Shots, Angles, Color, Placement: The Things We Forget to Teach

Shots, Angles, Color, Placement: The Things We Forget to Teach

Welcome to Introduction to Film Cinematography Why you Give Someone $9 To Be Manipulated

The Shot The shot is the basic unit of measurement in film. There are six shots directors use to convey meaning. Each shot can convey a different meaning

depending on how it is used. Extreme Long Shot Extreme Long Shots (ELS) are used to convey the geographic environment (the setting, if you

will) of the film. Extreme Long Shots can also portray isolation and alienation. Extreme Long Shot (from Hamlet)

Extreme Long Shot (from Cry, the Beloved Country) Long Shot Long Shots (LS) are used to establish

location. They are often used at beginning of a new scene to establish the new locale. Like ELS, long shots often depict loneliness and alienation.

Long Shot (from Lord of the Rings) Long Shot (from Romeo and Juliet)

Full Shot Full shots generally show an entire human body within the frame. Full shots are used to depict characterization, as well as

manipulate an audience to side with certain characters. Full Shot (from All Quiet on the Western Front)

Full Shot (from Lord of the Flies) Medium Shot Medium Shots (MS) are usually from a persons waist on up.

Also known as couple shots, medium shots often place two characters together in the frame to indicate a relationship of some kind.

Medium Shot (from The Importance of Being Earnest) Medium Shot (from The Kite Runner)

Close-Up Shot (CU) Close-Up Shots are just that: the audience views something up close and personal. These shots are usually taken of a characters face to show emotion

or feeling. These shots are major culprits of manipulation. Close-up shot (from The Great Gatsby)

Close-Up Shot (from Lord of the Rings) Close-Up Shot (from Cry, the Beloved Country)

Extreme Close-Up Shot (ECU) This shot shows something (usually only eyes or mouth) that fills the entire frame. It is generally symbolic.

Camera Angles There are four basic camera angles that directors use in making a film. The camera angle is determined by

where a camera is placed and the viewer tends to identify with the camera lens. Birds Eye Angle

In a birds eye angle, the camera is directly overhead the subject. The audience isnt used to seeing things from this perspective, so it can

cause a sense of confusion. It also can symbolize death in conjunction with camera movement.

Birds Eye Angle (from Lord of the Rings) Birds Eye Angle (from The Illusionist)

High Angle With a high angle, the camera is raised on a crane or placed up high on a building. The high angle reduces the

importance of the subject, manipulating the audience into feeling small and insignificant.

High Angle (from Hamlet) High Angle (from Amadeus)

High Angle (from Romeo and Juliet) High Angle (from Pride and Prejudice)

Eye-level Angle With an eye-level angle, the camera is eye-level with the subject. Everyone is on an equal playing level. This angle

is the most-often used in film-making (and often the only angle used in students attempts at a film).

Eye-level Angle (from To Kill a Mockingbird) Eye-level Angle (from The Importance of Being Earnest)

Low Angle The camera is placed near to the ground in a low angle. The low angle increases the importance of the

subject. (This is used often in horror/slasher films.) The audience feels weak and vulnerable.

Low Angle (from Beowulf) Low Angle (from The Illusionist)

Color and Lighting Directors use lighting and colors to further manipulate audiences into feeling certain emotions and sensing

various moods. Just as in literature, colors are often symbolic in films. What do you read into this relationship

based on the color and lighting? What do you read into this relationship based on the color and lighting? Do lighting and color affect the

feelings of the audience? Do you read the film differently because of a directors choice of color? Why Make a Film in Black and White?

To Kill a Mockingbird (1963) Lord of the Flies (1960) Camera Movement The way a camera moves can also manipulate the

audience into thinking a certain way. The camera can pan, tilt, move on a dolly, be in an airplane, and can zoom into a characters

personal space. All denote meaning. What is the symbolism as the camera moves from this shot . . .

. . . to this shot? Camera Movement 1) 2) 3)

4) 5) Zoom Handheld Dolly

Crane Aerial

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