Cinematography


Cinematography

The size and distance of a shot, and the movements and camera angles, could get a great influence in the structure of a film but above all in the interpretation of the audience.
  1. Size and distance of shot

    • Close-up: Usually used to show emotions and some activity with the hands from a character. Considered as a type of zooming which display the most detail and never must show the subject in the broad context of its surroundings.
    • Extreme close-up: Also known as ECU or XCU gets to show extreme details and it is used generally for dramatic scenes with a specific reason to use this close because it focuses on a single feature as lips or eyes.
    • The choker: It is a variation of ECU and it is defined as a shot half way between close up and extreme close up to show the subject's face, eyes or mouth.
    • Medium shot: It is a type of shot from a medium distance. Considered by some directors less effective than close ups shots but ideal to show body language.
    • Long shot: It is also denominated as full shot or wide shot, it shows the entire character or object in some relation with its surroundings to give general impression of the scene. The camera is placed far away to capture a large area of view.
    • Establishing shot: It used to show to the audience where the action is taking place and is commonly the first shot of a new scene.

  2. Camera angles

    • Low angle shot: Give the impression to the subject of being more powerful and dominant and produce fear or awe in the audience. Shows the subject from below.
    • Straight angle shot: Looking at an eye level angle create a sense of equality between the subject and the viewer. Show the subject from the same level of the camera's shot.
    • High angle shot: Used to minimize the importance of subject and often to show vulnerability and weakness. Places the camera from above the subject in moments where the scene is more dramatic.
    • Canted or Oblique: Also named dutch angle, is used extensively in horror and science fiction films. The camera is tilted 25 to 45 degrees to one side and show the subject above. It can produce tension in a scene working along film plays and the use of light and framing.