Today on The Slanted Lens we have a great camera movement tutorial exploring how camera movement can create emotion in the viewer. Moving the camera helps create different emotions in a scene. We see it all of the time in the films we watch. A camera slowly sweeping around a scene will give it an epic feeling, where as a shaky hand held camera shooting the same scene can create a feeling of uncertainty and danger. Camera movement can add or detract from the emotion the director wants to communicate. Camera movement should emphasize the emotion we want to see in the scene. When the camera moves it should move in relationship to someone or something and create an emotion that supports the story. Our talent William Rubio is dressed up as a 1920’s gangster. Let’s see how we can work with him to create different emotions with camera movement. Keep those cameras rolling and keep of clickn’.
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JP: Hi. This is J.P. Morgan, and today on the Slanted Lens, we’re going to take a look at camera movement, the emotion that different camera movements can create for the viewer. I’ve got Will Rubio here with me today. He’s a great gangster. He’s got a great look. So we’re going to see if we can shoot up the town just a little bit.
Will: Yeah. You’ll never catch me copper! Ahh! Was that good?
JP: Let’s get started and see what we can do. Yeah, that’s good, Will. That’s good.
Don’t forget to enter so that you can win the Tamron 24 to 70 mm SP lens. We’re still accepting entries. Go to the end of the lesson, and it will show you how to sign up.
Moving the camera helps create different emotions in a scene. We see it all the time in films that we watch. An action scene where the camera moves around the subject smoothly is much different than “Bourne Identity,” where the camera was shaky and unstable.
Camera movement can add or detract from the emotion the director wants to communicate. Camera movement should emphasize emotion that we want to see in the scene. When the camera moves, it needs to move in relationship to someone or something and create the emotion that supports the story.
Let’s look at some different camera moves and the emotion that they create. Obviously, the actor’s performance, the dress, and the lighting can contribute or create emotion as well, but movement is simply one of the ways to strengthen or create that emotion.
A crane shot moving down moves you into the story or the scene. There’s a feeling of falling into the character’s world or being dropped into the scene.
When the camera moves from a shot of our actor into a wide vista shot on a crane, it gives us a feeling of how small the character is or how large this obstacle is that he or she has to overcome.
When the camera moves from a very high shot to a very low shot, this makes the character look strong and imposing and creates a lot of fear. It gives us a feeling of authority.
Handheld camera movement can create a feeling of uneasiness or danger. It needs to be a bit shaky and unsettling, but it makes it feel very strange and dangerous.
A quick pan can change the emotional direction of the scene almost at once. We reveal something dangerous or something that the character is going to have to overcome, and it’s sends the audience in a totally different emotional direction.
A quick push in with the camera creates a feeling of surprise or shock.
A slow camera dolly in can create tension and helps us become a little bit more intimate with the character. This could be intimate in a way that it makes us feel uncomfortable for them, or intimate in a way that helps us share the emotions that they’re facing at that moment.
Slowly dollying away from a character can leave them looking emotionally lost and abandoned. In the viewer it creates an emotion of empathy. A relationship has developed there. You feel lost with them. You want them to overcome.
A dolly across reveals action or change of the emotional direction of a scene. If the man in this scene was pointing his gun at a gopher, it’s a much different emotional change than pointing the gun at a gangster. So it reveals something that changes the emotion.
A smooth glide cam shot between two men holding guns creates more of a ballet or a dance feeling. It’s going to feel epic. It’s going to feel kind of dreamlike. It creates an emotion that’s much different than if you go after something with more of an edgy, kind of handheld camera.
So here’s that same scene with a handheld camera. This does feel edgy. It feels stressful. It has a much different sense than when we had that kind of smooth glide cam. This is more like “Bourne Identity” where they are pushing the emotion right into your face.
This glide cam, as it comes in and sweeps around the actor in a full 360, gives you a very interesting, kind of calm before the storm feeling, like there’s a survey of the situation. Something is coming. Something is about to happen. Unfortunately, our equipment was in the way so we didn’t get a clean 360, but that’s a sense of that emotion.
This is a really cool move I think. A zolly is just interesting looking. It’s a zoom with a dolly shot at the same time. So it’s called a zolly. The background gets larger or smaller, but the person remains about the same size. A zolly creates an overwhelming emotional feeling. It’s almost an out of body experience, like it’s blowing their mind what’s about to happen or what is happening.
This is just a few of the many ways that you can move the camera and create emotion. I hope these examples will be a help to you as you plan your next shoot. Remember, camera movement can create emotion or help to establish and emphasize the emotion that you want in a shot.
Keep those cameras rolling. Keep on clicking.
Will: Smells like fresh horse poo.
JP: Hi. This is J.P. Morgan, and today on the Slanted Lens, we’re going to review a new piece of equipment that was sent to me that I thought would be very interesting to you. It’s called a Feather Touch Zoom. This zoom sets up on your two rail system. I’ve got it here on my Redrock Micro System. It gives us the ability to hook it up either on the right or the left side. You choose the rail you want to put it on. I’ve got my follow focus on my left side, so I set my zoom up on the right side.
It really is a great piece of equipment because it makes it so you can zoom in or out. It has a great little control box. This control box gives us a power on and off. It works off of the same system as our focusing ring. So I’ve got the focusing rings. I can hook it up on my zoom as well as my focusing setup. It really makes it so it works right in with all the equipment that I already have.
It’s called a Feather Touch Zoom. It’s made by Camera Turret. So you can go to CameraTurret.com to get more information about it. They sent me one, and we used it on this video that we just shot. It was great when we did a zolly, because we could dolly in and zoom at the same time, which is really a cool look.
We’ll always be looking for interesting things that are maybe new on the market that you haven’t heard about. So I thought this is something you might be interested in. It is power supplied, but comes with a little pig tail, so you can hook it into the battery system. If you’re doing an Anton Bauer battery or those kinds of battery systems, you can hook it up to that as well. So a great little, interesting piece of equipment. So keep those cameras rolling, and keep on clicking.
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