• Cinematography is the act of capturing photographic images in space through the
use of a number of controllable elements. These include the quality of the film
stock, the manipulation of the camera lens, framing, scale and movement.
• Cinematography is a function of the relationship between the camera lens and a
light source, the focal length of the lens, the camera’s position and its capacity for
• Deep focus, which requires a small aperture and lots of light, means that the
foreground, middle ground and background of the frame remain in focus.
• In the image from ‘The Woman in Black’ the deep focus allows you to view all of the
toys etc within the child's room in detail creating more suspense for the audience. It
also implies how big the room is .
• Shallow focus is a function of a narrow depth of field and it implies that only one
plane of the frame will remain sharp and clear (usually the foreground). In
contemporary cinema, shallow focus is often combined with deep space for artistic
purposes or to demonstrate subjectivity. It is typically a feature of the close-up.
• The use of this is supernatural can focus upon a characters facial expression for
example whilst in a haunted house to emphasise there emotions.
• Filmmakers can change the focus of the lens to a subject in the background from the
foreground or vice versa. This can be used to shift the audience’s attention or to
point out a significant relationship between the two subjects.
• The of this in supernatural can create a tense atmosphere. For example if the focus
is on a person in an isolated room and the shift of focus moves onto a moving object
such as a toy in the background it will provide tension.
• The zoom shot occurs when a filmmaker changes the focal length of the lens in the
middle of a shot. We appear to get closer or further away from the subject when this
technique is used.
• When Arthur turns around in ‘The Woman in Black’ the shot zooms out to
emphasise the tension and suspense from the bang he has heard from upstairs when
he is in the mansion alone.
• The standard rate for a film is 24 frames per second. If more frames are added to
this second the film will seem to slow down. The film will speed up if there are less
than 24 frames per second.
• The use of this in supernatural horror is effective as the slower the rate in the film
the more suspension and horror it implies and gives the audience a scare.
ANGLE OF FRAMING
• When filming from below or above the subject of the frame, it is known as a low or
high angle. Filming from different angles is a way to show the relationship between
the camera’s point of view and the subject of the frame.
• The use of this in not only a supernatural horror but any genre can show the
dominance of one character in contrast to another, so the antagonist in the image is
emphasised to have more power.
LEVEL OF FRAMING
• This refers to the height at which the camera is positioned in a given shot. Different
camera heights are often used to display or exaggerate differences in points of view.
• Canted framing is where the camera is not level but tilted. It is used in action films
and other films with lots of movement. It may suggest danger or disorder.
POINT OF VIEW SHOT
• A point of view shot places the camera where the viewer would imagine a characters
gaze to be. This is a technique of continuity editing, because it allows us to see what
the character sees without being obtrusive.
EXTREME LONG SHOT
• An extreme long shot is when the scale of what is being seen is tiny. It was most
likely shot from a crane or a helicopter. This can also be an establishing shot within
• A close-up is when what is being viewed is quite large and takes up the entire
screen, such as a person’s head.
• The use of this in supernatural horror can be a sudden close up of the antagonist
which will no doubt create a jump scare within the audience.
• A pan shot is a camera movement which follows the action, or reveals previously
unframed space, as it moves horizontally. Pans occur in varying speeds for dramatic
purposes. Although the most basic concept of a panning shot adheres to the
movement below, a pan can also incorporate zooms, tracking of action shots and/or
movement of the camera base itself.
• A tracking shot follows action through space in a variety of directions. As the action,
or character, moves along the screen the tracking shot enables the audience to feel
as if they are moving with the action through space. This sensation is achieved by
mounting the camera on a track, dolly, or moving vehicle to smoothly follow the
action along a choreographed course.