Film Techniques Essay Sample

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Bird’s eye view- An aerial shot of a view, sensation of flying or floating

Eye level- Camera is positioned at the character’s eye level. Often used to display facial expressions and focus on dialogue.

Low angle- The camera is positioned below the feet. Can indicate power and authority and make them look tall and overbearing

High angle- The camera is high in the air. Make the audience feel that they are more important then the object provides the feeling of inferiority to the subject.

Camera shots:

Extreme wide shot- A view so far the subject isn’t even visible, often used o establish a scene.

Very wide shot- The subject is barely visible but the emphasis is still on placing him in his environment, often used to indicate the beginning of something.

Wide shot- The subject takes up the full frame at least as much as comfortably possible. Also known as a long shot or a full shot.

Mid Shot- Shows some part of the subject in more detail while still giving an impression of the whole subject.

Medium Close up- Half way between a mid shot and a Close Up. This shot shows the face more clearly, without getting uncomfortably close.

Close up- A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame. A close-up exaggerates facial expressions, which convey emotion. The viewer may feel uncomfortable and enter the subject’s personal space and share their feelings.

Extreme close-up- Shows extreme detail and goes beyond us feeling uncomfortable. Often is use to foreshadow something very important and is used in very dramatic scenes.

Cut in- Specifically refers to showing some part of the subject in detail and provides extra information. Can be used purely as an edit point, or to emphasise motion.

Cut away- A shot of something other then the subject. Used as a buffer between shots to assist with editing or to soften a harsh blow. Can often provide crucial information without the viewer being aware.

Over the shoulder shot- Looking from behind person at the subject. This shot help to establish the position of each person, and get the feeling you are looking from someone else’s view. Often used to make you feel as if you are hearing a secret or to make you feel ‘on the inside’.

Reaction shot- Usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and reacting to the subject. Often used after a dramatic event has occurred and gives insight on the feelings the subjects are experiencing.

Point of view shot- Shows a view form the subject’s perspective and allows the audience to understand the subject’s point of view and emotions.

Camera Movement

Panning- A movement that scans a scene horizontally.

Camera tilt- A movements that scans a scene vertically.

Dolly/Tracking shot- The camera is placed on a moving vehicle and moves alongside the action, generally following a movie figure of object.

Zooming- A zoom lens contains a mechanism that changes the magnification of an image. A close up shot can also be used while using zooming from a large distance from the subject.

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