The Most Memorable Camera Shots That Elevate Video Productions

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Creating spectacular video or film content involves a combination of great writing, incredible storytelling, lush backdrops, effective lighting, capable actors, and stunning cinematography. The video or film camera is a storytelling tool that can add tension or increase the emotional impact of a scene. When shooting a film or video production, the camera crew and the director have to work together to plan unique shots that convey feeling and a mood. Some iconic film shooting styles have done this with stunning results. Here are some of the most memorable camera shooting techniques that can elevate your production.

Long Take

The long take is one of the most challenging shots to accomplish in cinema. For a standard project, a long take can add something special to an important scene or part of a film. The long take is essentially a camera shot that continues without cutting for a longer period of time, usually more than a few minutes. Films like 1917, Atonement, Magnolia, The Player, and Goodfellas have incorporated this shot into their compositions.

Dolly Zoom

Another impressive camera shot that has been memorably featured in a few top films is the dolly zoom shot. This shot plays with the audience’s perception of what is happening on screen and invokes feelings of terror or anxiety. The camera operator has to simultaneously zoom in or out of the subject while dollying or moving forward or away from the scene. The most famous example of a great dolly zoom shot is from Jaws. Other films that have used this technique include Vertigo, Raging Bull, Poltergeist, and Scarface.  

POV Shot

Filmmakers wanting to switch perspectives also use techniques that put the audience in the main character’s eyes with a POV shot. Camera operators accomplish this by using the camera as the stand-in for the character. Movies like The Terminator, Rear Window, and Hardcore Henry have used this impactful shot style. With professional video production by Indigoprod and other companies, creatives can get visually stunning shots like this in their projects.

Tilt Shift

In the past few years, another style of shooting has also emerged in the cinematographer’s toolkit, the tilt shift. Tilt shift camera shots first became popular with still photographers due to its unique way of capturing a scene. It creates a different perspective using a titled lens and a shift in focus and makes things look like a miniature world. Popular Hollywood movies The Social Network and Game Night have scenes that use this effect.

Follow Shot

The follow shot is another artistic technique film and video producers like use. A follow shot has a camera operator, usually with the help of a Steadicam, following an actor or subject. Sometimes, the director uses a tracking tool or a dolly to achieve the effect. This shot is a great way to introduce a large cast of characters or establish a setting. Films like Children of Men, Pulp Fiction, Boogie Nights, and Saving Private Ryan have effectively used this style.

Dutch Tilt

The last memorable shot style to make a project more cinematic is the Dutch tilt. This shot uses a still camera and places it on a specific angle to capture an image that is not aligned with the horizon. Dutch tilt shots convey a sense of unease and chaos to an audience. It can elevate the tension in a scene and hint that things aren’t right. Movies that have employed the Dutch tilt successfully include 12 Monkeys, Snatch, Inception, and Mission Impossible.

A stunning, creative film or video project uses a variety of well-planned out camera techniques to enhance the story. These unique and technically-impressive shots and camera angles can make a story more interesting and impactful to the audience.

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