Assignment: Shot List
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Camera Shots, Angles, and Movements
I’m sure you’re itching to start shooting. In fact, I bet you
already have, but do you know the tricks of the trade? Do you know the
industry standards? Before you start making a new style for yourself,
you better know what tools you have to choose from.
The first thing to learn is how to frame your subject. If you’re
a still photographer you’ll already know about the rule of thirds.
This works for filmmaking as well. Notice the website below. The rule of thirds:
This is a general principle in photography, which is generally
considered to make shots more appealing to the eye. One can easily
visualize this rule by taking a frame and dividing the horizontal piece
into three equal sections and dividing the vertical in three equal
sections. This creates 9 equal sections. Where these sections meet are
four points on the frame. By aligning the central object into these
points of the frame (often called the power points), instead of
centering the object, you get more aesthetically and
However, we should note that while we describe this as the RULE of thirds, it might better be used as a guideline.
Common uses of this rule in video are:
Framing an interview: The eyes of your subject should fall in one of the upper powerpoints and the subject should be looking towards the empty space on the frame.
Shooting a horizon: Rather than position
the horizon on the center of the frame, align it along the upper
or lower third depending on what you want to emphasize. For
example, if you’re shooting a cloud time-lapse you will want
two-thirds of the shot centered on the sky.
Basic Camera Shot types:
Extreme Wide Shots (EWS) act to establish the area. Wide Shots (WS) show the entire person or area.
They’re great for establishing the scene and allow for good action of
the characters. Sometimes this is known as the long shot. Medium Shots (MS) frame the subject from the waste up. This is the most common shot and allows for hand gestures and motion. Medium Close Ups (MCU) shots show the subject in more detail and are often framed from just below the shoulders to the top of the head. Close Ups (CU) show a particular part of your subject. For people this usually means the shot frames just the head! Extreme Close Ups (ECU) are much tighter
close-up shots in which you get detail greater than the human eye might
be able to normally perceive. An example of this shot might be of the
mouth and eyes together
Advanced Camera Shot Types
Two Shot: This is a shot of two peoples (or other individuals) together. Cut Away (CA): Cutaways are used in the editing
process to fill in footage which is different from the main action.
B-roll is often used for cut-aways. An example might be a cut away of a
bird singing if the shot is focused on a couple in the woods. Over the Shoulder Shots (OSS) are shot from
behind the person towards their subject. Generally the frame is cut off
just behind the ear, although there are several variations. A good
technique to use to get this shot is to frame the person facing the
subject with about one third of the frame. Point of View (POV): This is an effective shot
that gives the audience the feel that you’re seeing it from the eyes of
the performer. It is taken from near the eye-level of the actor and
shows what he might see. It could be used to give the perspective of
other animals too like a frog, a bird, or a fish. Selective Focus: By using a large aperture value
(f/1.4, f/2.0) you will be able to create a shallow depth of field.
This effectively leaves one part of the frame in focus while blurring
others, such as the foreground or background. When you change the focus
in the shot from the foreground to the background you’re doing another
advanced camera shot called a rack focus.