Camera Movement

Camera movement can be used in some shots, but should be used sparingly. Any shakiness or wobbling could create vertigo or motion sickness in the audience. These movements must be extremely smooth. To accomplish this, you must have a high quality tripod. For some shots, additional equipment is also needed.

These directions will most often be used between shots for the director to tell the camera person what to do to get the next shot. For example, the director might want to increase the height of the camera above the subject. In this case the director would tell the camera operator to "pedestal up" to increase height and then to "tilt down" to bring the subject back into the frame. They can be used during a shot, but always be cautious to make all movement as smooth as possible.

  • Storyboard Form - Use this to create your storyboard. (Need Excel to open.)
  • Special thanks to Darcy, Aletha, Mahriya, and Eric for creating the Demos. Click any image to see a Quicktime clip.

Example
Description


Pan Left Demo



Pan Right Demo

Pan Right or Pan Left

Rotate camera to right or left. This can be used to follow a subject who is moving across the set or to move between a shot of a subject on one side to a shot of a subject on the other side.

When following, movement, keep it smooth and always lead the subject and provide "Nose Room."



Truck Demo

Truck Left or Truck Right

This shot requires the tripod to be mounted on a dolly or have wheels on the legs. If the wheels are on the legs, the floor area must be extremely smooth or the camera will pick up the bumpy movement. A dolly actually runs on tracks or rails.

Move camera and tripod to left or right. This can be used to follow movement without changing the angle of the shot. It also works as a "Point of View" shot if the viepoint person is passing a stationary subject.



Zoom In Demo

Zoom in

This should be done using a dolly or wheels, but can be done using the built-in zoom feature on the camera. Practice with the zoom to be able to make an extremely smooth movement. Keep the zoom as slow as possible. Fast movement is uncomfortable for the audience.

Move camera closer (or use the zoom) to go from an establishing shot to a wide shot or from a medium shot to a close up. Can help provide action or movement to a static scene. Often used to follow an establishing shot and bring the audience into the scene.



Zoom Out Demo

Zoom Out

Move camera away (or use the zoom) to go from close up to medium, medium to wide, or wide to extreme long shots. Often used to close a scene or end a film. Lets the audience know they are leaving that scene. Can also be used going from close up to medium to show how subjects are pulling away from each other.

Because you can start in close exactly where you want to be, if there is no dialog or directional movement within the shot, it actually is easier to create a zoom in establishing shot by shooting a zoom out and then reversing the clip.



Pedestal Up Demo

Pedestal up

Crank the tripod up. Usually used between shots to get the angle the director wants. Can be used during a shot to show growth.



Pedestal Down Demo

Pedestal down

Crank the tripod down Usually used between shots to get the angle the director wants. Can be used during a shot to show shrinking or changing viewpoint.



Tilt Up Demo

Tilt Up

Tip the camera up on the tripod. Used to show change in point of view. Usually used between shots to get a different point of view on the subject.

..

Tilt Down Demo

Tilt Down

Tip the camera down on the tripod. Used to show change in point of view. Usually used between shots to get a different point of view on the subject.




Resources

Lynn Ewing

11/14/04