Movie Making Shots, Angles and Movement

Basic Camera Shots

Long Shot
Any shot that includes the full human body or more.

Full-Body Shot
A shot that includes just the person from head to toe.

Extreme Long Shot
The subject is very far away from the camera.

Medium Shot
A shot of a person from the waist up. It gives more details than the full-body shot but is generally neutral in its presentation of the subject.

Close-up Shot
Is basically a head shot, usually from the top shirt button up. This will amplify and give the details of some action.

Extreme close-up Shot
Anything that is closer than the close-up shot.

Angles

Low-angle Shot
The camera is below the subject, angled upward.
Makes characters seem threatening, powerful, or intimidating. Can also give a distorted perspective, showing a world out of balance.

High-angle shot
The opposite of the low-angle shot, and its effects are the opposite. This shot tends to diminish a subject, making it look intimidated, or threatened. It makes a character look insignificant.

 

 

 

Dutch Angle
Camera is tilted laterally on a tripod so it is no longer parallel to the horizon. This makes the world seem very unbalanced or out of kilter.

Camera Movements
Pans – a shot in which the camera is simply swiveled horizontally on a tripod.

 

Tilt
Similar to a pan but is vertical. Both pans and tilts can be used to reveal new elements within the frame – elements of which the viewer may have been unaware.

 

Handheld camera
Shots will lack the smoothness to which so many technical resources are devoted. Gives a you-are-there feel to the shots.

This video by famed director Robert Rodriguez touches on the magic of the handheld camera.

 

180 Rule

Here is a great video explaining the 180 rule, and why you shouldn’t break it.

180 Degree Rule – Moviemaking Technique from Peter John Ross on Vimeo.

(Film techniques taken from “Film Production Technique” by Bruce Mamer

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