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Edited by Ben Jacklin

August 22, 2019

Types of Camera Shots in Film: Basic Shot Types and Camera Angles

Are you looking to ace your next film recording? The different types of shots in a film should help you build a strong case for your project. Read on to learn everything you need to know about types of camera shots. The discussion on types of camera shots will start with the basic shot types and move on to camera angles that should raise your shooting game. Perfect these types of shots in the film and deliver pure gold to all your clients.

What is a shot in filmmaking?

If you are wondering what is a shot in film making, wonder no more. By definition, a shot comprises several frames that run continuously for some time. Well, before you shoot any scene, you need to determine the shot size. In filmmaking, the shot size is the distance between your camera and your subject. If you're looking for a camera, you can find it on Amazon:

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Types of Shots in Film and Camera Types

Establishing shot

Once you get to the scene, you need a clear picture of the action location. The establishing shot should cover you on this end. Depending on your resources, it comes after the aerial shot.

Extreme long shot

This shot is an exciting entry point for any scene. Compared to the location, your subject appears small. Your audience will appreciate the unfamiliarity of your subject and get to know them as you take the next couple of shots.

In cases where you would like the location to swamp your subject, the extreme long shot is your best bet. Use the surrounding to make the subject feel inferior. A high angle shot should do the same thing.

The long shot

As the storyline develops, your audience needs to get more familiar with the subjects. The long-shot (or wide shot) will provide a full-body view of your subject.

At this point, the emphasis begins to shift from the surroundings to your subject. Remember to leave some space around them - they don't have to fill the shot at this point.

Full shot

The full shot is the first cinematic shot that encapsulates the basic appearance of the subject who will take up most of the space on the frame. The up-close shot does not leave out the scenery. This shot is especially impressive when you want to tell apart two subjects.

Medium long shot

The accurate medium long shot (or wide long shot) captures every aspect of the subject apart from their feet. Add a low angle shot to this and have an incredible character shot. If your shot only covers up to the thighs, then you'll have the cowboy shot - a slight variant of the medium-long shot. The cowboy shot is the best shot for subjects with a gunslinger. As you may have already guessed, the name describes the intended subject – a cowboy.

Medium shot

Medium shots do not capture anything beyond the waist. The surroundings remain visible although the focus squarely lies on the subject with this shot. This shot is excellent for confrontational crowd scenes. Add a little over-the-shoulder touch, and you'll have an effortless time making a case for that fight scene.

Medium Close Up

This shot best suits subjects that are most familiar to the audience. The subject's face is the most conspicuous feature. You can also have compelling face-to-face conversations with the medium close-up shot.

Close Up

The close-up shot is excellent for the nitty-gritty details of any subject. Use it to convey deep emotions that words may not express adequately. You get an opportunity to lay bare your subject to the audience. The tense facial muscle, teary eyes, and flushing faces will add all the drama you are looking for in any scene.

Extreme Close Up

With the extreme close up, you are looking to get the finer details of minute objects. You can capture pieces of evidence precisely with this shot. Your frame will be nothing but the subject as you bring out their specific features.

Creative movie shots do not stop at the shot size. You need a synergy of focus, movement, and framing options to get the picture-perfect shot (quite literally). Different types of framing options ensure that you go beyond taking a picture.

You can go on to compose images once the subjects fit in your shots. It is always good practice to get information on framing before you get to the shoot location. You want to set everything before you proceed further.

A small tilt in the camera angle is enough to give your shot a different meaning. Here is a list of the different camera angles in the film.

Eye Level Shot

This angle is the best representation of our everyday interactions. If you are looking to give the subject an inferior or superior position, the eye-level shot is not a good option. It is, however, the most common height.

Low Angle Shot

This angle is impeccable for scenes with nuances of different power ranks between your subjects. Take the shot from a low height with the superior character appearing on top of things. If you have monster characters, exploit this position to make them look scarier.

High Angle Shot

Films and movies with top building scenes often go for this delightful shot. Besides such views, you can use the shot to highlight power struggles between your characters.

Knee Level Shot

Have you painted one of your subjects as mischievous? The knee level shot can highlight this character better. If you do a good job, you may not need to show the face or top parts of the subject's body. The shot can also emphasize a character's superiority if paired with a low angle.

Ground Level Shot

Is your subject in any danger of crawling animals, especially in a desert scene? The ground level shot highlights every ground activity around your subject.

Dutch Angle

Once in a while, you may need to introduce some disorientation to your film. During such times, you'll have to tilt the camera to one side to achieve the Dutch angle.

Overhead shot

The overhead shot, better known as the bird's eye view shot, is the perfect bet for a scenic shot of the character's surrounding. You'll also get an opportunity to emphasize the scale and movement in a particular setting.

The helicopter shot

Take the overhead shot a notch higher with this shot that you can complete from a drone or helicopter. If executed accurately, this shot should augment the features that you capture with the overhead shot. Any production with a touch of aerial photography will appeal to pretty much any audience.

Creativity is at the center of high-end shots. You'll need to practice the different types of shots in film and camera angles to catch the eye of your director or producer first, then your audience. The hard work won't go down the drain – it will pay off. Once you are through with the pictures of shots, consider using the Movavi Video Editor Plus to provide a seamless finish to your videos. If you are keen on shooting your movie, consider doing a montage with Movavi Video Editor Plus.


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