The movement of a camera and different types of shots associated with camera and film is such a vital part of the filmmaking process. In my research project this week I have decided to research into films that are famous for their use of camerawork. I would also like to try and find out about different types of shot in more detail, so as to expand my knowledge in this field. I plan to do both primary and secondary research, and I will discussing the pros and cons of each throughout.
- I intend to watch and analyse a variety of films and TV shows that are famous for their camera work.
- I also want to put my knowledge into practise by taking some of my own shots to produce some different shots to further my research and knowledge.
Pros and cons:
The positive aspects of primary research is that you are the one specifically collecting the research, and so you are directly doing something towards your project. It is also helping to develop your understanding in what you are doing. So for example, trying to get some of my own shots will allow me to be able to develop my skills and knowledge of different camera shots. On the negative side, I don’t know everything. It is a fact that I need to do primary research to make my project effective, as I need to learn more about what I am researching to give an accurate and well thought through project.
- I intend to research about films that are famous for their use of different shots and how they are effective.
- I would also like to find out a little more about different shots and how they are effective, but this is only to improve my understanding. I would like the main focus of my project to be on finding out and analysing films that are famous for their use of camera work.
Pros and cons:
The positive thing about secondary research is that it allows me to find out more about the specific subject I am working on, and also see what is already out there surrounding what I am researching. So for example secondary research will help me to find out about famous films that are well known for their use of different shots to create an effective scene. On the negative side, you need to do primary research to develop your own personal skills, and to analyse existing information.
A variety of different shots that I tried to create myself:
Over The Shoulder Shot:
- An over the shoulder shot is shot taken behind someone’s shoulder, often showing a conversation taking place. It helps to link two characters together, giving almost a third person perspective. It shows the perspective of the two characters talking, and helps to establish where the characters are situated.
- This shot shows an over the shoulder shot, giving a third person perspective to the audience. I think this shot is really effective, as it shows the anger on the characters face, as well as showing the audience where the scene is taking place.
Shot Reverse Shot:
a shot reverse shot is where you have a shot of one person, and then another shot showing the link between the two people, so the other person, and then this goes back and forth. It is most commonly used when two characters are having a conversation.
Extreme Close up ( ECU )
- An extreme close up puts emphasis on the thing you are focusing on.
- It completely draws your attention to the thing you are focusing on, meaning the the audience decodes that the thing being focused on so closely must be of extreme importance in the scene.
- Allows you to see every single detail. For example in my example above you can see every freckle and each individual eyelash. Again, this draws the audience completely into what you want them to focus on.
Dutch Angle ( DA )
- A dutch angle is often used to show something as ‘confusing’ or ‘not in balance.
- It can make an audience feel uneasy, and can change the whole atmosphere of a scene in a second.
- a Dutch angle can also be used to show disorientation or possibly the change in emotion of a character.
Low Angle Shot ( LAS )
- Low angle shots are often used to make the character seem more in control.
- They are also used to make the character look intimidating, and as if they are looking down at the person they are talking to/ the audience
High Angle Shot ( HAS )
- High angle shots are most commonly used to make the subject seem small, weak and vulnerable.
Film known for their use of effective camera shots:
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick 1980):
‘The Shining – steadishot by Garret Brown’ Mulina.I (2008)
It is well known by many of my peers that ‘The Shining’ (Stanley Kubrick 1980) is one of my favourite films of all time. Just one it’s many incredible aspects is its use of camera work. The steadishot that is shown here is so effective. The continuous motion of following behind the boy creates a huge amount of suspense, as we expect something out of the normal to happen, as everything that is happening is so ordinary. Following behind the boy is also very effective, as it makes us seem like we are following in his footsteps, and going through the same actions as him. When he gets up and goes to start opening the door and just after this, he keeps looking back up at the door. Because the camera is right next to the door, we as an audience also feel fearful and in danger as we are watching in such close proximity. Overall this scene is extremely effective as we are following in the boys footsteps for such a long period of time, which is repetitive and flows in one solid movement. This builds huge amounts of tension and impatience for the viewer.
Broadchurch (Jame Strong and Euros Lyn 2013):
Acorn UKDVD (2013) ‘Broadchurch Episode 5 Clip’
Although Broadchurch is not technically known for its use of different types of shots, but it automatically stuck out in my brain as a series with really smooth and effective camerawork. For example, in the scene about we see the use of match on action, over the shoulder shots and shot reverse shot. This creates a really interestingly shot scene that keeps the audience engaged through the conversation taking place. Each shot flows well, and the continuity of the shot is kept well. Using over the shoulder shots here also help to give the audience a third person perspective, as if they are in the scene looking in on the conversation and finding out things as they do. Overall I think this scene is very successful as the different shots keeps the audience engaged through a scene that is simply a conversation between two people.
Matilda (Danny DeVito 1996)
Cordonni, F. (2016) ‘matilda 1996- tv scene 1080p’
Again, although Matilda (Danny DeVito 1996) isn’t famous solely for its use of different camera shots to make effective scenes, there is some amazing moments throughout the film that are so effective simply due to the sue of different types of shots. The scene I have chosen to speak about is the TV scene, where Matilda is ready and her dad wants her to watch the TV. The use of a low angle shot shows the father as being higher up than matilda. This makes matilda seem vulnerable and much further below him, like he can control her easily. This mixed with the use of the high angle shots used to portray Matilda makes Matilda seem completely helpless in the situation. Also, another really powerful use of the camera in the scene is when they continually zoom into Matildas’ eyes each time we flash to the TV set. It builds tension, and suggests that Matilda is an important character who is more powerful that we as an audience were first led to think.
Overall I have found this research task extremely eyeopening and interesting. I have realised how many movies are improved because of use of effective shots.
Tapley, K. (2015) ‘Cinematographers pick the best-shot films of all time’ Available at: http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/cinematographers-pick-the-best-shot-films-of-all-time (Last Accessed: 25th October 2106)
Stinson, J. (1996) ‘CAMERA WORK: SHOTS AND SCENES’ Available at: https://www.videomaker.com/article/c10/1384-camera-work-shots-and-scenes (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)
Scott, M. (2014) ’15 Important Films Shot With a Hand Held Camera’ Available at: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/15-important-films-shot-with-a-hand-held-camera%E2%80%8F/ (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)
Papadakis, A. (2015) ’30 Movies With The Most Brilliant Camera Work’ Available at: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2015/30-movies-with-the-most-brilliant-camera-work/ (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)
Ulina, I. (2008) ‘The Shining – steadishot by Garret Brown’ Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cy7ztJ3NUMI (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)
Acorn UKDVD (2013) ‘Broadchurch Episode 5 Clip’ Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9WCb770S4w (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)
Cordonni, F. (2016) ‘matilda 1996- tv scene 1080p’ Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-1NrqgvejY (Last Accessed: 25th October 2016)