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Camera Shots: History Through Film

Presenting camera shot terminology and examples, for a high school "History Through Film" class.
by

Adam Watson

on 20 June 2013

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Transcript of Camera Shots: History Through Film

History Through Film
Camera Shots:
A single, uninterrupted piece of film.

How closely the camera is to the actors will determine if it's anything from an
Extreme Long Shot
(ELS or XLS) where you can barely make out the actors, all the way to an
Extreme Close Up
(ECU or XCU).
What is a "shot"?
(picture from http://www.cybercollege.com/frtv/frtv013.htm)
PAN is when the camera pivots on the horizontal axis, moving left to right or right to left.
TILT is when the camera pivots on the vertical axis, moving down to up or up to down.
PAN & TILT
http://www.tubechop.com/watch/448142
While watching the above video, also pay attention to the use of shot selections: long shots, closeups, etc. (Note: audio from original YouTube clip is muted.)
When the camera SMOOTHLY moves from left to right, or right to left. Usually this is done with a wheeled camera on a track. Sometimes a similar effect is achieved by a STEADICAM, a rig worn by a camera operator.
DOLLY
from http://mingusc.faculty.mjc.edu/
http://www.swathd-az.net/equipment.asp
A CRANE shot is when the camera is on a mechanical arm that lowers or raises it, all above ground level. For a documentary-style look (to add a level of realism), a HAND-HELD camera may be used.

Pay attention to DOLLY, CRANE, HAND-HELD, and STEADICAM shots in the video above. (Note: audio is muted.)
CRANE & HAND-HELD
http://www.tubechop.com/watch/448169
Original cinematography YouTube Video:
http://youtu.be/tSzjUQ-OsSU
Pan & Tilt (4:59 - 7:06), Dolly etc. (0:54 - 3:06), Zoom (7:07 - 8:26), "Putting it all together" (8:27 - 11:57)
Zooming can add emphasis. You can zoom away or toward the subject; you can zoom slowly for a building up of dramatic tension, or quickly to add an exclamation mark to the scene (for a comic book style or comedic effect).
Once again, audio is muted. Note the trick shot at the end of the clip: the camera dollies back but zooms in at the same time.
ZOOM
http://www.tubechop.com/watch/448197
A common "grammer" in film is how a conversation between two characters is shown. Typically, both characters are first shown in the frame (MASTER TWO SHOT). There is a cut to looking at Character #1 over the shoulder of the Character #2. Last, there is a cut of Character #2 over the shoulder of Character #1. This can be used to show MCU or CU of the actors' faces as the speak, as well as how they react to the other person talking.
MASTER TWO SHOT /
OVER THE SHOULDER SHOT (OTS)
http://www.lightsfilmschool.com/articles/over_the_shoulder_ots_shot/index.html
When the camera is HIGH and above the subject, the implication may be that the subject is weak, weakening, or less important / losing importance.
When the camera is LOW and below the subject, the subject's size and strength may be exaggerated.
LOW & HIGH ANGLE SHOTS
http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson854/FilmTerms.pdf
THE END
Created in 2012 by Adam Watson
English Teacher, South Oldham High School, Crestwood, KY USA
adam.watson@oldham.kyschools.us
For educational use only.
Please note that audio has been muted by original uploaders of the video for reasons of copyright.
Full transcript