a object, location or character. Zooming from a mid shot to a close up could mean that the scene is changing to a more emotional tone or to reveal a character’s reaction. A reverse zoom (zoom out) moves the shot from a close up to a mid or long shot. Showing that the surroundings are becoming more a focus in the story.
Tracking Shot Tracking is when a camera shot is placed on a track and is moved to keep up with the movement of a character. The camera is mounted on a “Dolly”, a cart on a track, which is then pushed or pulled. A camera can track a subject moving towards, away from, moving left or moving right. Tracking shots can curve and change direction, the camera is just always moving in a smooth motion. Make sure you can understand the difference between a track shot and a pan or a tilt. (If the camera was a person, it would be walking in a direction not just moving it’s head).