Film Techniques

There are various film techniques which form the basis of a film creation. Here are the different techniques and their importance in making a good meaningful film:

  • Camera shot:

It is the space visible in a frame or shot, that depicts various aspects of a movie’s setting, characters, and themes. All these make the film meaningful. An establishing shot is a long shot that is generally used at the initial part of a scene or a film to create a sense of general location setting. A long shot includes a landscape or a building that provides a more specific idea regarding the setting. Similarly, when a complete view of the characters has to be portrayed, a full shot is taken from which, the viewers can notice the costumes and better gauge the relationships between various characters. To get a closer look at the characters and their communication with other characters a mid-shot is taken, which is also referred to as the social shot. A personal or a close-up shot is taken when a single character’s emotion is being focussed so that the audience can feel the empathy for him. But in the case of horror movies, only a part of a character’s face or some other object is focussed to create an intensive mood.

  • Camera angles:

The purpose of the camera angles is for positioning the viewer such that they get the intended relationships between the characters. Its importance lies in the fact that the audience is able to get the meaning that the film intends to convey, by understanding the visual texts correctly.

When the audience needs to be shown the perspective of a character, a high angle is used. In this case, the character appears quite small. When an extremely long shot is used, a bird’s eye angle is used to look directly upon a scene. In films, generally, an eye-level angle is used to make sure that the audience feel comfortable with the characters, as they remain on equal footing. When any character has to appear powerful, then a low angle is used. In order to demonstrate a confused character, Dutch angle is used.

  • Camera movement:

This is another factor that plays an essential role in shaping meaning. When a film or scene ending has to be depicted, a crane shot is used. In this shot, the camera is mounted on a crane that moves upward.

A composer uses a tracking shot or a dolly shot to explore a location or a situation and follow a character. The tracking shot moves on the tracks and a trolley is used for mounting the dolly shot to get the desired effects. A panoramic view of the set is provided by the use of panning, which helps in the establishment of a scene. When the speed and object size has to be focussed, an Evangelion shot is used where an extreme close up and zoom out leads to a blurring effect.

  • Lighting:

It demonstrates the mood of a particular setting. For example, a neon lighted room provides a sterile sense, a shadowy room provides a scary feeling. Similarly, a happy atmosphere is portrayed by a brightly lit scene.

  • Cinematography:

All the techniques mentioned above, i.e camera shots, camera angles, camera movement, and lighting, together form cinematography