Camera shots, angles and movements


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Camera shots commonly used in movie making and what they are used for, with examples (pictures and gifs) of each given about the explanation, all from some good movies.

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Camera shots, angles and movements

  1. 1. The various Camera shots, movements and angles used in production
  2. 2. Camera Shots
  3. 3. Establishing shot This is a shot usually taken away from the action, such as outside the building that the scene is taking place. It shows the time and place a production is set, and is used at the start of productions to provide the audience with the setting for the production. An iconic example of this would be in Star Wars episodes I, II and III when showing Coruscant to emphasise it’s wealth and order.
  4. 4. Long Shot Usually following the establishing shot, the long shot is a head-to-toe shot of a character that shows their relationship with their surrounding.
  5. 5. Mid Shot The mid shot is taken from the waist up and normally follows a long shot. It allows the audience to become familiar with the character and their importance within the narrative because the audience is now closer to them and can see facial expressions much clearer. This shot from Inception shows this.
  6. 6. Two shot A shot with two characters in the frame, often showing how those two characters act together, providing detail to the production and showing the situation that both characters are in together, as seen in the shot from Uncle Buck. This is a common technique used in chat shows, such as Conan.
  7. 7. Close Up Shows character’s head and shoulders, with little background. This frames the character’s emotions, as seen in this still from Avatar, or shows important symbols/objects such as the close up of Bruce Wayne’s gun in Batman Begins.
  8. 8. Point of View Shot This shot engages the audience with the character’s motives by putting them in the position of the character in question. This makes it easier to relate to the emotions of the character. For instance, in this scene from Inglorious Bastards the audience can feel the fear the character would be experiencing in this position.
  9. 9. Extreme Close Up An extreme close up emphasises a character’s emotions. This is by putting the audience in a position where they are very close to another character, such as a close up on an eye crying. Contact this close is rare, and therefore makes the audience feel uncomfortable and makes the scene intimate.
  10. 10. Camera Angles
  11. 11. Over the Shoulder Shot This enables the audience to view the action and emotion of a shot over the shoulder of characters. Often this will be used during conversations to show the back and forth of the speech. When it switches between characters speaking, this is called a ‘angle- reversed-angle shot’, which is always shot over the same should for both characters.
  12. 12. High Angle Shot The high angle shot is taken from a height, of course, and used to show vulnerability of the character show or when they are defeated. Puss in Boots, from the Shrek movies, is often shown using this angle when the director wishes to show him as vulnerable, gaining the audience’s sympathy.
  13. 13. Low Angle Shot The camera for this shot is positioned below the character it focuses on, giving a sense of power, authority and dominance in the shot. It is used to make the audience feel vulnerable in the presence of the character focused upon. Sometimes it is done to an extreme, evident in this shot from The Dark Knight Rises.
  14. 14. Camera Movements
  15. 15. Tracking/Sideways Tracking Shot The movement of the camera while following a character or an object on screen, often used to show progression within the narrative as seen in this clip from Saving Private Ryan. Tracking in introduces a scene, whereas tracking out shows the scene has come to it’s conclusion.
  16. 16. Tilt Shot Movement of the camera up or down; upwards movement is used to show height or power, and can show a character look upwards at another character when used in conjunction with a point-of-view shot.
  17. 17. Zoom Done by adjusting the focal length of the camera, a zoom can be used to move the audience towards or away from the action, giving similar effects as the tracking shot. It also helps to frame the character in the shot better, because it places focus on them.
  18. 18. Arc Shot In this shot, the camera moves round the action/characters, enabling the audience to see multiple reactions of characters in a scene and allows them to be part of the action as they are almost placed in the scene.
  19. 19. Crane Shot A crane shot follows the action of the shot in a vertical direction, and is done so by attaching a camera to a crane.
  20. 20. Panning Shot A movement where the camera moves from left to right, or vice versa, by turning the camera on a fixed tripod. It is often used to show a character scanning a room in conjunction with a point of view shot, or to follow an object in the frame.