Camera work

TV Drama and representation learning booklet three.

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Camera angle, shot, movement and composition

Montage: juxtaposed images to create meaning.

Establishing Shot: the role of an establishing shot is to use mise-en-scene to establish the geographic and temporal diegesis and verisimilitude of a scene (sets scene).

Tracking shot: camera movement that follows action.

Extreme Close Ups (ECU): Used to draw the audience’s attention to important details.

Close Ups (CU): Used to draw the audience’s attention to details, to establish character, show emotions and to emphasise an actor’s star status.

Medium Close Ups (MCU): Used mainly for conversations, especially as part of a shot-reverse shot structure.

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Medium Shots (MS): close enough to show detail, such as emotion on an actor’s face, but far enough away to show some background.

Wide/Long Shots (LS): Mainly used for action sequences or establishing shots.

Two Shot: A shot with two people in it. Often used for conversations.

Crowd Shot: A shot with more than three people in it.

‘Point Of View’: (P.O.V.) shots are used to show what a character is looking at. There are two kinds of point of view shot:

    1. Subjective POV Shots: First person shots as if you are looking through the character’s eyes. Subjective POV shots help you toempathise with a character.
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    1. Objective POV Shots (a.k.a. Over The Shoulder Shots): Third person shots, usually over a characters shoulder. Show you what a character is looking at.

Male Gaze: i.e. women on screen are represented as the object of male desire.

Rule Of Thirds (or Golden Third): suggests that compositions will be balanced if the main objects of attention are positioned on the lines that divide the image into thirds, horizontally or vertically.

Shallow Depth Of Field: When an object in the foreground of a shot is in focus whilst the background is out of focus, then the audience’s attention will naturally be drawn to the object that is in focus.

Deep Depth Of Field: both the foreground and the background are in focus.(Deep Focus Shot)

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Pulling focus: is a technique where the focal point of the images is adjusted to shift the audience’s attention from one part of a screen to another.

Static Shots: A director may decide to keep the camera still and move the characters within the frame.

Pans and Tilts: When the camera head makes a pivoting movement from side to side it is described as a pan. When the camera pivots up and down, it is described as atilt. A very fast pan is known as a ‘Whip Pan’.

Tracking: A movement, which takes its name from the tracks, similar to railway tracks, to take the wheels of the dolly on which the camera is mounted. The use of tracks ensures a very smooth movement, but a ‘tracking shot’ may be any travellingshot in which the camera is moving along with the action. In terms of representation – allows the audience to follow the action.

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Reverse Dolly/Zoom (zoom/reverse zoom or track out zoom in): A technique whereby the camera pulls back away from the subject whilst simultaneously zooming in on it. In terms of representation, this helps position the audience by drawing attention to particular objects, or letting them see the bigger picture.

Crane shot: is a shot taken by a camera on a crane – this is used to film from above and will aid representations of place (opening titles of Coronation Street).

Zoom In/Out: a technique used to make things look closer or further away, thereby drawing the audience’s attention to that object.

Low-angle Shots: shots used to make characters seem dominant, powerful, scary or taller, or simply looking at something high up.

High-Angle Shots: Shots used to make a character seem dominated, submissive, weak, scared or shorter or simply looking at something low down

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Canted/Dutch angle: is used to represent uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed. A Cantered/Dutch angle is achieved by tilting the camera off to the side so that the shot is composed with the horizon at an angle to the bottom of the frame.

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Harleena Jay


thanks that was really helpful x

Harleena Jay


thanks that was really helpful x



thanks that was really helpful



thank you, this was very helpful :P

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