Video – Shot Types, Camera Angles & Movements
Extreme Close-Up (XCU)
Extreme Close-Up (XCU)
- The Extreme Close-Up is the most personal of all video shots
- It can show very small objects, areas or small portions of large objects
- An example of an extreme close-up would be just a person’s eye or details on an item
- A close-up shows only one part of the subject, usually in great detail
- Close-ups would include shots of a person’s face, or the paws of a dog walking down a path, or a hand on a doorknob, or of a tree branch
Medium Close-Up (MCU)
- The Medium Close-Up is often referred to as a head and shoulders shot. The reason for this is because it contains a person’s head and shoulders completely
Medium Shot (MS) a.k.a Mid Shot
- A Medium Shot is considered to be what a person would see if they were standing and talking to another person
- It is the most comfortable view and is used the most in productions. The shot contains a person from the waist to the top of the head
Medium Long Shot (MLS)
- A Medium Long Shot would contain a person from their knees to the top of the head
Long Shot (LS)
- The Long Shot would contain a person’s entire body from the top of their head to the bottom of their feet
Establishing Shot (ES)
- The Establishing Shot is used to show a large area or landscape
- This shot is an excellent way to start a scene or show a new location
Over The Shoulder Shot (OS or OSS)
- Is a shot of someone or something taken over the shoulder of another person
- The back of the shoulder and head of this person is used to frame the image of whatever (or whomever) the camera is pointing toward
- This type of shot is very common when two characters are having a discussion
- In a high angle the camera looks down at the character, making the viewer feel more powerful than him or her; making the character feel weak and insignificant
- This is also called a Birds Eye View (BEV)
- A low angle places the camera below the character exaggerating his or her importance; making audience feel weak and the characters feel powerful
- This is also called a Worms Eye View (WEV)
- A Dutch Angle is a shot in which the camera angle is deliberately slanted to one side
- In cinematography, the Dutch angle is one of many cinematic techniques often used to portray psychological uneasiness or tension in the subject being filmed
- A pan is a camera movement where the tripod or operator stays stationary in one place and the camcorder is turned from left to right or right to left
- A tilt also has a stationary base but the camera is gradually moved from top to bottom or bottom to top
- A zoom lens, makes the subject larger or smaller within the frame simply by shifting the lens elements inside to change focal lengths. This magnifies the view of the subject while the camera itself remains stationary.
- In a zoom shot, as the subject gets bigger within the frame, the spatial relationship between the subject and the objects or people around the subject will not change.
- It looks artificial because there is no shift in perspective.
- Moving camera shots, such as a dolly, physically advance or change the position of the camera.
- When there is a movement of the camera, the relative position of everything within the frame changes constantly.