Media Studies 2.1 Shot Types and Positions In this lesson we will be learning about the different types of shots and the reasons they are used. It is important that you know what the effect of a shot is, as this tells you why it was chosen by the director.
The Distance Shots <ul><li>These shots are about showing the distance between the camera and the subject, but are used for different purposes. In general, the mid-shots and close ups are used to convey character-driven scenes while long and wide shots are used to show more about the action and themes. </li></ul>
The mid shot <ul><li>The most common shot is the medium, or mid shot. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a middle distance shot, which gives background information while still focusing on the subject. If of a person, it is usually a shot of the waist to the top of the head. </li></ul>
The Long Shot <ul><li>This shot is from a distance and often used as an establishing shot to set the scene in a film. If of a person, will be of the whole body. </li></ul>This long shot establishes Maximus as a powerful man, as it shows him on a horse inspecting, or judging his troops.
Close Up <ul><li>This shot shows the subject up close. It focuses on the detail of an object or expression/reaction of a person. It shows either head or head and shoulders. </li></ul>
Close Up’s effect <ul><li>The close up is used to imply intimacy between the characters or between the character and the audience. It is used to reveal the character’s thoughts and feelings . </li></ul><ul><li>Close-ups get closer as more intimacy or the ‘truth’ about a character is revealed. </li></ul>
ECU Extreme Close Up <ul><li>Frames a small part of the body or object. </li></ul><ul><li>Makes the audience focus on one thing and emphasises its significance. </li></ul><ul><li>It can make a small object seem larger and more significant. </li></ul>
Wide Shot <ul><li>Usually shot with a wide angle lens. This includes a lot of visual information for the audience to ‘set the scene’. </li></ul>This shot sets the scene of Gladiator as the New Emperor moves up the steps. The crowds to the sides show the importance of this occaision and the colusseum and state buildings in the background are the scene for the power stuggle later in the film.
The Movement Shots <ul><li>The camera usually moves. There are different types of movement: </li></ul>The camera can be static, which means it does not move. These are usually of short duration and can be highly effective.
Zoom Shots <ul><li>The camera stays static but appears to move either closer or further from the object. </li></ul><ul><li>This shot is used to many different effects and can be very obvious or very subtle. </li></ul>
Pan Shot <ul><li>A Pan shot moves horizontally from a still camera, like standing still and turning your head from side to side. </li></ul>
Tilt Shot <ul><li>The camera moves vertically. It usually moves only in one direction- either tilt up or tilt down. </li></ul><ul><li>Tilts are used to move between low and high angles. </li></ul><ul><li>The effect is very common. </li></ul>http://elokuvantaju.uiah.fi/english/study_material/shot/tilttaus.jsp?video=1
Tracking Shot <ul><li>In a tracking shot, the entire camera moves. </li></ul><ul><li>To move smoothly, the entire camera is mounted on a dolly, and these are also known as dolly shots. </li></ul>
The different dolly shots <ul><li>Directors often use a character dolly to focus on one or more characters in a scene. This shot is also commonly known as a push-in. The camera starts out with a full, or even medium shot, and is pushed in forward. You can push the camera all the way up to an extreme close-up if needed. Push-ins add tension to a scene and magnify a character's emotion. Faster motions can be used for a more comic approach. </li></ul><ul><li>The pull-back reveal is used to reveal the full extent of a scene. For example, the camera is focused up close on a lost little boy looking for his mother. As he becomes scared and increasingly worried, the shot pulls back to reveal the boy standing alone in the middle of a large crowd. The viewers gain a sense of the enormity of the boy's situation. </li></ul><ul><li>In an expand dolly shot , the camera follows a character who is moving away. As the camera moves forward, the actor walks away faster than the camera. The viewer feels distanced from the character with a shot like this. You might use an expand dolly to end a scene. Additionally, you can reverse this type of shot to introduce a character to a scene. </li></ul><ul><li>A contract dolly moves the camera forward as a character walks or moves toward the camera at the same time. This type of shot makes a simple action more dramatic by combining two opposite actions. A variation of this could have the character move toward the camera while the camera pans up, revealing the subject. </li></ul>
Crane Shots <ul><li>The camera is mounted on a crane, or mechanical arm that can lift it above the ground. </li></ul><ul><li>Crane shots may not be very high, but have great flexibility for shots. </li></ul><ul><li>They can be used dramatically to simulate flying or swooping through a scene. </li></ul>
Canted Angle Shots <ul><li>Camera is placed on an angle to film the action. It can be used as a POV shot, or to create interesting speed images. </li></ul>
Aerial Shot <ul><li>An aerial shot is taken from a helicopter or plane. </li></ul><ul><li>Aerial shots are used to a give birds-eye view of the action, the sensation of flying or extreme Long-Distance establishing shots. </li></ul>An aerial shot from Superman Returns
Handheld shots <ul><li>The camera is not mounted on a stable surface, but is instead held by a person. </li></ul><ul><li>These are used to produce a bumpy and jerky look, and were made popular after ‘The Blair Witch Project’ </li></ul><ul><li>It is often used to give a sense of reality or as POV shots </li></ul>
Eye Level Angle or Straight on Angle <ul><li>It creates a real life effect. </li></ul><ul><li>The camera is at the same level as the subject. This involves the audience in the action as they are also on the same level as the subject. </li></ul>
High Angle Shots <ul><li>High-angle shots are basically the opposite of low-angles, both figuratively and literally. If you want to create a feeling of weakness with a school nerd being threatened by the bully, draw a subjective shot (camera is part of the action). Draw the nerd from a high angle, with him looking up toward the "camera" (which are the eyes of the bully.) The figure seems intimidated, or inferior to your audience. </li></ul>
Low angle shots <ul><li>If you pay close attention to movies and TV shows, you might know primarily why low-angle shots are used. Of course, not many realize why because the shots work your subconscious. Subjects or objects shot from a low-angle create intimidation. </li></ul>
Shots Described By Their Purpose <ul><li>The following shots can consist of many different types of shots but we describe them by their purpose, as they must include some elements within the frame. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. a reverse angle shot is actually two shots. A OTS (over the shoulder shot) is usually a close-up but does not have to be. </li></ul>
Point of View Shot <ul><li>This is what the character would see, and is a first person or subjective shot. </li></ul><ul><li>It can be any other shot, or combination of shots. </li></ul><ul><li>It puts the audience right into the minds of the character and often moves the way the character’s head moves e.g. the Terminator films use this to show the POV of the machines, including scopes and computer files. </li></ul>
Over the Shoulder Shot <ul><li>This is a technique used to film conversations. </li></ul><ul><li>The camera seems to shoot over the shoulder of one person to film what the person talking to them is saying. </li></ul><ul><li>It is usually used with a reverse angle shot, which shows the other character’s dialogue. </li></ul>
Two shot <ul><li>This is a shot of two people that shows the relationship between them. </li></ul><ul><li>It can be used to show dialogue, with OTS and/or close-ups </li></ul>
The rule of thirds <ul><li>something in the TV and film industry known as the rule of thirds. Taking thirds into account when shooting traditionally provides for shots more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Despite what may come naturally to you, subjects should rarely be placed in the dead-center of your frame. It's boring. Pay close attention. Even news anchors oftentimes tend to be docked to the right or left of the screen with little graphics floating over one of their shoulders. For the rule of thirds, imagine a giant ticktacktoe on your frame. It divides it into three sections horizontally and three sections vertically. The four spots where the lines intersect—called the golden mean —are considered the best place to position subjects and objects of importance. This composition offers a symmetrical shot with a focus on who or what is important. A shot considered aesthetically beautiful would be when the eyes of an individual align with the top horizontal line in the frame. This is true even in a tight shot, even if the top of your subject's head is cut off (audiences don't find this distracting). That's not to say the eyes have to be lined up all the time. It's impossible, especially when trying to set other moods, like the low and high angles described below. The rule of thirds also applies to objects. You'll commonly see three distinct sections in a frame. It may be (horizontally) a horizon, a sea and beach, or it could be (vertically) a building on the left, a gangway in the middle and a person walking on the right. Filmmakers commonly like to set up their shots in thirds, either horizontally or vertically, where there is something distinct in each section. Compositionally, it simply looks more pleasing to the eye. Of course, there are few, if any, "rules of composition" that withstand an ultimate test of time since story context and the audience's expectations are always changing. </li></ul>
Important information about Shots <ul><li>Each Shot is chosen for a reason. </li></ul><ul><li>Each shot has an effect on the audience. </li></ul><ul><li>This effect can be about understanding the characters, the theme or the story. </li></ul><ul><li>The effect can be identified and analysed for its contribution to our understanding of both the scene and the ideas of a film as a whole. </li></ul>