Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Types of shots.

Extreme Long Shot- This can be taken from as much as a quarter of a mile away, and is generally used as a scene-setting, establishing shot. It normally shows an exterior, eg the outside of a building, or a landscape, and is often used to show scenes of thrilling action eg in a war film or disaster movie. There will be very little detail visible in the shot, it's meant to give a general impression rather than specific information.

Long Shot-
This is the most difficult to categorise precisely, but is generally one which shows the image as approximately "life" size ie corresponding to the real distance between the audience and the screen in a cinema (the figure of a man would appear as six feet tall).

This shows very little background, and concentrates on either a face, or a specific detail of mise en scene. Everything else is just a blur in the background. This shot magnifies the object and shows the importance of things, be it words written on paper, or the expression on someone's face. The close-up takes us into the mind of a character.

Extreme Close-Up-
As its name suggests, an extreme version of the close up, generally magnifying beyond what the human eye would experience in reality. An extreme close-up of a face, for instance, would show only the mouth or eyes, with no background detail whatsoever.

The Bird's-Eye view-
This shows a scene from directly overhead, a very unnatural and strange angle. Familiar objects viewed from this angle might seem totally unrecognisable at first (umbrellas in a crowd, dancers' legs). This shot does, however, put the audience in a godlike position, looking down on the action.

High Angle-
Not so extreme as a bird's eye view. The camera is elevated above the action using a crane to give a general overview.

Low Angle-
These increase height (useful for short actors like Tom Cruise or James McAvoy) and give a sense of speeded motion. Low angles help give a sense of confusion to a viewer, of powerlessness within the action of a scene.

Oblique/Canted Angle-
Sometimes the camera is tilted (ie is not placed horizontal to floor level), to suggest imbalance, transition and instability (very popular in horror movies). This technique is used to suggest point-of-veiw shots.

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