Entry Five – Camera Movement

Camera Movement

Camera movement is very important, as it can change the emotion portrayed in a shot.  A slow zoom can indicate increasing drama, whereas a fast zoom can indicate urgency.

Zoom and Dolly Zoom

Zooming in and out can create amazing shots and can change a close up into a medium shot into a full established shot.  Zooming out can be used to indicate scale, showing how insignificant the original subject is compared to the overall scheme of things.  Zooming in can show emotion and in some cases even a very slight zoom will just make the shot look like its moving forward much like the events on screen.  Other versions of this include the Dolly Zoom as seen in Jaws that is used to create the realization as the character comes to witness the events unfolding in horror.

Mastering the Dolly Zoom

Static Shot

Sometimes the best shot is one that doesn’t really move.  It doesn’t zoom, tilt, or really do much of anything.  Most of the shots mentioned in this blog can be used in junction with the static shot in order to ground a scene.  It is worth mentioning however as it shows that not all shots have to ‘move’.

Arc (Spinning Camera Shot)

Sometimes though for dramatic effect you need to get your camera to move, but not to just move, you need an arc shot to amp up the excitement.  That is where the Arc Shot comes in handy as it spins around the actors in the scene transistioning from low angle to high angle.  The master of this shot has to be the infamous Micheal Bay and his overdramatic action movies such as Armeggedon, Transformers, and Bad Boys.

Crab and Panning Shots

This version of tracking follows a more side by side movement instead of the dolly Zoom.  Such framing could be comparable to the shots found in a Wes Anderson film.  It can be used as an example on how to pan as well.  Bill Murray provides a creative example of this in The Life Aquatic.

Slow Motion

Slow motion is also a kind of movement shot albeit a very slow one.  The art of slow motion in film has been used many ways to depict situations where the characters either move very fast, find themselves coming to a realisation, or even just to make a bit of action look even more amazing.  John Woo made slow motion popular and it has since been made even more popular with the use of his bullet time in such films like the Matrix by the Wachowskis.

Special cameras are often used to capture the frames slowed down to a point to emphsis the action unfolding.  Even Tarantino used in back in 1992 with the walking sequence in Reservoir Dogs.  Recently Bryan Singer used it in X-Men Days of Future Past to show how Quicksilver’s powers work in one of the best scenes to ever grace his films.

Combination of Shots

One of the more creative directors such as Wes Anderson utilizes as many f these movement types often in the same scene in order to tell their stories.  The ending of the Darjeeling Limited is a prime example of Wes Anderson using many different movement shots including Dolly, Zoom, Slow motion, trucking, panning, and tilting.



YouTube. 2017. Mastering the Art of The Dolly Zoom – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Amj6RiGiTOE. [Accessed 02 January 2017].







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