Video Production Camera Angles and Movements
Camera Angles Finding the perfect position for the camera -- the camera angle -- is influenced by how much area needs to be shown and what viewpoint the filmmaker wants the audience to take.
Camera Angles A carefully selected camera angle can heighten dramatic visualization of the story -- a bad one can confuse and distract.
Camera Angles Where is the best place for the camera? How much should be shown or included in the shot?
Camera Angles • Three important components make up a camera angle: • Subject Size • Subject Angle • Camera Height
Camera Angles – Subject Size The subject's size relationship to the over-all picture area. • Long Shot • Medium Shot • Close-up • Over-the-shoulder
Size --The Long Shot A long shot takes the entire area of action. Place, people and objects are shown to acquaint the audience with their over-all appearance.
Size -- Medium Shots It provides an excellent way to record gestures, facial expressions and movement. Actors can be easily followed and enough background is revealed to keep the audience oriented.
Size -- Close-ups Close-ups eliminate all non-essentials and isolate whatever significant incident the filmmaker feels should receive attention.
Size -- Over-the-Shoulder Shot Over-the-shoulder close-ups (or medium shots), are shots as seen from over-the-shoulder of another person in the foreground.
Examples The nose!
Question What are two ways to change the Camera Angle?
Angle -- ¾ Angle A forty five degree angle (known as a three-quarter angle) gives the best sense of depth. It records people with roundness and objects with more surfaces and converging lines. Unless a special effect is required, always strive for a three quarter angle.
Angle -- Front A front angle is a shot where the camera films directly in front of the subject. This creates a very flat image. However, combining a front angle with your subject looking close to the lens creates a feeling of great intimacy.
Angle -- Side A side angle is a shot that is filmed directly from the side, creating a profile. Side angles increase the audience's sense of detachment. Use Side angles sparingly.
Height The adjustment of camera height has a profound effect on the artistic, dramatic and psychological overtones of a motion picture. Think of horror films where the camera is kept low to make the killer/monster appear larger than life and more threatening.
Height – Eye Level An "eye level" camera angle is one taken from the eye-level of the actor or subject (not the camera operator). A eye level camera angle creates a neutral shot. It does not distort emotionally or physically.
Height -- Low A low-angle shot is one where the camera is tilted upward to view the subject. Used to inspire awe, create excitement or drama, increase subject height, drop the horizon or even eliminate a distracting background.
Height -- High A high-angle shot is one where the camera is tilted downward to view the subject. This angle reduces the height of an actor and invokes a feeling of superiority in the audience.
Intermission, get some popcorn, Act 2 coming up Camera Movements
Camera Movements Movement is what movies are all about. Whenever possible, find a way to integrate movement within the frame.
Movement -- Pan A pan is a left to right, or a right to left, horizontal movement of the camera on its own axis. What could they be used for?
Movement -- Pan They can be used to follow moving subjects, shift an audience's attention from subject to subject or simply display a panoramic landscape.
Pan Tip In most cases, you should pan slowly and keep the camera still for a few seconds at the beginning and end of a pan. This ensures that the pan will edit properly with static shots.
Movement -- Tilt A tilt is an up or down vertical movement of the camera on its own axis. Tilts are great for capturing vertical action.
Movement -- Zoom Everyone knows what a zoom is. In fact, it's the most overused shot in film and video. Use Sparingly! Why?
Movement -- Dolly A tracking/dolly shot is one where the camera moves parallel to the action or toward or away from the subject.
Dolly Tip To enhance the dolly effect, place objects such as plants, lamps, trees or fences in the foreground. (Objects in the foreground move faster than those in the background and give the audience a greater feeling of movement.)
Movement -- Truck The subject is stationary, the camera moves toward or away from it. For example, if you are shooting a grove of trees with a hand-held camera, you can give the viewer a visual sense of moving through the area by walking toward or away from the trees with the camera.