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Camera Movement

A brief look at the different methods and technologies behind film and television camera movement

Emma Holbrook

on 14 November 2014

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Transcript of Camera Movement

The Moving Film and Television Camera
Dolly Shot / Track / Creep
Handheld /supported
Tripod – pan / tilt
Steadicam – Pan/tilt/track
Camera Crane
Aerial / Helicopter Shot
The Virtual Camera
Gives momentum to a shot by making it more dynamic. Often used to make the viewer feel more part of the action. Can also be used to reveal characters and information.
The hand held camera helps to create a sense of verisimilitude because the effect is synonymous with home cinema invoking a sense of reality and spontaneity on to the viewer. The handheld camera can make the audience feel more involved as it seems like they are witnessing events as they actually happen. A lot of documentary and social realism uses this approach.
Gives momentum to a shot, creates the feeling that you are weaving in and out of space. Often used to follow characters, sometimes as a POV.
Crash zoom and Whip Pan
Used in high paced / action sequences.
The two earliest axis of camera movement to evolve after the invention on the tripod or "sticks". It is a slow or fast left to right or right to left lateral movement on axis. The term 'pan' is often mistakenly used when the speaker means 'track' or 'dolly shot'.

They can reveal information more slowly and are often used to build suspense (tilt) e.g revealing someone from their feet upwards. Pans can be used as establishing shot especially as it is a cheap way of conveying a large scene.
Tilt Up
Can transfer interest within the same space. Used to reveal, create tension and often as a POV shot.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Creates a sense of surveilance. Gives broad overview of the scene. Can make characters look small and vulnerable in their surroundings. often used to establish space.
A new technology pioneered in the south west of England during the 1980s. Hollywood often refers to this technique as 'Bullet-time'. This new techniques involves usuing a series of still cameras all taking pictures at the same time. Used as a special effect when manipulating with time.
'Whip Pans' in the films of PT Anderson
Parodied here in Wayne's World (1992)
Captain Phillips (2013)

Director Paul Greengrass (who started out in documentary) is synonymous with the hand held camera. The hand held cinema camera helps to invoke a sense of urgency and reality.
The virtual camera is also used a lot more subtly incorporating a mixture of live action and CGI to create otherwise impossible camera movements.
Panic Room (2002)
VFX overlay
Full transcript