The Five C's of Cinematography - EBIN.PUB (2022)














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ARTHUR C. MILLER , A.S.C While pr oduction of motion pictures has changed conside rably since I photographed Th e Perils of Pauline in 1914, some aspects - particu larly th ose inv olving st ory telling - arc still the same as they were h alf a century ago. Motion pictu res arc faster paced for today's more sophisticated au diences . Television dramas now introduce the charac ters , se t th e scene and es tab lish story line in a few minutes. To acco mplish this, ea rly films took a reel or more . Today's uses of the mo vin g ca me ra - especi ally helicop ter shots - an d wide-screen form ats permit more con tinuous filmin g with fewer editoria l cu ts. Modern filmi n g trends a re movin g away from thea tric al effec ts. and toward morc natu ra l ligh tin g and ca mera trea tment, Involving th e audience more deeply wit h the screen story. Th a t is good! Motion picture pr oduction was vas tly differen t in 1908 , wh en it was my good fort une as a boy of 14 to become assis ta nt - or "cam er a boy" as he was then ca lled - to Fre d J. Balshofcr, a pion eer motion picture pro· ducer , direct or and ca mera man . Mr. Balshofer initiated many filmin g techniqu es - such as strict adherence to directiona l continuity - which have become accepted produc tion standards . The following year I went to work for Edw in S. Por ter - who in 1903 h ad prod uced what is now cons idered th e first story film - T he Great T rain Robbery. Ea rly audi ences reco gnized these story pictures as res embling st age pl ays - because of their con tinuity , which was a great advance over the animated movi e snapsho ts presented u ntil then . This year marks the golden annivers ary of th e release of T he Birth of a Nati on , produ ced and direc ted by D. W. Griffith , the ack nowledged originator of screen syntax - as we now know it. Yet, des pit e th e in fluence on cinem a togr aphe rs everywhere exerted by these ou tstanding pioneers - and by m any com petent cin ematogr ap hers and dir ector s of today an d yesterday - not one of these masters of our

Mr. Miller is a three-rime Academy Award winner for Cinematograp hy. He is a past President of the American Society of Cinema tograp he rs . and its presen t Treas urer and 1\1useum Cura tor; Associate Editor of the American Cinematographer Manual and Chairman of the A.S .C. Publications Committee. Me. Miller is an honorary member of Delta Kappa Alpha cinema fraternity . and active in many technical and cultural areas of the motion picture industry.

cra ft has eve r wri tten in clear words just how the ca mera can be used to grea ter advantage in reco rding screen stories. Th e only way to learn to shoot bette r pictu res was to serve a n appren tices hip un der a competen t teacher - or to study film s and try to figure ou t how they were m ade. To my know ledge this is the first book th at ha s attem pted to tra ns la te the m any in tangibles of film m aking into defini tive explanations. In m y opin ion , no one is mo re qua lified to wri te th is book tha n Joe Mascelli. Mascelli is a rarity. He combines the wide experien ce of a working ca meram an - who film s both thea trical and non-theatr ical pictures - with a vast knowledge of all ph ases of motion picture produ ction , along wit h the desire to in str uc t and in spire. He is an astu te student of m otion picture histor y - particular ly cin em atogra ph y - an d has resear ched, st ud ied and analyzed th e work of m otion picture ph otogr aph ers, from Billy Bitzer to Leon Sham roy. He h as the unique ability to clarify shoo ting techniques for those who find th e com plexities of motion picture producti on m ystifyin g. I believe th at thi s book will be truly valu able to cinematogra phers of limited ex perience , and particularl y to students studying motion picture producti on . By under standing and applying the principl es present ed in this book, the reader will be able to visua lize a story in m otion pic ture term s. For , above all, it is the power of visua lization th at m akes the successful cinematogra pher. Read ing the script of T HE FIVE C's was for m e bot h in teresting an d thought provoking. I hope you find thi s book as stimu la ting a nd tn form auve as I h ave.

PROLO GUE In 1928 , when Ea stm an Kodak introduced 16m m Kodacolor - a wellknown physicist rem arked : "It's imp ossible - but not アオゥエ ・Aセ On m any occasions du rin g the yea rs devoted to preparati on and writing of this book, I ha ve felt th a t definin g, exp laining , clarifying and graphically illustra tin g motion picture filmi ng techniques in an easy -to -u nderstand way - is impossible - but not quite. Most professional s instin c tively know the right way to film the sub ject - hut seem unable to explain just how they do it . They h ave le arned what not to do, eit he r from past experience or by serving as appren tices under capable technician s. However - alth ough th e)' arc em ploying the rules constan tly!- few ca n explain the ru les by which motion pictures are filmed . Many cam er amen - particularly tho se sh ootin g non-theatrical pictures -cbecomc so involved in the techn ical aspects of movie m aking th at they tend to forget th at the prim ary purpose of a mo tion picture is to tell an intcrcsun q story! There is m uch ma rc to shoo ting motion pic tures than threading a roll of film in a camera, and exposing the picture correc tly. Th e aim s of this book are to mak e the reader awa re of the m any fa ctors involved in tellin g a sto ry with film . and to show how theatrical filming techniques can be successfully applied to no n -thea trical pict ures. Th ere is no need for tremend ous budgets to shoo t a motion picture properly l The sam e profession al ru les ma y be successfully ap plied to a docu mentary film report. The definitions , rules and recommendatio n s in thi s book ar e no t meant to be absolute. Most of these precepts have gradually developed through th e years , and have becom e routine procedures. In a few ca ses, I h ave h ad to di scover the hidden rule by \v-hich cert ain types of filming is accomplished . I h ave also had to in vent n ames - such as Action Al.i s and T ripleT ake Technique - for definition and expl anation of shooting m ethod s. The production of a motion pic ture , par ticularly a non -the atrical film . can be a highly personal undertaki ng. It is up to the indi vidu al to acce pt. cha nge or twist th e rul e to fit his particula r purpose . Filming methods are con tinuously changin g. Th e so-called "new wave" has shattered many established techniques - with some suc cess . The coming genera tion s of film m akers m ay find some of tod ay's sta ndard filming method s stifling. an d even obsolete. Film prod uc tion can use changes - bu t th ey sho uld be changes for the better. Changes that involve the audience m ore deeply ' in the screen story are constr uc tive and always welcome. It is im por tan t. however , that ambitious movie m akers first learn the rules befo re bre aking them. Learn the right wa y to film , learn th e acceptable method s, lea rn how audie nces become in volved in th e screen story and wh a t viewers h ave been conditioned to accept through years of m ovie going . Experiment ; be bold ; shoot in an un orthodox fashion ! But . first learn the correct way. don't sim ply do it a "new" way - wh ich . very likely. was new thirty yea rs ago ! - bec au se of a lack of knowledge of proper filmin g techni ques. Learn to kn ow your a udience. Place yourself in the viewer's posit ion .

Be truly objective in judging a new method or idea. Try it. If it plays _ if it is acceptable - and the audience comprehends and enjoys it - use it . If it simply confuses , teases or even dis tracts the audience from the narrative - discard it! Experiences in both theatrical and non-theatrical film m akin g has led me to the conclusion tha t the documentary - in-plant, militar y, ind ustrial and educational - cameram a n work ing with a sma ll crew , of ten on remote locations, witho ut a de tai led sc ript or other bene fits of a studio prod uc tion departmen t. mu st have knowledge and experience reac hing fa r beyon d that of a tech nical nature . He mu st of ten act as a ca me ra man / direc tor and later edi t his own film . His wor k ma y cover eve ry th ing from conceiving and prod ucing the pict ure - to putti ng it on the screen ! Thi s book will, I sincerely hope , provide suc h ind ividu als with grea ter insigh t in to the m any ways in which a movie narrative may be filmed _ with the ass urance th at th e picture can be edited in to an in teres ting , coherent , smooth-flowing scree n story. Th e serious studen t should also consider a sixth "C" - Chea ting _ which can not be learned from this or any other book! Cheating is th e ar t of re arr an gin g people, objects or actions, during filming or editing , so that the screen effec t is enh anced . Only experience will teach the came raman and film editor wh en and how to cheat. The secret of effective ch eating is in kn owin g how to make changes without the audi ence being aware of th e che at. The only crime in cheating is in getting cau ght! A player's height m ay be chea ted hi gher in a two-shot ; or the corner of a lamp m ay be cheated out of a close-up; or portions of the even t m ay be chea ted ou t of th e final edited picture- for a better screen result . Th e beginn er m ay be either afraid to cheat, or he may chea t too much . Th e experienced tech nician knows exactly how far cheating can be carried before the viewer is aware of a change. Th is volume is not intended to be a means to an en d - bu t a beginning ! My purpose is to m ake you aware of the many facets of m ovie m aking. With th at a tti tude you m ay analyze any filmin g situation , and decide on the best procedures for the shoo ting job at hand . Wh a t I hope to do is help you think abou t motion picture production profession ally!

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INTR ODUCTION A mo tion picture is ma de up of many sho ts. Each shot requires placing the camera in the best position for viewing players , se tting an d action a t th at particular moment in th e narrative . Position -

ing the camera - the camera angle - is influenced by several fa ctors. Solution s to m an y problem s involving choice of cam er a angles m ay be re ached by though tful analysis of story requi rem en ts. With experience, deci sion s can be m ade almost intuitively. The camera angle determ ines bot h audience viewpoint an d area covere d in the shot. Each time the camera is mo ved to a new set-up, two questions m ust be answered: Wh at is the best viewpoint for filming th is p or tion of the event? How much area should be included in this shot? A carefully-chose n camera angle can heigh ten drama tic visualization of the story. A carelesslypicked cam er a ang le m ay distr act or confuse th e audience by depictin g the scene so th at its meaning is difficult to comprehe nd . Therefor e, selec tion of camera angles is a most im por tan t fa ctor in constru cting a picture of continued in teres t. In most instances , theatrica l film scripts des ignate the type of shot required for ea ch scene in a seque nce. Some stu dios prefer "master scene" scripts in which all action an d dialogue in an entire sequence is pr esented - bu t ca mer a angles are no t indicate d . In either case, the dir ector has

the prerogative of choosing his own angles in accordance with his in terp retation of th e script. Since the cameraman position s the camera , it is he who usu ally makes fin al decision on viewpoi n t an d area, based on th e director's wishes . Dir ector s vary in their ap proac h to the camera angle ques tion : m an y will leave the fin al decis ion up to the cameraman once their request is made. Oth er s m ay be m ore camera-oriented an d work more closely with the camer am an in arriving at the precise camera pl acem ent for each sho t. When shooting fro m script , the non-theatrica l cameraman an d direc tor may work in the same manner. If workin g alone, however , the cameraman mu st ca ll hi s own shots. Wh en shoo ting docum entary films off-the -cuff, he h as the furt her responsibili ty of breaking down th e event into individual shots , and deciding the type of shot required for ea ch por tion of th e action. In either case, the experience of the ca meraman, his kn owledge of th e problems an d his visual imagination, ' will strongly influenc e the choice of camera angle . Both thea trical and non -theatrical film makers often em ploy a "Pr oduction Designer" to prepare a "story board" - a series of ske tches of key incidents wh ich suggest ca mera ang le, ca mera and pl ayer movemen t, and comp ositi on al tre at ment. These sketches m ay be ver y simple - the me res t outlines ; or very elaborate - in the ca se of high II



The atri cal film scripte designate type of shot requi red for each see"a in sequence. Prodecucn desunicr may Nセャiー Aャ sketches thnt suyyest h ow camera will be placed and moved. Director of photography is responsible fOT preci se place ment of cam era.

bud get thea trical films セ in wh ich detailed color renderi ng s of the sce nes are closely followed by director an d cameraman in setti ng up the sho t. A screen s tor y is a series of continuouslu changing im ages wh ich portray eve nts from a variety of viewpoints . Choice of camera angl e ca n position th e audience closer to th e action to view a significa n t portion in a large close-up ; farther away to appreciate the m agnificent gra ndeur of a vast landsc ape ; hiqltcr to look down upon a vas t con struction project ; lower to look up at the face of a judge . Cam era angle can shift viewpoi nt 12

from one player to anoth er, as dr amatic e mphasis changes du rin g a scene ; travel alongside a galloping horsem an as he escapes purs uers ; move into a drama tic scene, as story interest heigh tens ; move away from gruesome se tting depicting dea th and des truction ; see otherw ise un seen mi croscopic world ; observe the ear th from a sa tellite in orbit. Th e audience m ay be positioned anywhere tnstantlu to view anything from any ang le - at the disc retion of th e cam eram an and film editor. Such is the power of th e moti on picture! Such is the im por tance of choos ing th e right camera an gle !


The documentary cameraman shooting off the-cuff has further responsibility of breaking event into individual shots, and deciding type of shot (or each portion of action . Knowledge of editorial requirements is valuable when filming without a script.


are someThe terms scene, shot and Nセ・アャョ」 times misunderstood. Scene defines the place or settin,q where the action is laid . This expression is borrowed from stage productions , whe re an act may be divided into severa l scenes, each of which is set in a different locale. A scene may consist of one shot or series of shots depicting a continuous event. Shot defines a continuous view filmed by one camera without interruption. Each shot is a take. When additional shots of the same actio n are filmed from the same set-up - because of tech nical or dramatic mistakes - the subsequent shots are called re-takes. If the set-up is changed in any way - camera moved , lens changed, or different action filmed - it is a new shot , not are-take. A sequence is a series of scenes, or shots , com plete in itself. A seq uence may occur in a ; in gle setting, or in several settings. Action should match in a seque nce whenever it continues across several consecutive shots with straigh t cuts - so that it depicts the event in a cont in uous manner, as in rea l life. A sequence may begin as an exterior scene, and continue inside a building, as the players enter and settle down to talk or perform. A

CAMERA ANGLES sequen ce may begin or en d wit h a fa de or dissolve; or it may be straight-cu t with bracketing seque nces. Confusion arises when the terms scene and shot are used interchangeably. Individual shots in a scri pt are referred to as scenes . But , a master scene scr ipt would require a number of shots to film the entire event. In such cases, a single scene numb er m ay be used and th e sho ts design ated by letters a, b, c, etc . While production personnel may consider a single take as a shot, they refer to the shot by scene number. For practical purposes, the refore, scene and shot arc generally inte rchangeable. A sho t - or a portion of a shot - is also referred to as a cut. This term is derived from a portion of a shot which is cut out and used separately such as a cut of a playe r's silent reaction removed from a dialogue sequence.



The objective camera films from a sideline viewpoint. The aud ience views the event through

This do cumentary shot - depicting construction of a freeway - is filmed from objective camera angle, sometimes referred to as "audien ce point of view."


CAMERA ANGLES the eyes of an unseen observer , as if eavesdropping. Cam er am en and directors some times ref er to this candid camera treatmen t as the audience point of view. Since they do n ot present the event from the viewpoint of anyone wit hin the scene , objective cam era ang les arc imper sonal. People pho tographed appe ar unaware of the camera and never look directly into the len s. Should a player look in adverten tly in to the len s, even with a sideways glance, the sce ne must be re taken - if objective an gle is maintained . Most motion picture sce nes ar e filmed from objec tive ca mera an gles.

Camera ma y act as eye of au dienc e to place viewer aboard airplane. If shot is preceded lly close-u p of person looking out wi ndow - viewe r wi ll com preh end that he is seeing w hat screen player sees.


THE FIVE C's be tak en on a cam er a tour of an ar t museum and

shown th e paintings. Or, th e camer a m ay dolly slowly along an au tomobile ass embly line, giving the viewer a close look at th e process. In volvemen t is greatest wh en th e viewer is startled or shoc ked . A classic subjective camera exam ple is th e roller coaster ride in Cinerama. Pers onal reaction results not only from wide-screen tre atment and stereophonic sound ; but es pecially because the viewer ex periences the even t as if it were actua lly h appenin g to him . A like effect is achieved when the came ra films subjec tively from a speeding bobsled . an airplane , an aeria l tramway, a funicu lar r ailroad , or similar vehicle ; part icularly if the view shown is precarious, such as a twis ting moun tain road! A ca mera m ay be dropped from a hei ght - on a shock cord - to simula te wh at a fallin g per son sees. A cam era may be enc ased in a football and spir aled th rough the air to th e receiver. Th e camera m ay fly in the pilot's seat of a giant airliner as it m akes a landin g. It m ay r ide the r apids on the prow of a boat ; roa r down a ski jump ; leap over a fence du ring a steeplech ase; dive under water; jockey for position in a horse r ace; fall down a mountain - or go for a quie t stroll in th e pa rk. In all these instan ces th e cam er a act s as the viewer's eyes. Eac h mem ber of the aud ience rccelves the impression th at he is in th e scene - not mer ely viewin g even ts as an un seen observer . Th e camera places him in th e mid st of the setting, as if he were rid ing the bobsled , flying the airplane or jumping the hurdles. Subjective shots , such as these, add dr am atic im pact to the story-telling. Abruptly inserted in an otherwise objectively filmed picture , subjective sho ts inc re ase audience involveme nt and int ere st. The camera changes places with a person in tile , picture. Th e viewer may see th e even t through the eyes of a particular person with whom he iden tifies. Wh en subjective shots previously described ar e preceded by a close-up of a pers on looking offscreen, th e viewer will comprehend that he is seeing wh at th e screen player sees . The shot itself m ay be filmed in precisely the same manner , but the viewe r is no lon ger on his own - he ha s


TH E FIVE C's traded positions with the on-screen player to view the event as he sees it. If an airplane pilot , jockey or moun ta in climber is established in the scene, the following subjective sho t is wha t th at person sees. The specta tor may experience th e same sen sation s , becau se he is seeing the scene throu gh screen pl ayer's eyes. In the Following examples, the subjective shots will be the same _ pro viding the viewer is looking at inanim a te objects , empty se tt ings, or eve nt s in which people in the picture do llOt relate direct ly with the ca mera. A clock on the wall. an un occu pied room , an action ride, or people in the park will all appe ar the same, regardl ess of whether the viewer sees the scene directl y, or through the eyes of a per son in the picture. Th e thrilling movsubjec tive, but sta tic ing ca mer a ride is 。 ャキHOケNセ shots m ay be objective or sub jec tive.,1 according to the way they arc edited . Th e clock , the roo m , or the park seen e m ay be in ter pre ted as objective, un less a close-u p of a pl ayer is shown looking: off-screen. The audience will then understand that what they see is wh at playe r sees in the sce ne .

Tile scen e followi ng d rat of an in divi dual lookin g ott -screen w ill be in terpreted by audience as w hat tluu: person sees. Tile m all aI,ove is lookin g up - at a bui lding filmed from hi s poin t-oi-uieui. Upwa rd or down ward points of view of a player m ay be simu lated by similar camera angling.


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Viewer m ay trade places wi th person in picture if s110t above is follow ed by poin tof-view shot of OpeTation. P.o.v. shots are best for training film s becau se t he y place viewer s in workers' positi on s.

Few shootin g or editing problems are encountered when a subjective shot is inser ted in an objective sequence ; wheth er or not a person , with whom the audience can iden tify. is shown.

Difficul ties do arise, however , wh en the ca mera replaces a player wh o mu st relate with other players in the scene. Whenever other players in the sce ne look in to th e eyes of th e subjective' player th ey mu st look directly in to th e len s. Th e u nexpected appe arance of a player looking directly into the lens star tles the audien ce, because they sudde nly become aware of the camera. It is as if the people being filme d detected the eavesdropping camera. Such treatment can prove very distr ac tin g, and may disrupt the story-telling. 15



"Lady In T h e La ue" u sed su bjec tive cam-

era, which traded ntacee with dctectiveuc ro. He wa s seen hy audience on ly w hen introduced, and when refl ected in mirrors.



T he audie nce is shocked wh en it is abru ptly switche d from an unseen observer outside th e picture (looking at players who arc seem in gly un aware of th e ca mera's presence), to a participant in th e pic ture ( d irec tly rel ating with th e pla yers ). The viewer m ay w an t to become emoti onall y in volved in the story, bu t he m ay be uncomfortably surprised when required to bec om e actively involved with the players ! A sudde n switch from an objective to a su bjec tive look-into-the- lens shot is startling in a dramatic film because the audience is unprepared for such treatment. Viewers cannot Immediately adjust to act ive par tici pa tion in the event. Wh en thc ca mera return s to objective fllm tng, th e audience will agai n h ave to re-orien t itself. The sub[cc ttve treatment is rarely successful when th e audience is asked abru ptly to tr ade places wit h a


player , with all th e other perfo rmers in the sce ne looking direc tly at him . If an entire sequence, or a comple te picture is filmed subjectively , other d ifficul ties arise. Sin ce the camera replace s the player , it must behave like the player , and sec what he sees through h is eyes at all time s. This nec essitates continuous filming with a m obile camera , which looks about as the player mov es . sits , stands or looks a t another player . Normal editing techniq ues may Plot be used , because filming cannot be in terrupted. Th e subjective player m ay be introduced in an objective sho t; but when the camera rep laces him , the au dien ce m us t view euerut hinq subjectively, as he sees it. While the person of th e subjective pla yer is no longer seen , h is reflec tion may be visible in a mirror , a window or a pool of water. The came ra m ust move to simu late the player's move-



.....................,. En tire cast had to look direc tly in to lens wh enever relatinc with he ro. The audi en ce did not see nero:e reactions . Only his voice was heard,




ment s as he wal ks around. The pla yer ( camera) m ay en ter a room , look abou t, sit down , con ver se with an other pla yer , look a t his own h and lighting a cigare tte , look down at an ash tray, turn his head to look a t a r inging telephone . get up and wa lk out. Th e player, or players , in the scene m ust look direc tly i nto th e le n s wh en looking in to th e subjective player's eyes duri ng dialogue exch anges, or otherwise relati ng with him.

Su bjective camera is employed on rare ccces tcns in d ram atic theatrical feature films , In "Ship of Fools" narrator-plauer ( at righ t above ) relates wit h a fellow pwyer; an d directly Witll tile audience. below, to comment on story .

W hen h e roi ne m ade love to h ero - sh e h ad to perio rm w it h tile cam era lens!

Th e result of this continuous filmi ng tre atment is a great de al of use less footage between signi ficant ac tions - which often can not be edited ou t becau se con tinuit y would be disru p ted. Subjective pla yer technique used in an entire th eatrical picture, usu ally resu lts in a dull effec t, because it elimi n a tes the player's face and does not show h is react ion s to other player's dialogue or ac tions . Th e audience is teased because they ac tually see only h al f of the normal in terchange between players. Whil e subjec tive tre a tmen t m ay be int eresti ng in th e beginning, it becomes borin g, if extended. Th ere are a few exceptions to the no -editing rule. Th ese permtt or thodox editing of a subjective sequence wh enever the subjective player recalls an even t in a flashback . Subj ective flashb acks may be pr esented in fragm ented fashion , because a person telling a story need rela te only significant hi ghli ghts , n ot every single move or ac tion . A subjective sequence may also be edited when ever a 18

player is m entall y or otherwise u n ba lanced beca use of drinks , drugs or illness. The audience will under st and , in such cases , th at th e player. receives i m pressions, r ather th an a con tinuou s clear picture, of wh at is h appening. The sub jective pla yer m ay. th erefore, see even ts throu gh hi s m ind's eye as a series of individu al im ages, inste ad of a continuou s h ap pening. Normal ed iting m ay be employed in th ese instance s, r ather than con tinuou s camera filmi ng otherw ise required . A dir ect cut m ay be m ade to a

TH E FIVE C's ringing telephone , rath er than a p an to simulate a head turning. A series of rela ted or unrel ated images, sha rp or distorted , may be sh own as individua l subjective shots , r ather than as a continuous unbroken scene . Subjective sequences , which may be edited , ca n be successfully inse rt ed in objectively-filmed pictures if they a re prope rly introduced , so that the audience comprehends what is going on . Such scene s will work better with ina nimate objects, empty setti ngs or other scenes not invo lving live players. A story told in flashback may show an old hou se , a climb up a staircase , entry into a room and the discovery of a body. This would be excellen t if treated subjectively, because it does not show oth er players wh o would h ave to look int o the len s to rela te with the subjective player. Into-the-len s subjective filmi ng should be reserve d for mentally-unbalanced sequences to involve the viewer more closel y with the subjective play er's condi tion . Th ese will be m ore effec tive if distorted, blurred , or shaken . A figh t sequence could be very effec tive because the audience wou ld - in a sense - receive blows, and fall down and look up int o the ligh ts , e tc. T he camera act.,> as the eye of the un seen audience. A person on-scree n looks in to the lens to set up a performer-viewer eye-to-eye relationship. A typical exa m ple is the television newsc as ter who spea ks directly into the lens. Eye contact creates a per sona l relati on sh ip between performer an d viewer, becau se eac h is looking directly at the other. This treatment evolved from radio broadcasting, in which th e announcer spea ks direc tly to the listener. A perso na l relati onshi p may be se t up in a dr am ati c film by h aving the n arrator , or a performer , step forward , look directly in to the lens and int roduce the even t, the pla yers or the setti ng; or to explain or int erpre t what is h appening. Th is genera lly works best at beginning and end of a pict ure. Or , the story m ay be in terrupted at in ter vals to sum u p wha t h as transpired , or to introdu ce a new story elemen t . The m an or woma n prom otin g the spo nsor's product in a television com mercial speaks directly in to th e len s for gre ater atte ntion , and to att ra c t

CAMERA ANGLES the viewer persona lly. The narra tor in a television or documen tary film m ay step int o the foregroun d , while the eve n t tr an spires behind him , to explain wh at is h appening. He m ay in terview people involved , or simply s tep out of the picture and let th e eve n t proceed . Th e pla yers in th is case perfonn as if the n arrator were not present - unless th ey are ca lled for an intervie w. A furth er refinement of this technique presents the perfo rmers "frozen" in the ir positions - perhaps in silhouette - when the scene opens. They hold thei r attitudes while th e na rrator introduces the sto ry. when he walks off, they come to life. They may freeze again at th e end, if an epilogue is presented. A variati on may be used in whic h one of the players comes forward to introduce th e story. He may also step forw a rd at int ervals to recap what is happen ing; and then rejoin his fellow player s and continue wit h the performa nce .


Camera may act as eye of uns een audien ce. Newscaster looks directl y into lens to set up perfonner-viewer eye-to-eye relation shi p. Each viewer feels that person on m mion picture or television screen is speaking directly to him . This sub jective treatment is ideal for documentary films whe ne ver a personal relat ionshi p between viewer and person on screen is desirable.

Such subjective treatment lends itself equally well to m ysteri es , hi st oric al documentaries , modem news stories , indu strial or mili tary subjects. Th e weird ha ppen ings in an an cient castle m ay be described by the old ca retaker , wh o then exits 19

CAMERA ANGLES the scene as the pl ayers en act th e drama . Generals in battle may be interviewed in a YOlJ -arcther e treatment. Curren t even ts may presen t eye wi tnesses, who tell thei r stories d irectly to th e television aud ien ce . An au tomotive engineer m ay rela te hi s ex per ience in developin g a new car. An astron aut m ay look directly into the len s, and describe hi s feelings while orbiting th e e arth in a

THE FIVE C's behalf of the audience . A co m pa ny president , a space scien tis t, a test pilot , ma)' all be intervi ewed d uri ng their work , and spe ak directly to the au dienc e. Wh en filming ne ws intervi ews , care should be taken to preven t th e douhtc -toou, in wh ich th e person bein g qu estioned shifts his look back an d

space caps ule. An off-screen narra tor ta king the aud ienc e for a typic al tour of a fac tory m ay logic all y stop a worker on an assem bly lin e , a nd que stion him in

T elevision interviews SiIOUld avoid the "double-look" - at botu inter vie wer and camera le lls. Pers on being interviewed sh ould Icoh: Cit!H!T at reporter, or direct ly

int o len s as Nセッョ as in trodu ced . Bach-andfort h look s (Ire very distractiny .


Look into le ns m ay be better handled if reporter and person bein.q interviewed are film ed oocr-the -shoutder, Aner introduction . cam era may Cllt - or zoom in - to d ose-u p of individual lookin g iu to len s as Il l' ゥ Nセ questio ned: by off-screen reporter , Opel/i ng remark s of reporter - w hen both arc loohillH at each ether - may be film ed late r ill a point-of-view ctoec-un withollt n eed for in ferviewee. Th is is a time-saver iohen Ii/miny very im portan t person s.

THE FIVE C's forth from interviewer to camera len s. Th e subjective effect is weakened when audience attention is divided . T h e viewer is distracted when ever the interviewee looks back and forth. Th e person should be inst ru c ted be fore the scene is filmed to speak directly in to the len s at all times. A performer in a dramatic or documentary film will, of course, be pr operly rehe ars ed . Th e look-io ta-thelens may be better handled if reporter-interviewee are positioned for an over-th e-shoulde r sho t. The camera may employ a zoom lens , which m ay close-in on th e interviewee as soon as h e is in tro duce d and begi ns to talk. Or , th e repor ter m ay remain off-screen at the side of the camera , and direct his question s so th at the person answering may speak more easily in to the len s. Tw o-sh ot s, in which repor ter- tntervtcwcc face each other in proflle and sneak glances at the len s now an d then, sho uld always be avoided! T o sum lip the eubicctioe camera:

It s employment from a p ar ticul ar play er's viewpoint, in which the viewe r is asked to tra de places with the screen performer, and relate wit h other players, is questionable. An occasion al shot of th is

Scenic sh ot may he ohjective or su hjective - according to way sequence is ed ited. I f presented alone, scene will be seen subjectively by vi ewer through camera len s act in g as hi s eyes. If scene is preceded by a close-up of player looking o ff-screen , viewer will accept it as point-of-view sh ot-and see scene objectively from player's view point.

CAMERA ANG LES type inser ted in an otherw ise objectively filmed picture is startling, beca use the pla yers in the picture arc su ddenly looking at the len s. A sequence, or an entire picture, filmed in thi s m anner ca n be very annoying to audience. It s successful use in a drama tic motion picture sh ould be limited to flashbacks or spe cial effects. The subjective camera is mo st effec tive when ever or thodox edit ing, rather th an contin uous filming, can be employed . Subjec tive sho ts from the audience viewpoint, in which the camera acts as the collective eye of the audience, can be successfully used in both theatrical and n on-th ea trical films in a variety of wa ys. Th e sub jective trea tm en t is excellen t whenever the camera performs as a participan t in an event to place the viewer in- the-pic ture. Suc h shots may be in ser ted in to obje ctively-filmed sequences , because the viewer trades places with the performer m om en tarily, or employs the camera lens as his own per sonal eye - and the peop le in the picture do not look in to the lens . This is the importan t diffe ren ce that makes the audience viewpoint shot acceptable, and the particular playcr viewpoint, in which the other playe rs look at th e lens , n na ccepta hte. While subjective sh ots in which the camera takes th e pl ace of an unseen audience h ave limited usc in theatrical films, they offer opportunities for experimenting in non- theatrical and television films. Use of subjective shots for news even ts and documen taries is successful because it bri ngs the key persons in to direc t relationship with the viewer, on a per son-to-pers on basis. The su bjective ca mer a must be employed with discretion, or it m ay shock or in trude on the aud ience in a way th at will destroy their em otion al a ttra ction to the su bject. Prop erly employed, however, thi s technique may result in greater audience invol vement becaus e of added per sonal relation ship it se ts up . A great de al of careful thought should be given switches -from objec tive to subjective filmin g, par ticula rly if the camera replaces a playe r in the picture . No difficulty will be encoun tere d with subjec tive sho ts wh ere the rela tion ship is betwee n a newscaster, an in terviewee or a performer and viewer ; or where the ca mera acts as th e collective eye of the audience.


CAMERA ANGLES POINT-OF-VIEW CAMERA ANGLES Poi nt -of -v iew , or simply p.o.v., camera angles record th e scene from a particular player's viewpoint. The poi nt-o f-view is an objective angle, but since it falls between the objective and subjective angle, it should be placed in a separate category and given special consideration. A poin t-of-view sho t is as close as an objective shot can approach a su bjective shot - and still rem ain objective. The camera is pos itio ned at the side of a subjective player - whose viewpoin t is being depicted - so th at th e au dience is given the im pression they are sta n ding cheek-to-cheek with

An over-tile-shoulder dose-up prepares audience for point-of-view close-up. Audience sees each player from ovpoema player's point of view.


THE FIVE C's the off-screen player. The viewer does not see the eve nt through the player's eyes, as in a subjective shot in which the camera trades places with the screen player. He sees the even t fro m the pl ayer's viewpoint, as if standing alongside him. Th u s, the camera angle remains objective, since it is an un seen observer no t involved in the act ion . An on-screen player looking at the player whose viewpoin t is depicted , looks slightly to the side of the c am er a - not into the lens. Poin t-of-view shots may be used whenever it is desir able to involve the viewer more el osely with the eve nt. The audience steps into the picture , so to speak, an d sees the players and the setting from the viewpoi nt of a par tic ul ar player - by standing beside him. This creates a stro nger identity with the screen player in the ac tion, an d provi des the viewe r wit h a m ore in tim a te glim pse of the event. Poin t-of-view shots often follo w over-the-shoulder shots, when a pair of players face each other and exchange dialogu e. The over -the-shoulder shot se ts up the relationship between th e tw o players, and the p.o .v. shot moves the au dience in to the player's position . Each player may be see n from the opposing player's point-of-view. Any shot may become a point-of-view shot if it is preceded with a shot of a player lookin g offscreen . The audience will accept the following shot as being from the player'S vic\vpo int. The player may look at: another player , a group of players, an object. a distan t scene, a vehicle , etc. Thus , an objective shot, which is - in essence the audience's own point of view , may become the point of view of a particular player by inserti ng a close-u p of the player looking off-screen. Anyone in the scene who looks at the player m ust look sligh tly to one side of the camera (which side is dependent u pon the action axis drawn from the off-screen player to the on-sc reen perform er ) . It is easier fo r the audience to identify with the hero in a dramatic picture, or the repor ter/narrator in a documen tar y film, if viewers see people an d objec ts as the screen player sees them, rather than as a bystander on the sidelines. Object ive camera trea tm ent is maintaine d in poi nt-of-v iew shots, so that the audience is never startled - as in subject ive shots, where the other players look



Viewer may interpret above scene - of aerial tanker boom making connection fOT mid-air reiuelino - as either subjective or pomt-oi-uicw shot. This shot is subjective, because viewer is made to feel that he is in boom operator's vicarious position, perfonning the task. It would be a p.o.v . shot if preceded by a close-up of the operator lookin,q off -screen. Subjective and point-oF-view shots involve audience more intimately with event than do objective scenes.

directly in to the len s. Yet, the event is presented in an in timate manner , because it is seen from a particular player's viewpoint. Switching back and forth from objective to point-or-v iew camera angles is n ot jarring because both angles are actually objective. There are two im por tan t don'ts to be observed when filming point-o f-view shots ; Don't show a player lookin g off-screen, then cut to what he sees - and pan th e camera around an d end up on the player. This will jar th e audience,

because a person cannot see himself as he looks about! What star ts off as a point-of-view shot becomes a straight objective shot, as soon as the player is included. Don't have a player point off-screen , to a wall clock for in stance, and the n walk out in the same direction . Always walk a player off-screen in a direction different th an to which pointe d , unl ess a direct re lationship exis ts bet ween player's movement an d the obiec t.


CAMERA ANGLES SUBJECT SIZE, SUBJECT ANGLE & CAMERA HEIGHT A cam era ang le is defined as the area an d view point recorded by the len s. Placem en t of the cam era decides how m uch area " will be in clu ded , an d viewpoint from whic h the audience will observ e the event. It is im portan t to remember the relationsh ip between camera angle an d audien ce. Every time the camera is sh ifted, the audience is repo sitione d, and observes th e event from a fr esh viewpoint. Three factors de term ine the camera ang le : SUBJECT SIZE

THE FIVE C's era from the sub ject, or lens focal length, do no t deter mine the type of shot film ed. T he camera distan ce, and the are a photographed, would vary greatly in filmi ng a close-up of a baby human and a baby elephant! Th e shot should be defined with regard to the subject matter, and its in/aye size in rela tion to the over-all picture area . A head closeup would , therefore, depic t a head - whet her of baby hu m an or of baby elep hant - full -screen . The sh ot defini tion s which follow should no t be considered in absolut e ter ms. They sho uld be used to describe requiremen ts in general terms.


SUBJECT SIZE The image size, the size of the sub ject in re lation to the over-a ll frame, determines the type of sh ot ph otogr aphed . The size of the im age on the film is det ermi n ed by th e dis tance of the c am era from the sub ject, and the foca l length of len s used to m ake th e' shot . The closer the camera; th e la rger th e image. The longer the lens ; the lar ger the image. The conve rse is also true : the fu r ther away the camera; the sh orter the le ns , the smaller th e im age. Im age size m ay vary dur ing the sho t by mov ing the ca mer a, m oving players , or em ploying a zoom lens . Th e ca mer a may p an or dolly so th at the su bject is br ough t closer to or fur ther away from the lens . The pl ayers may move toward or awa y from the camera. Th e zoom len s may be varied in focal len gth as the scene progresses . Thu s, a long sh ot may graduate in to a close-up, a close-up becom e a lon g sho t, in a single sho t. Many camerame n and directors thi nk only in terms of long sho t, medium sho t and close-up in a by-the-nu mbers progression . Such elementary thi nk ing fa lls f ar short of th e many types of shots th at m ay be filmed. Relative terms h ave different meanings to different people. What one cameraman would cons ider a medium shot, m ay be a me dium close-u p to another. Distance of the earnセ

Th e ar ea covered is als o depe nden t upon lens focal len gt h .


Im age size may vary during a sh ot. These playe rs may wa lh towa rd camera as scene progresses. Or, cam era may move closer to them-or they may he filmed with a zoom lens . A 10119 shot. may thus graduate into a close-up in a single take.



Ex treme lon g shots may depict vast area (rom great dis tance, to iniprees audience with grandeur or scope of under taking. Such shots es tablish geography of setting . A wide-angle stati c shot is best, but a pan sliot may be employed if it in creases in interest as pan progresses. EXTREME LONG SHOT ( E LS )

An extreme long shot depicts a vast area from a great distance. It may be used whenever the audience should be im pr essed with the huge scope of the setting or event. An extremely wide an gle st atic shot is usually more ad ap table for extreme long sho ts th an is a panning camera movement . The pan shou ld be employed only when it in crease in in terest , or reveals m ore of th e setting or action, as it pr ogresses. The static shot should be used whenever a map type shot , wh ich establishes the geography of the locale, is desirable. Extreme lon g shots are best filmed from a high

van tage poin t, such as a hi gh ca mera platform, the top of a building , a hilltop or a m oun tain peak; or from an airp lane or helicopter. A lar ge ranch , a farm, a city skyline , an industrial com plex , an oil field , a mountain range , a military . bas e; or a m ass movemen t such as a ca ttle drive, a ship convoy or a moving army , may be very impressive as opening shots to introduce a sequence or to begin a pic ture. Such massive shots set the scene for what follows by putting the audience in th e pr oper moo d, an d provi ding them with th e over-all picture before introducing characters and establish ing story line. Whenever possible,




An ex trem e long shot of test base under construction ma y serve to introduce sequen ce or begin picture. Such scen es estohlish. sctti nq tnul: open picture on ,q ran d scale .

extreme lon g sho ts should be filmed to open up the picture on a grand scale, and capture audience in terest from the star t. LON G S HOT ( LS )

A lon g shot takes in the entire area of ac tion . The place, the people, and the objects in the scene are show n in a long sho t to acq uaint th e audience with their over-all appear ance. A long sho t m ay include a stree t, a house . or a r oom , or any setti ng where the eve n t takes pl ace. The lon g shot should be employed to est ablish all elem ents in th e scene , so th at viewers will know who is involved . where they are located as th ey m ove


about, and whe n seen in closer shots as th e sequen ce progresses. Players' en trances , exits an d m ovem ents sho uld be shown in long sho t whenever their loca tion in the setti ng is n arratively significa nt. Followin g the players around in close shots m ay con fuse the audience as to their whe reabou ts in relati on to the setti ng and the other players. It is therefore wise to re-establish th e scene in a long shot wh enever consi derable pla yer m ovem ent is involved . Long shots are gene rally loosely composed, so th at players are given sufficien t room to move about, and th e se tting m ay be shown to adv antage in its en tire ty. Whil e thi s m ay seem to dwarf th e


CAMERA ANGLES door s, in a series of room s. Such a pic ture will ap pear closed in and lac king in spaciousness. Exterior long sho ts will open up th e pic ture a t in tervals a nd furni sh "air" for a breather. Long shots are kep t to a bare minimum in television film s because of limited size of picture tubes, and inability to resolve a great deal of det ail. In thi s case medium lo ng shots. which cover the pla yers full length but do not depict the setti ng in its en tirety, m ay be substituted. Such scenes a re some times re ferred to as f1111 shots . MEDIUM SHOT ( MS or MED )

Long shots establish area of action and players' positions. Pla yers' entrances, exits and movements should be covered in lon g s1lot umencucr their loca tion in setting is na rrat ive ly significant.

A m edium sho t m ay be better defined as an intermediate sho t because it falls between a long sho t and a close-up . Players are filmed from above th e kn ees, or from jus t below the waist. Whil e seve ra l pla yers m ay be grouped in a m edium sho t, the ca me ra will be close enough to record with clarity their ges tures . facial expressions and mo vements. Medium sho ts are excellent for television filmin g, because they presen t all ac tion within a restr icted area in large size figur es. Mediu m shots gener ally comprise the bulk of theatrical film s, because they place the audience at a m idd le dis tan ce, excellent for presenting events aft er the long shot h as es tablished the scene. Beca use it h as many narrative uses, a great deal m ay

Lon g shots der k! size of objects - such as this jet airliner - and dwarf players, who will be seen to adva ntage in latcr medium shots an d close-u ps.

players , the long shot is on the scree n for a very short time and players ca n be seen to individu al advan tage in subseque nt sho ts . Lon g shots lend scope to a pictu re , beca use they play up the size of th e sett ing. Even a seq uence tak in g place withi n a house should ope n with an exterior lon g shot to es tablish the locat ion . Th is is particularly impo r tan t when an en tire film takes place in -

Medium shots comprise bu lk of theatrical and television films, beca use they posit ion audience at m iddle distance. This is excellent for presenting even ts after lon g shot has established scene.



T he author confers with Producer-Director Irvin Berwick on a two-sh ot for "Street Is My Beat ," be depic ted in a med ium shot. One or more play ers may be followed abou t, with a pan or dolly

movement, so that en ough of th e setting is sh own to keep viewers constantly oriented . Th e story m ay move into medium shots after the long shot. It may return to a medium sh ot afte r close-ups , to re-establish the pla yers. The most dramatically interesti ng medium shot is th e two-shot, in which two players con front each othe r and exchange dialogue. The two-sh ot origin ated in Hollywood , and is kn own in Fr ance, It aly and Spai n as the "American-shot." A fa mous director h as stated : "Regardless of the size of th e picture , wh ether it boasts a ca st of thousand s or a 28


mo des t number, the ac tion always wind s up in a two-shot featurin g boy an d girl, hero an d villain , or hero and his buddy." There ar c nu merous variation s of the two-shot. The most widely used , but not always th e mo st pict ori ally int erestin g. is th at in which both pl ayers sit or stand fa cin g each oth er with their profiles to the lens. Youn g peop le with clean -cut profiles and good nec klin es will genera lly ph otograph well. Older persons with jowls, puff y faces or double chi ns shou ld seldom be filmed in profile. The m ain problem with the profile two-shot is th at neither pla yer ca n dominate the compositi on if each is equally well lighted . Domin ance is achieved through dialogue , action or favora ble lighting, which captures audience att en tion at the expen se of the less fa vored player. Th e pla yer s


m ay move about , or even change positi on s as the scene progre sses; an d dr am ati c in terest m ay switch from one to the other, if required. Two-shots m ay be angled and pla yed in dep th , so that nearest pla yer is turned sligh tly aw ay from th e came ra and the farther player positi oned so tha t he is filmed in a th ree-qu art er angle. Or , one pl ayer may appear in profile and th e oth er in a three-qua rter angle or facing th e ca me ra. Television employs an unusual vari ation of the twosho t in wh ich both players face th e camera : the nearer player looks off screen wh ile the f ar ther player looks a t the nearer player's back. Th is allows both play ers to be filmed facing the camer a, in a sin gle shot. Although it saves addition al ca mer a set-up, it is dra matic ally inadequate because th e pla yers do not truly rela te with each


Bob Jones University Unusua l Films studen t came ra crew lin e up two-shot for "Win e Of T he Mornin g."

other. One is dr eamily lookin g away , wh ile th e other see ms to be tr ying to get hi s attention. Tw o-sh ots m ay grow or progress ou t of medium or lon g shots. A pl ayer m ay break from a grou p, and join ano the r pla yer ; or two players m ay pu ll out and m ove into a two-sh ot . Player and/or camera movement should be employed whenever possible to brin g players toge ther in a two-shot in a casual way. Two-sho ts shou ld not be filmed with both player s standing fla t-footed toe-to-toe, unl ess th e scri pt requ ires such treatmen t. Th is m ay occur in a dr am atic confron ta tion between hero and villain , in whic h neither will back away.






Unique staging


of two-shot by use of mir-

ror. Player on right dom inates scene be-

cause of larger im age size, bette r position , three-quarter angling and lighting. Player in mirror captures audience interest because of reverse im age, odd position ing an d rear look towa rd foreground player.

T ypical profile boy-girl seated tw o-sho ts. Neither player dominates the scene from composition or lighting standpoint. Each player dominates in turn, as lie or she speaks or periorms an action ll,at captures audience attention. Eye appea l is lessened in a profile shot .

Although players' heights and positioni ng vary in this shot, they are compositionally balanced. Profiled player on left is higher an d w ell modeled with light. Player on right m ak es up for his lowered position by being an gled towa rd camera, so that both eyes an d fron t an d side of hi s face are seen.






Profile two-shot with the other standing. dominates the scene sitionally stronger higher in the frame .

one player seated and The standing player because he is compoon the right side and

Player on right dominates scene because of more favorah le positioning and lighting .

(Video) Paragliding in Aguergour (Morocco) and other adventures...

Playe r on rioiu: is favored in this two-s hot because of better position and lighting.

Although positioned low er in frame, player on left dominates this two-shot because he is more favorably angled to lens, and hi s features are sharply chiseled with light and shadow. A face angled three-quarters to lens dip lays front and side, both eyes; and finer modeling than one filmed in profile.

Player on left dominates scene because he is slightly ang led toward camera, and given [ ) more dramatic lighting . Player on righ t is

turned away from camera and is, there fore, compositiona lly less interesting .



THE FIVE C's thus eliminating the background. Positions of hands, or fingers , which may appear in the insert, should match positions in the preceding sh ot. Th ea tri cal wide-screen projection may cu t off important portions of the in ser t, or make them otherwise illegible. It is important to bear this in m ind whenever filming a 35mm picture in wide screen ratio . The insert , in such ins ta nces, should be photographed loosely, so that nothing of importance is ncar top , bott om or side of the frame. *


Two-shots may he employed in documentary films - such as this shot of engineers studying plans for construction project.

CLOSE-UP (C U) A close-u p of a person is generally design ated in the sc ript accord ing to image size. A medium close-up films a player from app roxi mately midway be tween waist and sho ulders to above the head; a head and shoulder close -up, from just bel ow the shoulders to ab ove the h ead ; a head close-up includ es the head only; a choker close-up inclu des a fa ci al are a fro m jus t below the lips to just above the eyes . Man y cameramen an d direc tors h ave their own ide as of wh at area should be film ed for a close-up. However >when a p ar ticul ar close-up is no t speci fied, it is generally safe to fllm a head an d sho ulde r cl ose-up. (NOTE : The CLOSE·UP is so significant that it is covered in de tail in a separate chapter.)

Pr ofession al production personnel employ many descriptive terms in sc rip t writin g and during filming to identify further the type an d/or conten t of a shot. A moving shot may be designated as a pan shot, if the camera revolves upon its vertic al axis to follow the action; or as a dolly , crane or boom sho t, whenever the camera is mounted on an yone of these camera pl atforms to film the event. A moving sh ot may be fur ther

INSE RTS Full-screen clo se-ups of letters, telegram s, photogr aph s , newspapers, signs, posters or other written or prin ted matte r, arc called inserts. For re ason s of economy, inser ts are usu ally film ed after pri ncipal production shooting is completed. When a ver tical su bject does not fill the horizon ta l fr ame , so th a t portions of background or setting may be seen, it may be best to film the insert durin g regular pr odu c tion . Gen er all y, inserts are film ed so th at they overlap the frame slightly,


Cam era is m ounted on crane to follow players across bridge. Dolly or crane mounted camera may also be varied in height; or moved toward or away from subject as scene progresses .

*Man y th ea tre screens cut off the sides of "sq ueezed" 'scope-type films; and may cut the top or bo ttom , or hoth, or "non-squeezed" Hat films shot in various aspect ratios.


THE FIVE C's defined by the type of sho t at the beginning and end of the move : such as dolly. from a medium shot to a close-up . A sh ot in which the camera tracks along to film m oving players is called a follow shot or a trac king shot. A low-shot is one in which the ca mer a is an gled upward at th e subject, wh ile a l/igh shot is just th e opposite, with the cam er a lookin g down. A reverse shot is a scene made from the reverse direction of a pre vious shot. A cu t-in shot is one th a t cuts direc tly into a portion of the previous scene , generally a cut-in close-up of a person or object. A cllt-away shot is a secondary event occurring elsewhere - a few feet away, such as in th e case of a cut-away close-up of someone ju st off ca me ra; or miles away, if the story is switched to ano ther locale. A reaction shot is a silen t shot, ordinarily a close-up , of a player reac ting to wha t anot her player is saying or doin g. Reaction sh ots are filmed as separ ate scenes if obse rva tion only is involved. They are




w• . - , - .

Camera films follow shot or tracking shot whenever it moves to folLOw action of traveling ー ャ。ケ・イNセ


u• •, .....


C,t, "',",'M

Number of players p}lOtograplled - such as this three -shot - also defines type of scene.


'........ ,

A pan sllot ( SllOrt for panoram) is em ployed when camera revotves upon its vertical axis to follow action in lunizontai plane, suck as airplane landing.

cut from port ions of a dialogue seq uence when two or m ore playe rs spe ak and listen alt ernately. The lens u sed for a parti cul ar type of shot m ay be m entioned , suc h as a unde-anqte, telephoto or zoom shot. The number of playe rs in a scene m ay also define the shot, such as a two-s hot or a

three-shot, or sometimes a group-shot when all players are included in a single shot. Such descriptive terms are u sually em ployed in . combi na tion with the type of sho t being filmed , so tha t they aid in further identifying what is required. A tr ackin g shot of several players m ay be described as a wide-an gle, low-angle dolly shot. Definitions vary th rou ghout the industr y. Most im por tan t is that their me aning is the sa me wit hi n the group producing the film , so that every one und erstands re quirements thor oughl y. 33



SUBJECT ANGLE All subject matter h as th ree dim en sions. Even flat objects, such as paper, h ave thic kness. People, furniture , roo ms, buildings , streets , all have heig ht, wid th and depth . All are solid, wh eth er they h ave r ound ed or flat su rfaces, or combin ations of both . Their solidity is most pro nounced wh en viewed so that two or more surfaces are seen. Whenever an object presents only a single sur face to the eye or the cam er a it is sa id to be fiat - because its depth is not apparent. A building viewed straight on shows only its height an d width, not its depth . It h as the appearance of a f alse fron t, or a ca rdboard cu t-out. The same building viewed from an an gle, so that a side is seen, appears three-dlm en slon al. A pers on viewe d in profi le lacks roundness. The mo deling of a face and a body is bes t judged from an ang le whic h presents hoth the front an d side.

Facial modeling is best when subject is turned forty fwe degrees - so-called threequarter angling - to the camera. Front and side of face, if properly lighted, will appear round, and eyes are displayed fully .

". T hree - dimensional solidity is most pronounced when tw o or more surfaces are photographed. Angling the camera in relation to the subject so that tw o sides and top - or bottom - are viewed, resu lts in most effective rendition.

The cameram an m ust record a three-dimensional world on a two-dim en sion al film surface. The solution generally lies in angling th e cam era in relation to the sub ject, so that a depth e ffect is recorded . There are many ways to achieve depth in filmin g ; with ligh tin g, camera an d


Angle camera so that paralle l lin es dimin ish and converge - preferably toward the right - so that viewers' eyes are carried into distance. Shooting these box cars square -on wou ld res ult in flat cut-out appearance, ladling in solidity and depth.

player m ovem en t ; overlapping subject matter; linear and aeri al persp ective; use of sh or t focal length len ses, etc . The m ost effective method to record depth, however , is by choosing the proper camera angle. Angles are the most import ant f actor in produc ing illusion of scenic depth .


THE FIVE C's Unless flat ness is required for n arra tive re asons , the c ameram an should always strive to position the ca mera a t an an gle , preferably a forty-five degree, or so-called three-quarter angle , to the subject. Such ang lin g will record people with roundness , and solid objects with two or more surfaces, and converging lines which pro· duce perspective - suggesting th ree dimen sion s . Shootin g squ are-on , so that on ly th e front or side

of people or objects are filmed , sho uld be avoided. Move the camera to one side; move furn iture , veh icles and pr ops ; so that th ey are seen with as m an y surface s as possible. Angle the ca me ra so th a t it looks down a stree t th at converge s in to the distance. Shoo t a room or se tting . so th a t two or more walls are seen. There are a few exceptions to thi s ru le, wh ere a flat fr ont treatment of the subjec t m ay be preferred, su ch as a public building, a stage, a co urtr oom or a ch urch in terior. Most often, it is wise to ang le the ca mera in relation to the subject for a well-round ed three-dim ension al effe ct.


A nglin g cam era in relation to subject presents this war scene with greate r con flict, becau se of diagona l pat tern of horsemen , soldiers in foreground, guns and swo r ds .

Position of camera in relation to subjects and setti ng grea!ly influe nces com position of scene.

\Vh ile camera hetqht is as im portant as ca mer a dist ance and subject an gle, it is of ten di sregarded. Theatrical camer am en are very careful about len s height in relation to subject m atter..Many n onth eatrical cameram en mere ly adj us t the tripod so that the ca mera is at convenien t heigh t for lookin g throu gh th e find er . They compl etely overl ook the subject's special requ ire me n ts! Artistic, dra ma tic and psychological overtones may be con tribu ted to the story-telling by adju stin g the height of th e camera to the subject. Audience involvemen t and reac tion to the eve nt depicted m ay be influenced by whether the scene is viewed fro m eye -level, or above or below su bject. LEV EL ANGLE

coo........,.. ........ c.

Dyn am ic angling of this jet fighte r pre. duces mo re dramatic e ffect IIl an would ha ve resulted f rom level an gle shot.

A level camera films from the eye-level of an observer of average height , or from th e subject's eue-leuet. A leve l ca mera views a setting or an objec t so that ver tical lines do not converge. Shots filmed with a level camera are generally less interesting th an th ose film ed from an upward or downward ang le. A level camer a is requircd . however , wh enever eye-level views are . filmed, or vertical lines must remain ver tical and p arallel to each other. A level ca mera docs not distort verti ca ls , so walls and sides of buildings , or objects , will rem ain true. Objective shots, which pr esent the view as seen by an obse rver , sho uld be filmed from the eye -level of an average person - about five and one-h alf feet high . It is im por tant , however , that close-ups 35


THE FIVE C's Point-or-view close-ups are filme d from the subje ct's eye-level whe n th e pl ayer s wh o are relatin g with each other are approximately th e same heigh t. They are filme d from the opposing playe r's he ight when a difference in height exists, or whe n one player is seated and the other standing , or when an adu lt re lates with a chil d. The camera m us t be angle d upw ard and downward on a pair of back-an d-for th p .o.v. close-ups, in these instances. Such angling n eed no t be precisely from the opposing perso n's head position. The angle

Ohjective shots -

which present utting

and players as seen by a sidelines observer - shou ld be filmed from eye-level of average person , about five and onc-noii feet high.

of a person be filmed from the subject's eye-level, whe ther standing or sitting, so that the audience sees the person on an eye-to-eye basis. It is n ecessary, therefore, when moving in fro m a long or medium shot to a close-up , to adjust the camera heigh t to the particular subject being filme d. Ma ny non-thea trical cameramen ignore the seated person's lowered height, and continue to shoot close-ups from a standing eye-level. A paradox about camera heigh t is that inexperienced cameramen tend to film from their own eye-levels r ather than from subject's eye-level! This works well for shots of standing people , but r esult s in downward angling on seated per sons. A subject's eyes, plus the in timate relati on ship desired between viewer an d screen pl ayer , are completely lost from a high down war d angle whic h recor ds top of head, h alf -closed eyelids and a distorted view of the player. Just as an individua l may be judged by "how he looks you in the eye," much of the appeal of a player in a dramatic film, or a person in a docu men tar y film , is expressed thr ough the eyes. It is im per a tive that cameramen understa nd this significance, and strive to position the len s at the subject's eye-level wh en film ing objective close-ups. 36

N セ ・ 。 エ ・ 、 ー・イ Lセッョ filmed from cameraman's standing eye-level results in high downward angle shot of top of head, half-closed eyelids and distorted view of subject. A much better shot results when filmed from subject's eye-level.



THE FIVE C's may be cheated to prevent distortion , bu t it sho uld simulate th e up-or-down look th a t occurs under these conditions . Subjective close-up s, in wh ich the subject looks directly in to th e len s , arc always filmed fr om the eye-level of th e person pho togr aph ed . A hi gher or lower camera will cause th e person to look up or down in order to look into th e len s - and thu s create an awkward relation sh ip with the viewer . The person presented subjec tive ly sho uld always be seen on a level eye-to-eye basis , as if th e viewer were sit ting or standing on th e sa me eye-level The impor tance of shooting close -ups a t th e subjec t's eye-level ca nno t be over-e m phasized , because so m an y non -theatrical came r ame n f ail to lower the ca mer a, par ticu larl y when a person is seated . Stu den ts m ay no te how carefully closeups in th eatrical fea ture pic tures arc positi oned . Slight varia tions from sub jec t's eye-level are made only when necessar y to correct facial faults ; such as a turned-up nose, which m ay look be tter from a sligh tly higher ang le; or a weak chin , which may be improved by a sligh tly lower angle. Men may appe ar m ore virile when film ed from slightly lower ang les, with th e ca me ra looking up. Flabby jowls or wide nostrils may be visua lly correc ted by a slightly high er ang le, so th a t the camera looks

down . All these up-and-down angles are very sligh t , however , and u sually m ay go unnoticed . Wh ile level angles ar e not as pictorially interes ting or dram a tic as hi gher or lower angles , they are best for close-ups of peop le and for shoo ting gener al scene s which should be presen ted fr om norm al eye-level. Eye-level sho ts provide fr am es of reference. They present an easily iden tifiable viewpoin t, because the au dience sees the event as if on the scene. There are in stan ces when level came ra shots are more dram atic th an ang le sho ts. Shots of a ca r, train , or other vehicle ru sh in g head-on toward th e camer a give the viewer a subje ctive impression sim ilar to a player looking into the len s. Th e speed, increase in image size and subjective trea tm en t ca n be highly dram atic. It m ay be necessary or pre fer able in technical films to present a flat , level, undi stor ted view of a tool, m achine or instr umen t pan el.

_.. .... ... ,


A technical shot セ such as this scen e of an astronaut being tested in Gemini ejection seat on inertia table - requires leve l camera filming set-up square-on for engineering study.

e".,I•• 0 P,,, b>t

Level camera an d simplest photographic treatmen t are requ ired for shooting techn ical film s - such as this Electron Den sit y Profile Probe, which will be laun ched in to space for stu dy of ionosphere.


A hig h angle shot is an y sh ot in whic h the camer a is tilted downward to view the subject. High an gle does n ot n ecessaril y infer that the came ra be placed at a great heigh t. Actu ally, the


CAMERA ANGLES cam era may be placed below the cameram an's eye-level, to look down at a sm all object. Yet, it is film in g from a hi gh an gle ! All ang les are rela tive an d shou ld be con sidered in rela tion to the heigh t of th e subject bein g filmed . The camera may be positioned to shoo t a norm al eye-level scene of a person looking out of a window of a tall building. Any down ward ang lin g of the camera sho uld be consi dere d a high angle sho t, regardless of wh eth er the camer a is angled sligh tly to ph otograph the top of a package , or alm ost vertic ally down ward to depict a mountain climber's poin t of view ! A high angle shot may be chosen for esthetic , techn ical or psychological re ason s. Placin g the camera higher th an the subject and lookin g down m ay result in a more artistic picture; m ake it easier to keep ac tion occurri ng in depth in sharp focu s; or influence audience reac tion. Subj ect m atter laid out in a pattern upon the gro und may look better from a hi gh angle. Included are : a vast garden with patterned flower beds , winding paths and scu lptured hedges; a walled enclosure; a race tr ack ; an airport ; a mi lttary base; an indu strial com plex; a terraced cour tyard ; a golf course ; a construc tion site . High a ngle sho ts help acquamt the au dience with th e geogra ph y of the setti ng . Looking down provi des a ma plike la you t, allowi n g viewer to orien t him self.

A film on industria l complex may open u:ith high angle extreme long shot to establish story .


THE FIVE C's Action occurring in depth , such as a football game , a m ilitary forma tion , a produc tion lin e or an -tnim al migratio n , may be viewed in its entirety from a high angle. A level or low an gle shot will on ly record fore ground action . Th e camera may shoot acro ss the en tire ar ea of th e ac tion , from fro nt to back , on ly fro m a hi gh angle. Raisin g the camera and shooti ng downward is also u seful whe neve r reduci ng the lens depth of field aids in keepi ng sharp focus across the en tire picture area. A level shot m ay require filmin g ne ar and fa r objects over a greater area than it is possible to ca rry sharp focu s. A high ang le may cover

Layin g railroad rail bed is best viewed from above . Hiqh side thr ee-quarter angles -which cau ses con struction area to diminish into the far dista nce - resu lts in composition with greatest depth effect .



the same Iront-to-back area with less difference between ncar-and-far focus . IIigh angle shots reduce the heigh t of a player or object. A tall player would look down at a shorter person or a child in a point-of-view shot. The subjective camera ma y also pl ace the audience higher, so that it m ay look down on a player to feel superior to him ; and to ach ieve a certain heavenly transcendence over bot h the playe r and

his situa tion . Such high -an gling is excellent whenever a pl ayer should be belittled , eit her by hi s surroundings or by his ac tions. An imp or tant player who loses pres tige or honor m ay thus be depicted. as beaten down by circumstances , or natural elements , or terrain , simply by positioning th e camer a high , em ploying a Wide-an gle len s to look down upon him , and reduci ng his im age to lowly insignifi cance in rela tion to th e setting.

Subject matter which fonns a groun d pattern - such as this freeway under construc tion - ma y he viewed w ith map-like det ail from high ang le.

Low camera angle should be use d when presenting symbol of law or au thority. Su ch scenes are best film ed by positioning op posin g player in lowl y posit ion.

Ship en tering ha rbor - {lImed from high ang le - may introduce travel film. Su ch extreme long shots acquaint viewer wit h

Suspect's beaten app earan ce is in tens ified by high·angle t reatment. High an d low camera angles are most useful for presenting playe rs as domina ting or degraded.

geog raphy of area.




- -- ......-

A bove scene of aerial tanker re fu eling jet fighters in fligh t is filmed f rom obje ctive side line s - viewpoint. T hi s shot may be compared w ith scene on page 23 dep icting tan ker boom fr om operator's viewpoint, Su bjective or p.o .v. shot in volves audience morc i ntimately in th e screen even t than

Air craft con figuration is best depicted f rom high an gle .

w ould objective shot filmed {rom imper-

sona l vie wpoint. Docum en tary cameramen sho uld em ploy subjective camera ang les , rath er than st and-offisll, objective camera an gles, w henever possible.

A hi gh ang le shot m ay be filmed to take adv an tage of particul ar framing - suc h as this over-th e-shoulder shot of sta tue of President Lincoln.

High angle sho t of electronic microscope would be poor cnoice for open ing scene of picture , because it is not immediately identi fiable. It may be used later , when viewer is morc familiar with in str um en t. Weirdlyang led shots in techni cal films ma y bewi lde r or conf use viewer.


The subjective camera, acting as the collective eye of the au dience, m ay look down from an airplane in fligh t. a tall buildin g. a brid ge or a mou ntain peak to view the terrain below, cit y tra ffic, the top deck of an ocean liner , or a vast crev asse . A hi gh , downward angl e should be used wit h discretion on fas t-movi ng actio n , such as a horse or auto r ace or ch ase , bec ause movemen t will be slowed down . The slow effect is greatest toward or aw ay from the camer a and less apparent cross-




U. S. Arm y camera crew - filming in Greenland - makes use of uniq ue snow tractor cam era car for high ang le shoot ing.


A low -an gle sho t is any sho t in which th e camera is tilted upward to view th e subjec t. A low an gle does n ot necessarily me an a "worm's-eye" view of the se tting or action. Nei ther does it im ply that the came r a be position ed below the came r am an 's eye-level. A low an gle sho t m ay be m ade of a bug, a buildi ng or a baby. In some instances it m ay be n ecessar y to place a player or object on a pedestal, in order to en able subjec t to appe ar higher in relation to the camera . Or, the came ra m ay be placed in a hole, or below a false floor , to achieve the required len s height in re lation to the subje ct. Low ang les should be used when desirable to in spire awe , or excitement; increase subject height or speed ; separate players or objec ts; elimin ate u nwan ted foregroun d ; drop the horizon and elimina te the back grou nd ; distor t com positional lines and create a m ore forceful perspective; position players or objects against the sky; and in tensify dram atic impact. Low angle sho ts of religiou s objects or arc hitec tur e, such as a crucifix or church interior, m ay in spire awe in the audience, because the viewer is placed in a lowly positio n from which he mu st look up to th e symbol of the Almigh ty. The same effect is useful in filming importan t personages, such as a President , ju dge or company execu tive.

.... ...,.

High downward camera an gles slow down subj ect movement. Slow effect is greatest

towa rd or away from came ra ; less appar-

ent cross-screen .

scree n. Such scenes m ay no t m atch sim ilar sh ots filme d at eye-level un less under-cr anked ." High angle shots are a welcome depar ture from eye-level sho ts an d provide contrast, variety an d dr am atic im pac t even to commonplace scenes. High ang les should be con sidered to establish the story . supply pictorial bea uty , or in fluen ce audience reaction to th e scre en players. " Fflmed a t less th a n 24 f.p.s ., so th at th ey will appear f aster whe n projected.



Low ang le shot of soldiers on {i ring ran ge produces diminishing perspective , converging lines and dropped horizon - all of wh ich cont ribute toward unusual shot.




Low camer a ang les a re also useful when one pl ayer should look up to ano ther player wh o domin ates the s tory at th at poin t. This wor ks p ar ticularl y well with point-of-view ShOlS , because the au die nce will iden tify with the lowly player and become emo tion ally involved wit h his pligh t. A player who is kn ocked down in a figh t , mus t stand ben ea th a judge for sen tencing. If degr aded in some m anner - he would look up at his opponen t, or symbol of a utho rity. Th e s tar, or domin an t ch aracter in a scene, may stand out from a group if he is positioned sligh tly forward of the others and filmed fro m a low ang le. This will ca use him to tower over the players beh ind hi m. This simple tric k will give a pl ayer promi nence, and allow him to domi na te th e even t. Som etimes the effec t is more dramatic if the player steps forward du ring the scene to coinci de with an incre ase in dr am atic action . or sig nifican t dialogue. A low angle is excellen t for cheating a c ut -away reac tion close-up against the sky , or other nondescript background . Dropping the horizon out of th e fram e rem oves all background identity and permits filming such close-ups almos t any where a t any time . j ump-cu ts or othe r editing problem s discovered wh en th e film is la ter assembled. m ay be easily solved by in sertion of low-angle reac tion

Q.. _

- ......, .. セ


.. .

Low-ancl e shot of this wou nded airman allow s ca me ra to look up into tns face , and also provides added stat ure hy causing [igures to loom u pward in the frame.


close-ups wit hout requiring m atch in g a st udio se t, or re turning to a par ticular out door loca tion site. Low angles cause people, objects and struc tures to loom up in the pic ture because the y arc re corded with a broad base an d a diminishin g perspec tive. Employm ent of wide-angle lenses further em ph asize the optica l effec t. Wh en filmin g playe rs, however, from a low a ngle with a "videangle len s , care must be taken - or a caricature m ay result .

Low an gle sllot of advancing soldier increases his sue. and causes him to rise higher in fram e as he approaches camera. W ide-an gle lens It'iIl incre ase this effect.

. ._e_ T hree-quarter low angle shot of Marine formation provides distin ct separation hetw een row s of m en - wi t 11 fron t TO W appearing higher than rear row.




" -.... ... to ..


Low angle shot of location in terior allow s filming unique ceilin g. Not e how prie stl y official in left foreground is positio ned mil ch ntaner than centered player - an d how rear player provide s subtle acce n t to com plete trian gular com posit ion .

Both n atural an d man-m ade st ructures m ay be given incre ased heigh t and domin ance by shooting up at them. Skyscr apers, church steeples , mountains. m ay all bene fit from such trea tm ent . Th e distortion inhere nt in such filming is acceptable, bec ause viewers h ave been conditioned to seeing tilted photographi c per specti ves, an d realize that th e convergin g lines are parallel. In reality, a perso n looking up from close to the base of a tall structure gets an im pression sim ilar to th at produ ced by the camera. Low-angle studio interiors are r ar ely filmed for theatrical pictures, because sets are gene rally con-

structed minus ceilings, to allow overhead lightin g. However , locat ion in teriors of actual buildings m ay ut ilize ceili ngs if they provi de additio na l dram atic effect to setting or story. Low-an gle shots of players aga inst a sculptured church ceilin g, a wooden -beamed coloni al in n ceilin g, or a gla ss-domed libr ar y ceiling, would present them agai nst unusu ally picturesque backgrounds , tying them in wit h the setting. A low-an gle static shot of an advancing group of players m ay provide a dr am atic introduction , if they en ter from the bottom of the frame as they app roach the camer a. An adva nci ng army m ay 43



thus appear to rise up against a clouded sky as they press forward , and grow in stature and numbers as they file past. An ind ividual playe r m ay be tr ea ted in this m an ner either as an introdu ction , or du ri ng a sequence whe n he must approach another player in a dominatin g manner. Autos, tru cks and other vehicles m ay be similarly handled . Such low-angle treatmen t is m os t effective if filmed as described in the nex t par agraph .

Low ang le positions subject aga inst sky and produces tilting verticals . Com bined with train movement, th is adds hazard to shot.

Shooting up ward f rom a low angle at th ese men quarrying rock, positions w orkers agai nst shy with greater sepa ration th an if film ed with level camera against cliff background .

., Eng ineering prog ress report employs low an gle shot of dummy crew prepa red for test lau nchinq of ex perim en tal: spacecraft eje ction seat - to depi ct clearl y cons tru ction an d positi oning of com ponen ts.


Lo w angle shot of (ann tractor at work causes it to loom la'rger an d higher in t he frame as it advances toward cam era.


An angle-plus-angle shot is filmed with a camera angled in rela tion to the subject, and tilted eithe r u pw ard or down w ard . Such double angling will record the greatest number of subject fac ets; result in the finest modeling ; deliver th e m ost forcefu l linear perspec tive; and prod uce a third


THE FIVE C' s dimension al effect. Angle- plu s -an gle sho oting elimin ates the tw o-dimensi onal fla tn ess of s traigh t-

on angling, an d the dullness of film ing with a level camer a. Not only are th e fr on t an d side of the subject depic ted, but the ca mera also looks up or down to record the underside or top of th e subject. The resulting three-dim en sion al m odeling and diminishing compositional lines present the subject - whe ther per son , bu ildin g, or machine in a rea listically solid m anner. The camer a anglin g need not be very hi gh or very low, or fr om a full three-quarter angle. Th e


Front view of building is flat, because it records only height and width.

By presenting front and side



three-quarter angle rec ord s height, width - and depth.

trick is to pr even t fla tness at all cos ts, by ang ling even slig ht ly to in troduce di agon als in lines of setting and background , an d pl astic m odelin g in players. Pl ayer s and objects will stand out more prominen tly in th e set ting, and the separa tion betwee n pl ayers an d background will be greater if the camera record s the scene at an ang le depicting both front and side, and a tilt th at reve als the top or bottom of objec ts. Very high an d very low angles will pr esent the most drastic effec ts, and should be utilized only whe n h ighly dram atic results are required. More subtle angling sho uld be employed as a matter of course on every poss ible type of shot. Wide-angle len ses will increase the angular effect by record ing a more force ful perspective. Player s shou ld be positioned so that th ey pr esen t a th ree-quarter view to th e camera , and travel in di agon al lin es , whenever feasible. Furniture and oth er props should be cheated , if necessar y, so that they are turn ed a t an an gle to the len s. Th e background sho uld be film ed a t an angle , r ather th an fla t-on, to pro duce dim ini shi n g com position al lines. Linear persp ec tive is greatest, an d presen ts the m ost in teresti ng series of con verging lines when the camera is placed very hi gh , and shoots down ward on streets, roa ds, indus trial complexes , preferably with a wide angle len s. A three-qu art er low

A erial view of bui lding also records top. Th ree-dimen sion al effect is greatest w hen camera is angled so th at fron t, sid e and top - or bottom - of subject are seen.


CAMERA ANGLES ang le shot is excellen t for filming a mo vin g colum n of soldiers, a long line of vehicles or a train . Such movem ent sho uld approach the came ra, so th at it becomes larger as it advan ces. Side threequar ter ang ling, plus th e low viewpoin t will produce converging lines, which are m ade more interesting by player or vehicle movement.




A three-quarter low ang le, employin g a wideang le lens, adds illusion of trem endous speed and power to moving vehicles. Starting from a mere spec k in th e distance , an au tomo bile develops long sleek lines as it rapidly ap proaches, and becomes larger an d higher in the fra me. Such angling reo quir es careful placement, so that m ost of th e horizon is close to th e bottom fr am e line an d forms a solid base for the moveme n t. This tre atm en t m ay


Back ground sliould be ang led to produce diminishing compositional lines. Players shou ld travel in diagon al line. not straight across screen . Flat-on ang les, presenting subject t ravel and background square to len s, should be avoided.

Cam era # 1 records background wilh grad. ually dim inishing lines; and run ning player unth: graduaUy increasing image. Camera # 2 records /UJ.t square-on backg round an d playe r unth: same size image.



AngIe-pIus-angIe camera set-up with low three-quarter anq ie. In fantrym an loom s up ill frame and background falls awa y u nth greater sepa ration.

Low th ree-quarter angle on tast-movmo subject adds to iUusion of speed and power. T rain image becomes larger and hiqher in frame as it approaches camera .


CAMERA ANGLES vertical axis of th e subject. This results in tilting of the scree n ima ge, so th at it slopes diagonally, off-balan ce. Such slan ted images must be used with discretion , or they m ay detract from the story-telling. They should be reserved for sequences when weird , violent, unstable, impressionistic or other novel effects are requ ired . A player who h as lost his equilibri um , or is drunk or deliriou s, or in a high em otion al state , m ay be shown to advan tage in a tilted shot, or a series of tilted shots , perhaps in pairs of opposing tilt s, so

Angle-plus-angle shooting presents mreresting compositiona l lines. Downw ard an gling on this magnetic tape set-up records equ ipment at side and rear of room ; an d console deck as weU.

also be applied to a lon g line of moving vehicles. Tho se in the foreground will fill the frame from top to bottom , while th e rem aind er will gradually diminish and conv erge in the distance. Rooms with ornate ceilings , or patt erned floors , ma y be filmed with a sligh tly lower or higher came ra; that requires tilting upward or downward - in additio n to th ree-quarter ang ling , which records two wa lls . Doub le-angling in this manne r will present the greatest number of facet s to the came ra, and the greates t convergence of lines particu larly if a Wide-angle len s is employed . Tru cking shots , filmed with a camer a tilted slightly upward , will cause th e background to slop away from th e player s. Th is is exce llent for fre nzied cha se scenes where players are presented in turmoil. Build ings or trees will not simply slide past the player s - as in a level shot - but fall away backward. Angle-plus-angle shootin g sho uld be consi dere d whenever th e greatest th ree-dimensional effect and greatest convergence of lines are desired .

TILT "DUTCH" ANGLES In Hollywood studio parlance a ''Dutch'' an gle is a cr azily-tilted ca mera ang le, in which th e vertical axis of th e camera is at an ang le to th e



Dutch tilt an gle may be employed to shoot scene of distrau ght pla yer in highly emotio nal state. Seri es of such scenes may utili::e opposing tilts for greater e ffect.

th at the audience realizes he is behaving irrati onally. These shots may be combined. with subjective poin t-of-view shots, in which the u pset player sees other players or events in a tilted off-balan ce seri es of shots. A man-m ade or n atur al ca tastrophe , suc h as an accident , fire, riot, figh t, shipwreck or earthquake m ay employ tilted came ra angles for con veying violence, or topsy-turvy, out-o f-thi s-world effect s to the audience . If preceded by ca lm , stat ic, peacefu l shots th at lull th e audience in to believing every thing is all right, such scenes will be m uch m ore effective. A quiet, statically-filme d , slowlypaced sequen ce in an ar t museum , for in stance, could sudd enly be th rown in to un con trolled pan demonium by sudden insertio n of a tilt shot of a


CAMERA ANGLES man r acin g through a doorw a y and cry ing; "Fire !" Th e remainder of the seque nce could employ a series of tilted sh ots , to portray th e panic of th e trapped museum visitors. Editorial effects m ay be enhanced by using opposing left and right tilts , in pair s, an d player movement in oppo site directions. Dutch angle shots m ay also be em ployed in mon tage sequences, for creati ng an over -all impression of passage of time or sp ace . Short sho ts of clocks, calendars, feet wa lkin g, wheels turnin g, ship's whi stle blowin g steam , ctc., may be ang led in a tilting m anner. A series of tilted angle shots may be u sed in research , in du st ria l , adver tising ,

Dutch tilt angle

of building produces im -

pressionistic view; un usual treat me nt suitahle for montage sequ en ce. Scene should be filmed with opposin g エゥャN セ L fOT editor's choice. Th is is important when series of tilt shots oppo se one ano ale r.

engineeri ng and similar documentary films th a t require dyn amic depiction of a great deal of ac tion in small snatches , whic h show m ere glimpses of the eve nts. Thus , the asse mbly of an automobile, th e manufacturing an d packagin g of a new product , or th e numerou s experi men ts involved in developing a synthe tic yarn, may be shown with unu sual treatmen t. Several , or all, of these shots a t tilt an gle. will forcefu lly portray th e situa tion . Pairs of opposing tilt shots should em ploy the same degree of til t in oppo site pattern. 48

THE FIVE C's Came r as should never be tilted just a little off leve l, so th at th e sligh tly slan ted im age seems accidental. A tilt sho uld be delibe ra te, with a definite slan t of sufficient a ngle to throw the image off balance , but not so steep as to appear on its side . Th e ac tual ang le will vary with subject m a tter and ac tion. Th e ca me ra need not be tilted througho ut the shot. It m ay sta r t level. and then abruptly til t to depict a weird change in events , or introduce sudde n unbalan ce in player invo lved . Or , a tilted sho t may return to level wh en events return to normal. The ca mera may, on r are occasions , rock back and fort h during the shot , tiltin g from one side to th e other.

The ang le of tilt is mo st importan t. An image th at slants to the rig ht is active, forceful, while one th at slants to the left is weak, static. A slan ted horizon , running fr om lower left to upper right , su ggests asc ent ; whil e one that slants from upper left to lower ri gh t sugge sts descen t. The angle of the hori zon is important in sho ts of traveling pla yer s , m ovin g objects, or vehicles ; especi ally if they advance from a dis tant point towa rd the camera. or retrea t from the len s to the distan ce. They sho uld climb up com ing tow ard the lens, and climb down going away. 'Dutch an gles ar e m ost effec tive if filmed from a low camera set -up , which throw s the im ages backwards in a crazy slan t. A wide-angle lens , low-angle tilt , combined wit h a three-quar ter came r a angle is strongest, because such ang leplu s-angle shooting with a shor t focal-length len s



(Video) Happy New Year


records the most violen t angling , the greatest separation of subject and background, and the most. forceful perspective . The effect is further increased on moving action, because the wideang le len s enlarges or diminish es the moving player, object or vehicle as it m oves toward or away from the camera.

EMPLOYING CAMERA ANGLES Th e area pho tographed, or type of shot , an d the viewpoint, or angle of th e camera in relation to the subject, may be employed in various combinations to produce a m otion picture story with visua l variety, dr am atic in terest, cinematic con tinuity.

Contrasting shots utilize pairs of different size images in opposition; such as long shot and cut-away close-up.

Progressive series of images may depict full shot of group; medium shot of two players, and close-up

of dominant




The area ph otogr aphed determines th e subject's image size on the film . The cam er a may film long shots , with tin y im ages; or close-ups, with large im ages. Im age sizes m ay be employed in a series of sho ts to present the even t in a progressive ( or regre ssive ) . con trasting or repetitious m ann er. Progressive ( or regressive ) sho ts utilize a series of im ages increasing ( or decre asing ) in size. Sequences m ay proceed from long sho t to medium shot to close-up ; or procedure m ay be re versed. The sequence m ay begin and end with any type of sho t. Most im portant is th e prog re ssive change in image size, fro m sho t to sh ot .

THE FIVE C's Con trasting shots utilize pairs of different size im ages in opposition . A long sho t m ay be con trasted with a close-up, or the other way around . Each pair of sh ots should h ave su fficien t difference in im age size to provide suit able con trast. For gre a ter over-all effec t, series of con tras ting pairs m ay be used . Repeti tious shots utilize a series of same size images. A series of close-ups m ay depict reactions of a crowd to a speaker. A series of long sho ts m ay show severa l industrial site s. Any series of sim ilarly-sized n arra tively-connected im ages may be used . Simil ar series or pairs of sho ts ne ed not be used th rough out a seque nce. A seque nce m ay begin progressively, so th at it m oves in from es tablishing long sho t to close-up . Th en , it may move in to a re petitious series of close-ups - suc h as individu al reaction sho ts ; and clim ax wit h a series of back-and-for th contrasting shots. Movie m akers lackin g im agina tion sometim es resort to a monotonous pattern of progressive lon g shot s , m edium shots , close-u ps. A m ore vigorous representation will result by in tegrating progressive, con trasting and repetitious series of shots within sequ ences, throu ghout a pic ture. VIEWPOINT

Repetit ious shots employ same size images, suc h as these close-ups . Long shots - or any size im age - m ay be used provided they are simi lar in size.


Th e viewpoin t de termines the subje ct's im age angle, or the camer a an gle from whic h the audience views the sub ject matter . Th e viewpoin t may be prooresstue ( or regressive ) , con trasting, or repetitious. In a progressive ( or regressive ) series , each angle is either greater ( or smaller ) th an the preceding ang le . Angles may also progress in heigh t, going from low to eye-level to hi gh ang le ( or m ay regre ss in opposite m an ner ) . Or they m ay progress in rela tion to the subject, such as goin g fr om fron t to side to rear angle. Any series of angles progressing ( or ' regressing ) in orderly fashion - in or ou t, up or down , or around , th e sub ject - is governed by th is principle. Contrasting a ngles are pairs of shots employin g camera ang les in direct opposition to each other. A high angle may be followed by a low angle ; a low angle by a high ang le; a fr ont angle by a


THE FIVE C's reverse angle ; a reverse by a fron t ang le. To be most effective, ang les selected sho uld be dr am at ically opposi ng in viewpoin t. Repetitious angles arc series of similar an gles applied to th e sam e or differen t su bjec t m att er. A series of shots m ay be filmed fro m the same angle at intervals, to sho w various s tages of m anu fact uring process. Or , similar angles may be ernplayed to film different people , obj ect s or action s. The viewpoint remains the same, the subject m a ttcr chan ges , as even ts progress; or di fferent subjects arc depicted from sim ilar ang les.

It is no t necessar y to em ploy similar series of angles through t a seque nce . An gles may be varied in th e sam e manner as sizes of im ages. Treatm ent of an gles and im ages shou ld be in tegr a ted, and used in combina tions to provid e visu al vari ety : so th a t the audience is brough t in closer and closer , in dimi nishing angles; is moved back and fort h to view contrasting images ; stays the same distance from various people - or moves up and down , round a nd about . in a series of camera moves which place th e audience in the best position for viewing: th e action occurring a t that mome n t in the n arra tive. Record ing the required seri es of im ages from th e proper camer a a ngles cannot be successfu lly accomp lished in a ha phazard m anner. Th ough tful planning , with definite editorial patterns in m ind . is req uired .


Back-and -forth series of shots sllOuld employ opposing angles. Camera di stance and cam era ang les s}lollid be sim ilar, in order to produ ce uniform appearance. M,.. "


It is often di ffi cult to draw the lin e whe re a certai n type of shot en ds and ano ther begins . However, it is necessar y th at a dctuutc ch ange in both im age size and camera ang le tak e place wh enever th ey are em ployed progre ssively or regre ssively. A slight angle change with the sa me im age size will look like the figures shifted abru ptly. A slight im age change from the same angle will appear as a sudden expans ion or contraction of the im age. Th e sa me procedure applies to contra sting im ages and ca mera angles . Contrasts from one ex trem e to th e oth er should be m ark ed. Half-way ch anges in im age size, in bet ween camera an gles, present only slight changes; not a r adical contrast to each othe r. A series of repetitious im ages or ca me ra angles means exac tly th at. Don't vary the im ages. Keep th em a pproxim ately the same size. Don't shift the came ra ang le slightly , so that it views ea ch subject fro m a different ang le. Keep the camera the same distance from each subject. Shoot each subject from th e sa me angle. Use similar ca me r a angles , or oppo sin g ma tched ang les, such as in a series of repetitious back-and -forth over-th e-sh oulder shots . or a series of obj ective or point -of-view close-up s.

Im age size and camer a an gle shou ld be in tegrated so th at th ey m atch . Progression in im age 51


Same camera ang le with slig'lt change in image size - sue ts a s between close-u p above and below - will appear as slight ex pans ion of imaoe, rat her than definite im age change.

size should also employ camera an gles th at mo ve around a nd shoot the subje c t from a side angle as it m oves closer. Con tras ting pairs of shots m ay u tilize contras t in both im age size and camera angle to be more effec tive. Series of repet itious sho ts should repeat both similarly-sized images a nd sim ilarly-angled came ra se t-ups , or repe at similarl y-sized im ages with oppo sing m atch ed ca mer a ang les. DEPICT ING THE ACT I ON

Th e came ra angle ch osen for eac h shot is determi ned by h ow the players and the action sh ould



T his close-u p de picts a definite c1wu ge in image size from first close-up .

be depicted at th at part icular m om en t in the n ar rative. Sim ple progression from long shot to closeup m ay not always provid e the mos t suitable type of sequen ce. For inst an ce, subjec t m att er or dr ama tic con tent of the stor y may require th at the camer a first record a close-up, in order to isolate, emphasize . or in troduce a sma ll object. An extre me lon g shot may be required to por tray scope . grandeu r, complexity; so th at the audience fu lly ap precia tes the vas tness, beauty. or conflict involved in the s tory. T he over-all ac tion of each sequence should be broken down before shoo ting . an d the type of shot req uired for each portion of the ac tion de term ined in adva nce. Establish the se ttin g with a lon g shot , or an extr eme long shot - if vast in nat ure . Move into a medium shot to introdu ce the players as a group. and use close-ups for indi vidu al scree n fillin g sho ts of each . Em ploy lon g sho ts to show the player s in rela tion to the background, and to allow them space to move fr om one place to ano the r. as th e action progresses. Use m edium sho ts , par ticularl y two-sh ots. to sho w impor tan t in ter-ac tion bet ween pl ayers. Utilize close-ups to emph asize a par ticular act ion. or to isola te a player or ac tion by re movin g all else from view. Usc extrem e close-ups for fu ll-screen shots of very sm all objects or acti ons. Progress in ward as the ac tion develops. Move back to re-establish the over-all scene, to depi ct new developm ents, to introduce a


CAMERA ANGLES The cameraman sho uld ask himself : "How much shou ld be included in this shot? Where sho uld the camera be position ed to view this par· ticu lar part of the action?" The area and viewpoint should be considered from both esthetic an d dr am atic requirements. Difficu lties encountered by pioneers in crossing a trackless wasteland may be most expressively conveyed to the audience by an extreme long shot , which dw ar fs the peop le against the rugged terr ain . On the other hand, tech nical pr oblem s In volved in soldering may best be shown by moving in close and filling the screen with a single drop of solder !

On occasion it may be more dramatically effective to open sequence with a close-up - and then pull back to reveal content of over-all scene.

A single drop of solder being applied to an electronic circuit may be as dramatic as long shot of group of pioneers crossing rugged terrain.

new player or allow the players to move about. As example, cont rast an extreme lon g shot of a missile launching with an extreme close-up of the firing but ton 1 Think in terms of dramatic impact on aud ience as well as visu al variety. Employ a repetitious series of reaction close-ups of vario us persons to the launch in g; or a repetitious series of medium shots of personnel at tracking stations. Don't attempt to tell the entire story in a single shot! Remember that a sequence is a series of shots , and eac h shot should depict its par ticular portion of the story in the best possible way. Think first of the area require d for th e par ticul ar shot , and then of the best viewpoint. 53

CAMERA ANGLES Think, first of the impression the sho t shou ld make upon the audience. Should the screen event influence their emotions, or should th ey be detached from the proceedings so that they may eva luate events withou t pre judice? A comp ari son of pro totype aircraft may be best presented objectivel y with out trying to make up the viewers' minds . Events m ust be individually eva luated , and filmed acco rdi ng ly. Inclu sion or removal of people, objects or actions shou ld be justified by whether or not they are essential to the story-telling. Only significant por tions of setting, perform ers and events should be dep icted in each sho t. It should be remembered, however, that on occasions a bl an k fr am e is significant! What is depicted at any momen t sho uld contribu te to the over-all sto ry-telling. While the point in the action whe re a sho t should be terminated, an d another type sho t begun, is usu ally an editorial decision; it m ust be made by the cameraman or director, if no t indica ted in the script - or if filming is off-the-c uff . A shot shou ld be held no longer th an required to make its point. When se tti ng and playe rs arc established and camera is m oved in , the bul k of the sequence sho uld be ciinnnued in a variety of me dium, medium close and close shots . The overall scene should be r e-est ablish ed , however , whenever a wider expanse is required to move players about, in trodu ce a n ew player or allow the players to exit. Emphasize and isola te sign ificant playe rs, ac tions or dialogue with close-ups. Shif t the camera on movement th at may be overlapped from shot to shot. Move the playe rs out of and into shots . Shoot cut-i n and cut-away close-ups wherever possible. If in doubt about unusual camera angles, pan or dolly shots , or any shots that may cau se editorial problems, shoot pro tection shots for additional coverage. Don't be hi de-bound by a by-the-n umbers 1-2-3 shooting pattern . Approach each seq uence with a fres h attitude; and strive to treat the action in an individual manner. Employ prog ression as a standard operating tech nique, but always look out for dr am a tic contrast or unusual oppositional treatment which can lift the sequ ence ou t of the run-of-the-mill cinematic rut. 54

TH E FIVE C's Many cameramen f all into this ru t beca use of habit , or lack of imagination, or lazin ess . Employ repetiti ous treatment whenever a matching pair or series of sim ilar sho ts - such as a series of close-u ps - must present the same size image from similar or opposing viewpoints .

CHANGE CAMERA ANGLE, LENS, OR BOTH Change the camer a ang le, the lens , or preferably both every tim e the cam er a stops shoo ting during a series of continuous shots. Adapt this technique as a standard operating procedure whenever filming continuous action that m us t be presented without a break, wit hout cutting to something else, or without opticals. Using the same camera angle and same lens on consecut ive shots will result in a jarring jump-cut, due to changes in players' positi on s. This is tantamount to stopping the camera in the middle of a sho t, since nothing ph otogr aphic is changed; but player movement wh ich occurred during the shut-off in terval is missing . There sho uld be a definite change in image size and viewing ang le from shot to shot. This may be accomplished if camera is moved, if lens is changed, or if camera and lens are both changed to meet requirements of the new set-up . Moving the camera with the same lens is bette r than changing len ses from the same camera position . Most rewarding results will be obtained when the camera is repositioned for the

Camera m ay move straight-in to shoot a close-up of in dividual in crowd.

THE FI VE e 's


best possible ang le for each shot; and a focal length lens that meets the technical and dr amatic aspects of the scene is chosen. Some inexperienced , unim agin ative, or lazy cameramen change the lens , an d continue filming from the same pos ition . T h is requires only revolving the len s tu rr e t, so th at a d ifferent focal len g th lens is shi fted into shooting position . If a longer

lens is broug ht into play, th e screen effec t is that of an optical pop-in, becau se a portion of the previous shot is sud denly magnified to fill the screen. There are insta nces whe n pop-in trea tm en t either switching to a longer focal len gth lens or moving the camera straight in, preferably the latter - should be employed . It may be use d when filming a single perso n in a long shot , such as a master of ceremonies on stage. A long shot from the back of the theater may be followed by a close-up which moves straight into the subject. A subject seen from a distance, such as a person in a crowd , may be followed by a closer shot from a similar viewpoin t. A person centered in a gro up

A magnified or pop-in effect is similar to intermittent zoom セ minus actual zooming - because camera is moved straight in for closer shots . This treatment may be used when a player is centered, and relates with other players on each

side. Camera #1 films long shot, #2 medium shot and #3 close-up.


CAMERA ANGLES so that he mu st relate with othe rs on eithe r side , m ay be film ed in a closer sho t with a straigh t-In ca mer a move. The poin t-of-view close-up which follows an over-the-shoulder shot, is another in stance where the came ra is move d str aight in . The reason for film ing over-the-shoulder of a foregroun d player is to prep are the audience for the close-up th at follows - as seen from th at pl ayer's viewpoi nt. A direc tor of photography on a th eatrical feature picture would rarely shoot a close-up with a telephoto lens from th e lon g shot camera position . Th e camera would be m oved in closer , an intermed iate focal len gth len s employed , and a cam er a

THE FIVE C'5 angle and lens height cho sen th a t would best portray the player. The camer a is m oved in , aroun d to the sid e, and r aised or low ered for closer sho ts. This results in decided cha nges in im age size. camera ang le and len s height. Although there are a few exceptions to this ru le, it should be appli ed wh enever filmin g conditions permit. The zoom len s does n ot lend it self to thi s type of treatment. Unless th e cam era is positione d on a dolly boom arm , it cannot be lowered as the len s is zoome d into a close-up. Th e zoom wou ld on ly be useful when ever th e cam era would be moved straigh t in for a subsequen t dose-up - when an ac tor is ce n tered and re lates with others on each side of him . It will no t provide the best close-up when the came ra sho uld be moved arou nd to the side - wh enever pl ayers rela te ac ross th e screen.

Camera should move in and around to the side whenever tw o or more people relate with oth ers across screen .

Cam era # 1 films long shot. Camera # 2 is moved in and to the side to film close-up of lead player. Cam era #3 films opposin g player from opposite ang le. Thi s treatment is recom m ended whenever players relate across screen.



THE FIVE C's The camer a is generally higher for lon g sho ts than it is for close-ups セ so it is usua lly necessary to lower the camera wh en it is moved in. There are instan ces, however , when th e camera is positioned at eye-level for the long or me dium sho t. so that it only requires being mo ved in and arou nd, or stra igh t in - in certain cas es, to film close-ups. Or, the len s focal len gth n eed not be changed, the move in is sufficient to alter th e im age size. There are also occas ions du ring filmi ng of docum en tary or newsreel film s whe n th e camera must shoo t from a fixed platform, or other static position, so

Movin g camera in and around to side angle for closer sh.ot w ill help cov er inadvertent minor mis-matches in players' positions. A major mis-match, as shown here, would require insertion of cut-away shot of another individual in the scene. "".. "" c,,,s""",,

Retaining same image size in consecutive sho ts with slight change in camera ang le resu lts in jump-cut, because players will appea r to jerk or shift across splice.


CAMERA AN GLES th at switc hing lenses from th e sa me camer a se t-up is the only way to record different size images. T he most impressi ve scree n effec ts, however, occur when the camera is moved to a fre sh viewpoin t, the camera heiqht : is adj usted to suit the subject , and the len s iocat Icnotli is cho sen to fit the individ u al sh ot. While is it n ot absolu tely necessary to change the lens for each shot, it is wise to switch to a len s focal len gth best suited for the par ticular scene bein g filmed . Gener ally. this necessita tes a cha nge, since a wide-a ngle len s may be required for a di stant shot , a norm al len s for a m ediu m sho t and a semi- telepho to or telephoto for a closeup or extrem e close-up. A norm al focal length len s m ay be u sed to film an en tire picture, if the camera h as su fficient room to be moved about for every type of sho t. Such situ ations are un likely in professio na l produ ction film in g, where a var iety of different focal length lenses are availa ble to record the area a nd per spective requ ired . Moving the ca mera in and aro u nd to a new ang le he lps cover in adverten t m is-m atches in player s' positions. A mi s-ma tch is mu ch more noticeable if the camera moves straight in , since the only ch ange is th a t of m agn ifica tion . Thus , a slightly differen t head positi on or changes in h and or arm m ovemen t m ay be apparent to even the casu al viewer. Moving in and around, however , permit con siderable cheating, becau se the au die nce views th e pla yers from a comple tely new an gle . All effor t should be ma de to ma tch player positions , bu t small disc repanci es du e to sligh t mis-m atch ing between shots will be less ap par en t with a chan ge to a new viewpoint . than with a stra igh t-in move. Th e ca mera angle should not be shifted sli,qhtly in con secutive shots of the same subject filmed with the sa me im age size. A two-shot of players facing each other will appear as a j um p-cut if filme d from a ma tched pair of ca me ra se t-ups , whic h are varied sligh tly to favor each player in turn . Since the pair of im ages a rc the same size, and the angle is only sligh tly chan ged , th e players - rather th an th e camer a angle - will appear to shift. A defini te change in camera an gle will ass ure a smoother flow of images.


THE FIVE C's SCENE REQUIREM ENTS Ea ch scene should be considered as par t of a sequence. or series of shots; bu t m ust be given individu al a tten tion based on story req uireme n ts. In additi on to es thetic, tech nical and psychological fac tors th at determine camer a angles , there are dr am a tic, editorial, n atu ral an d ph ysical ph ases to be considered . These factor s need not be individu ally cons idered for each shot or sequence. Ma ny are handled intuit ively by experienced movie m akers. Rut all these elements sho uld be included in over-a ll planning of a scquence. so that each series of shots will depic t it s portion in the bes t possible cinematic m an ner. EST HETIC FACTORS

Many esthet ic fac tors should be considered in selec tin g the right ca me ra angle. All composit ion al elemen ts: players , props , furn iture, settin g, backgroun d, vehicles, etc., sh ould be studied wit h player movement s an d genera l ac tion of the sce ne in mind . Objec ts should be arra nged to fac ilitate suit able stagi ng and pleasing photogr aph y. To achieve the des ired effect , some items m ay h ave to be added or elimina ted. Filming fictional featu res prescnt few es thetic problems , because sets arc designed an d built aro und the scene's requiremen ts. Document ar y films, shot on act ua l localions , oft en requ ire mu ch improvising to stage the



Som e documentary film s require compromising camera angles because of uncontrollable factors.



action, particularly in interiors of real structures. Compromises in choosing ca mera angles may have to be made. When film ing exteriors, advantages of foreground frames, such as tree branches and arches, should be considered. Whenever possi ble , ang leplus-an gle viewpoints should be chosen to r ecord the best m odelin g, greatest number of planes, and solid three- dimensional effects. Compositional form s shou ld suit subjec t m atter and aid in crea ting prope r atmosphere and m ood. Relation ship between playe rs an d backgro und also warr ants fore thoug ht. If th e backgroun d is important to th e story - such as an oil field , an assembly line, a waterfront - players should be so positione d that the background is tied-in with foregroun d ac tion. Composi tion al lines , forms and movements shou ld all be exploited to facilita te the story-telling. (See: COMPOSIT ION)

lighti ng and accessory equipment. Need for portabili ty, lack of tr aine d per sonnel, in adequate electr ical power , insufficient time, cos t an d difficulti es of transporting heavy studio eq uipment - p ar ticul arl y by air - all contribute to the techn ica l problem s en coun tere d by non-th eatrical cameram en filmin g on actu al locations. Lack of ca mera dollies res tric ts filmin g to fixed tripods. The area th at can be adequ ately illumin a ted is determined by electrical power and lighting fa cilities available. Th e amou nt of equipment that m ay be ca rri ed to loca tion generally preclud es many ca mera and ligh ting accessories, ordinarily available in studios . All these technic al fac tors combine to rest ric t the ca meraman in his h andling of the subject m atter. So, camera and pla yer movement, ca mera pl acement , area to be filmed , an d over-all ca mera treatme n t must be com pr omised to m akedo with available equ ipm ent and conditions.



Few tech nical restric tions arc imposed on th eatrica l cinematographers, either in the studio or on location. On the other hand, because of budge t, personne l, tr an spor ta tion and other limit a tion s; most documentary cameramen have less camera,

As explained in the discussion of camera heigh t, the audience may be emotionally affected by the camera viewpoi nt. Up , down , Dutch til t, an d subjec tive angling of the ca mera m ay place the viewer in other th an normal eye -level objec tive viewing position, an d strongly infl uence his emotional re acti on to even ts depicted on the screen. Such abno rmal viewpoints may br ing the viewer closer to iden tifica tion with the picture and the screen player s. If disinterest is the effec t desired, or the scene is too violen t to view close-up, lon g and medium sh ots will position the audience a t a distance fro m the even t. Closer shots actually help to involve the viewer in the action. Subjective angles tend to depict the scene as the screen pl ayer sees it, an d bring the viewer eve n more intimately into th e story . Through distor ted subjective camera treatmen t, the viewer may ac tually experience th e in toxicated, frenzied or in sane a ttitu de of the player through whose eyes he is lookin g. Thus, psychological re ac tion of viewer is based, to a great exten t, on camera angles and edit orial tr eat ment. Th e principal psychological purpose of a m otion picture is to sway th e au dience to react in a desire d mo od. Whether a picture's purpose is to sell,

Man y technical restrictions are placed on docum en tary camera crews sho oting on location . Camera angles and staging may have to be comprom ised to meet lim it ations set by lighting facilities and equ ipmen t avai lability.



THE FIVE C's ical ca me ra angling is one of the m ost powerful s tory-telling weapo ns available to the cameram an .

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Mu rderer in mystery picture may sta rtle audience by suddenly revea ling him self .

educate or entertain , its success depends on how thorough ly it interests the viewer in the picture's story or message. Choice of camera ang le may be decided by a n alyzin g the purpose of the sho t, and the effect wan ted on the viewer. Should the audience be shocked a t slum conditions depicted .. . sol d on a new produ c t . . . angered by a corru pt polit ical situ a tion ... awe d by a displ ay of atomic weap on s .. . look with disdain upon a despicable ch ar acter . . . be inspired by a religious m essage .. . be shown th e world as seen by a mental patient? All these suggest specific ca mera pl acements, and photogr aphic techniques designed to make the viewers care abou t the subjec t m atter. The audience is not on ly impres sed by what appears on the screen, bu t by players , object s or ac tions partially or completely hidden , revealed in a sudden or startling ma nner, or n ot shown at all! The camera need not do all th e work ! The viewer should be urged to use hi s own im agin ation in understanding wh a t is ha ppeni ng. Th e camer a m ay create suspense by ang ling downward on th e murderer, showing a knife in his h and - but his identi ty is not revealed . A reverse angle may show the backs of villai ns as they conspire. The came ra m a y pan , tilt , zoom or m ove to reveal suddenly a player , object or ac tion. Because it is a direct lin k to the viewer's emotions, psycho log-


DRAMATIC FACTORS If the story requires an exciting tre a tmen t of the action , dramatic fac tors sho uld be analyzed . Ord ina rily, the ca mera should not in trude on the story-telling . Since it is able to in terest th e viewer by conten t alone , inherently dramatic subject m a tter requires litt le or no special cam era trea tme nt . For ins tance , a dramatic speech should not be filmed with complicated lightin g, tricky angles or distracting background actio n , if full audience attention belongs to the speaker. Sta tic. prosaic or commonplace subjects may be en livened, however , by imagina tive camera h andling. When the camera ma n is faced with dull materia l. th e audience should be aroused. On othe r occasions, dramatic m ateri al m ay be further enha nced by inspired ca me ra treatme n t. Would an ex tre me long sho t impress th e audience with the m ajestic grandeur of the sett in g? Would extrem e close-ups of key player s , obj ec ts or ac tions bring greater audie nce a tte n tion? Would lowangle filmin g inc rease tension , distort composition al lines or ex aggerate action ? Would hi ghang le filmin g add significance to players, se tting or action ? Would subjec tive camer a ang les aid audi en ce iden tity with lead pl ayer? Should the cam eram an em ploy Dutch tilt an gles? Dolly shots? Dr am atic lighting ? Extrem e

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• S traightforward camera treatment is generally best for highly dramatic scenes.

THE FIVE C's wide-angle lenses ? Agit ated m ovemen t? Or , should th e story be told in a straigh tfo rward documentary style, devoid of came ra tric ks and lighting effects; or fa ncy camer a anglin g which m ay detract fro m th e n arrative? Un or thodox camera treatme n t sho uld not be employed whe n it m ay distract the audience from the pic ture to aw areness of camer a. On th e other h and, audience emo tion m ay be r aised to a hi gh pitch by presentin g subject m a tter in a distinctive, dram atic m a nner. The cameraman should study the eve n t to be filmed , alon g with the script ; and dec ide whether forcef ul camera pa rt icipation would be a n asset to the story-telling ; or whe the r the ca mera sho uld function merely as a detached observer. EDITORIA L FACTORS

Editorial requ irem en ts oft en dicta te the preferred cam er a ang les for a ser ies of shots. Detailed sh ootin g scrip ts us ua lly speci fy type of shot or camer a tre atment. Ma ny scripts , however , a re written in m aster scenes , in wh ich the filmin g trea tment is left to the direc tor and ca mer aman . A camera m an filming a docu men tary off-the-cuff should sh oot according to edit ori al requireme n ts. While a few key sce nes in a picture m ay be tre ated in dividually, all scenes m ust be considered in relati on to other scenes in the sequence .

Docu m en tary subjects filmed off-the·cu ff m ust be pllOtographed with definite edi· torial pattern in mind. Over-all event must be broken down into types of shots required fO T each portion of action .

CAMERA ANGLES The cameram an m ust pl an the event as a wh ole, and decide on its breakd own into in dividual shot s. He mu st decide how much se tting should be inclu ded in the es tablishing lon g sho t; what por tions of the action requir e m edium sho ts; and where the emph asis should be placed with close-ups. Normal progressions from long sh ot to closeup s arc generally sa fe, but n ot always th e bes t tech nique . If the sequence develops into a series of back-and -for th close-up s of various players , progressive ca me ra angles should switch to rc peutlous came ra angles. If a great deal of player m ovem ent is invo lved , or new elemen ts are introdu ced , it m ay be necessar y to retu rn to th e long sho t to re-orien t the audien ce. Th e came ra m an should con tinu ally try to an alyze the even t throug h viewers ' eyes. T he audience should be shown the player, obje ct or ac tion which they are m ost in teres ted in seeing a t that poin t. Thi s becomes of vit al importan ce when narrative intere st is divided . The ca mera must conce n tra te on the m ore int eresting of the two s tory elemen ts. Th e film editor should be supp lied wi th every possible type of shot consis ten t wi th time and budget lirnitations imposed on the produc tion . N AT URA L FACTORS

Sun positi on , wea ther, terrain , influence choice of came ra angles on exterior filming. Outdoor filming - particularly in color - depends upon the sun an gle. Except for special effec ts, such as backligh ted scen es; the sun ang le is best wh en the sce ne is side or three-qu ar ter fron t light ed . Even with ca reful plann ing to take full advan tage of the sun at various times of the day or season , this restr icts choice of ca mera ang les. Fronts of s tru ctures faci ng north , for instance are r ar ely directly illuminated by sun in th e n or thern hemisp here. Wea ther can be a f actor , although overca st light permits filming with equ al ease from almos t any ang le. It may be necessary to shoot in a dtrection th at avoids bald skies. Terrain , par ticul arl y backgr oun ds , may force the cameraman to ch oose camera angles that either include or eliminate trees , road s, mo un tains , or other n atural clcmerits. Allowan ces for su n ang les, weathe r and topogr aph y are m ade in construction of ou tdoor 61

CAMERA ANGLES sets ; but u ncon trollable clemen ts in natura l se ttings often handicap th e camera man, so th at he m ust com pro mise ca mera ang les to fit prevailing conditions. Weath er ma ps in correspondi ng season s of past yea r s should be studi ed , if exten sive ou tdoor produ ction filmin g must be accom plishe d in unfamiliar loca tion s. PHYSICAL FACTORS

Physical factors seldom inter fere with th e studio cin em ato gr apher's cho ice of camera an gles. Th e documentar y ca meraman, to the contrary . h as to work within ph ysical lim itation s necessitated by size and sh ape of rooms ; fixed dimension s of settings ( without aid of "wild walls" wh ich m ay be moved at will ) ; ceilinge d room s ( par ticularl y low ceilings) ; practical props , m achines , struc tures and objects that do not "break-away" for film ing , poorly painted walls ( especially light-tint ed wa lls in color filmin g ) ; and m an y othe r ph ysical factors beyond his con trol. A very sm all room , for inst an ce, m ay be diffic ult to light and imp ossible to shoo t without an ext remely wide-angle len s which dis tor ts th e players. Ac tu al in teriors of airplane cockpits. au tomobiles, control roo ms , eng ineeri ng in stru ment a tion tr ailers , blockho uses, and simil ar "live" set s m ay provide little space for camer a and ligh t place m en t. Th e choice of camera angle in m any documen tar y int eri or s depends

THE FIVE C's m ore often on w here the ca m era and light s can be squee zed into position , ra ther th an th e best angle for telling the story.

CAMERA ANGLES ON SIGNS & PRINTED MATTER Sign s , plaques , label s and similar identification s sho uld be filmed either straigh t-on - in the m ann er of titles - or given a three-qua r ter ang le, so that th e lettering diminish es in size as it recedes from lef t to ri gh t. This is particul arl y impor tant if the sign is of consi derable length , such as lett eri ng covering th e front of a wid e building. It is of less import ance if it occu pies lit tle area su ch as a sign on a door - an d m ay be read at a gla nce. Th e name on the front of a cour thouse , post office, school or other s tru eture is more qu ickly legible if angled in thi s lef t-to-righ t diminishi ng manner. A lengthy sign , filmed with a panni ng or dollyin g camera movement, must necessarily be filmed so that le tter ing enters from scree n right and slides ac ross th e picture from right to left. Care m us t be taken to an gle the cam er a in the m anner described above for st atic shots . Square-on cam era angles m ay ca use a skippi ng effec t - in whi ch th e le tter s break as th ey ch att er across th e screen . A sign , pos ter , newspaper headline, label or any piece of prin ted matte r , such as a letter or repo rt,


On occasion, major studio the atrical cin ematog raphers have to shoot in crowded quarters - such as thi s "subm arine" set.


, •

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Len gth y sign s on building s are best filmed so tllat lett ering diminishes in size a s it recedes from left to right .


THE FIVE C's should be given an upbeat effec t by postnontng it in the frame so th at it slopes up-hill - th at is. from lower lef t to upper righ t. This tre atmen t is essential when two or more lines mus t be read . because the eye ha s a tendency to drop down to read the next line. If the pri nted m ateri al is sloped downwa rd (fro m u pper left to lower right ) the eye is forced to m ove up to read the next lin e. Such unnatural eye movemen t will distress th e viewer. Applications of th ese reading angles m ay seem like splitt in g h air s , bu t they are based on established reading h abi ts. It is unwise to ca use the viewer to strain or react unpleasan tly in order to read poorly ang led material. ( Se c: COM POSITION , Eye Scan)

PROBLEM CAMERA ANGLES Angling the cam era for a par ticu lar effect may introdu ce u nfore seen ph otogr aph ic problems which may requ ire com prom ising the set-up. For examp le, an establishi ng long sho t film ed with a wide-angle lens, may include the desired wi dth , but record too much foreground. Lowering the eame ra will elim inate some of the foregrou nd, without disturbing the basic composition. Raisin g the ca me ra , so th at th e setting is viewed fr om a high angle, should also be cons idered as a solu tion.

If a Wide-angle len s mu st be em ployed to film a tigh t area, th e ca mera should not be dr astically ang led so that perspective distortion is in creased . The wider the lens angle, the greater the linear convergence. In th is case, the camera angle should be as squa re-on as possible to prevent weird foreshortenin g. Pers on s in the scene should not reach toward the came ra to pick up objec ts such as a mech ani c reach ing for a tool in the foregro und - or a h and m ay appear like a h am ! Tr y to keep the players equi-distan t from the ca me ra und er such con ditions, or the closes t player m ay appear unduly lar ge in compariso n wit h a player standing a shor t dist an ce away. Extreme wide-an gle len ses reco rd th e area from fr on t to back of the setti ng so that it appear s lengthier than in reali ty. Player or vehicle m ovement toward or away from the cam era will ca use the subject to grow progressively larger or regressively smaller at an acce lerated ra te - res ulting in the subject appearing to cover a gre a ter dist an ce than exists. Such movement should be avoided, un less desired for a special effec t. Problems often arise in positioni ng th e camera because of ph ysical limitations. Sm all , low room s , confined a rea s - suc h as the in terior of a space capsule may preve nt the came ra from bein g

_............ Camera should not be drastica lly angled on Hght interiors, filmed with wide-angle lens. Distortion and linear convergence may be he ld to minimum wi th slight angling or shootin g square-on.

Ti ght interior shots - suc h as this scene in m issi le ca psu le - provide little room for camera an d light placement. Choice of camera angle on m an y documentary scen es is often severely limited.


CAMERA ANGLES position ed as far back as desired . Ra ther th an u se of an extreme wide-an gle lens - which generally seem s to affor d th e sim plest solu tion - the sequence m ay be bro ken int o additional shots, so th at sever al norm al an gle sho ts arc filmed , r a ther th an a sing le wide-angle sho t. Or , it m ay be bes t to pan th e cam era with a normal len s to cover th e ar ea , r ather th an record the entire width in a sin gle static sho t with an extrem e wide-angle lens . This is particul arl y important in industrial, scientific and rese arch films - wh ere distorti on of tools an d equipmen t ca nnot be tolerated. Camer a ang les are related to subject angles . A tilt ed object - filmed with an equ ally-tilt ed camer a may be film ed to appear leve l on the screen.

THE FIVE C's Til ted ver ticals can often be st ra ightened , or vertical lines m ay be tilted as desired , by an glin g the ca mer a. For example , a th ree-qu arter low angle sho t of a columned co ur th ouse m ay look better if sho t with a sligh tly off-level ca mer a so that the side of the bu ilding nearest the camer a is squared 0 (£ to appear appro ximately parallel with th e side of the screen. Th is m ay look bette r th an h avin g both sides of the bu ilding converge skyward . Th e importan t point is n ot how the ca mer a shou ld be angled - it is the screen ap pe ara nce of the subject . Studyin g the image in the viewfinde r with various til ts will aid in deciding the best solut ion . There arc no pa t solu tions to every ca mera ang le problem . If the subject sho uld appear as in

...s.... .....

Low three-qua rter an gle shot presents U. S. Air Force MACE - surface-to-air missile - with lo';;er-left to upper-right. ascen ding flight line. 64

THE FI VE C's real life, it mu st be present ed in a m an ner that is acceptable to the viewer. If a special effect is desired - anythi ng goes! Distorted. violent, trick, gimmicky effec ts ar e eas ily achieved because it is easier to break the ru les than to film the subject in a natural way! Th e most n atural res ults are achieved when the subject is filmed in an undistorted manner with nor mal perspective effects. This requi res avo idance of ex tre me wide angle lenses, weird ca me ra ang les a nd abnormal movement of players or ve hi cles. This does no t imply

that everyt hing should be filmed from eye level with a norm al foca l length lens l Visual variety not weird varie ty - will keep the viewer interested in the narrati ve.

CONCLUSION Proper came ra angles ca n make the difference between audience a pprecia tion and indifference. Image size and im age ang le determine how much of the subject m att er th e viewer will see , and from what viewpoin t. Eac h time the camera is moved, the audience is tra nsported to a new vtcwpoint. Since the audience should neve r be m oved about needlessly, ever y ch ange in camera angle should coun t. Whether workin g with a shooting scrip t or offthe-cuff, th e ca me r am an sho u ld film the event with definite editi ng pattern in mi nd. The seri es of sho ts comprisin g a sequence should be recorded with progressive, regressive , repetitious or con trasting treat ment - singu larly or in comb ina tion -not with an odd ly assorted hodge-podge of shots. To be tru ly succ essful, a mo tion picture sho uld visually surprise the audience by presen ting fresh viewpoints , different types of sho ts, varied im age sizes, in an unpredictable pattern. A series of close-up s m ay be followed by an extreme long shot : or a sequence m ay open wit h a close-up instead of a long shot. T he camera should view events now from th is ang le, now from th at. Ima ges shou ld be scaled u p in on e shot, down in the next. Players and / or camera movem ents should be change d , switc hed , re versed not simply re peated in a similar pattern . Settings should

CAMERA ANGLES be viewed from the side or eve n the top , not always from the front. Visua l variety sh ould be the keyno te, so th a t the audience is kep t interested in wh at is h appen ing a nd wh at will happen next. If films are com posed and filmed in a long shot , medium shot, close-up , 1-2-3 manner, the audie nce will subconsciously expec t a certain type of sho t, a certain a ngle, a cer tain scene length . As a result , viewing the film becom es tedious. Viewers sho uld be show n some thing new or different a t eve ry opportuni ty. Non-theatrical camera me n sh ould consider film in g marc over-t he-shoulder and point-of-view ca mera ang les , in order to in volve the audi ence in the subjec t. The story should not be filmed with a stand-offish objective ca me r a. Th e viewer sh ould be brought into th e picture intermittently and s tand alongsi de the players and view the oth er pl ayers , the se tting and th e ac tion from an inside angle . Th e viewer may thus mo re readil y identify with th e people in the picture and become mo re engrossed with th e m essage. The docum entary cam eraman h as th e advantage over the theatrical fiction feature director of photography , in that he can employ the subjective camera now and then , an d allow the sub ject to look directly in to the lens. Th e engi neer , salesman or company exec utive may be presen ted wit h a performer-viewer eye-to-eye relationshi p to relay the picture's message mo re force fully. The mos t diffi cult ca me r a angle - and one worthy of expe ri men ta tion - is the subjective treatm en t in wh ich the ca me ra replaces a player wh o m us t rela te with th e other player s in th e picture - in the m anner of Lady In Th e Lake . T his tech nique shou ld be considered whenever an un u sual subject may be trea ted in a nove l manner tha t requ ires shocking or startling th e viewer . Or , whene ver the mental conditio n of the playe r. or an event told in flashback , wou ld be enhanced wit h a little differen t trea tm ent. Th ough tfu l usc of ca me ra angles can add variet y and impact to s tory-telling. Came ra an gles designed to ca pture , sus tai n and point the way to continued audience interest , shou ld be selected .


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INTRODUCTION A professio nal sound motion picture should present a continuous, smooth . logical flow of vtsual images, supplemen ted by sound , depicting th e filmed event in a coherent manner. It is the continuous aspect of a motion picture; it is Contin uity that decides success or failure of th e production . A picture with perfect continuity is preferred because it depicts even ts realistically. A pic ture with faulty con tinuity is unacceptable, because it distracts rather than attracts. This does no t imply that action should flow smoothly acr oss every cut in a motion picture. There arc tim es when an impression or a disturbed men tal condition mu st be so por trayed; so th at the audience can be emotion ally aro used by incoherent im ages. These are exceptions. A motion picture is a record of an even t , in fact, fiction or fan tasy. Th e images should reproduce real life, or a m ake-believe world . Sound m ay be dialogue and/or narrati on , accom pan ied by appropriate music and sound effec ts. Visu al an d audio elements of a mo tion picture should be integrated , so th at they complemen t each other in affecting th e audience. Every motion picture should be based on a shooting plan . Th e plan m ay be a few m ental notes, scribbled suggestions , an outline, a story board, or a detailed shoo ting script. The better the plan - or continuity - the stronge r the chances of

success. A contimdty, or shooting scri pt, is a prelimi n ar y motion picture on paper - a continuous plan for ph otographing an d editing th e produ ction. Oth er th an a simple news shot, a mo tion pictur e can not depict an event in a sing le scene. A series of scenes - a sequence - are requ ired to portr ay any action properl y. A sequenc e without a time lapse should presen t th e event in a con tinuous , re alistic fashion . Motion picture sequences m ay be com pa red to cha pte rs in a book. A director , worki ng from a det ailed scri pt, is forced to think of the picture as a series of shots comprisin g each sequence ; and a series of seque nces m akin g up the complete picture. A cameram an shooting off-the -cuff must also think in sequences , and individu al sho ts. Action will flow smo othly from shot to shot only wh en the over-all action of the en tire sequence is broken dow n in to particular actions requ ired in eac h sho t. Wit hou t good con tinu ity, a m otion picture would be a jumble of unrelated an imated snapsho ts. While th ese pictu res m ay have mo vemen t in each indi vidu al sho t. they are not a series of fluid , flowin g. m ergin g im ages. Bec ause of it s jerky , jarring, mi s-m atched im ages, poor continuity distract s audien ce atte ntion from the subjec t matter. Good continuity encourages th e viewer to become absorbed in the story-tellin g, without bothersome distraction s. Th e prime purpose of a motion picture , whether theatrical fictio n featu re 67

CONTINUITY or doc umentary fact film , is to capture and hold audience attention - from opening sho t to fin al fade- out. To accomplish this , the film must be presented in visual images , inviti ng viewer s to become involved in the screen story. If viewers have to figure out where the camera has su ddenly shifted, or wh y an unexpl ained change has occurred in players' action, the spell is broken. Motion pictures create and sustain illusio ns. The illusion is shattered whenever viewe rs ' attention or in terest is dist r ac ted . Smooth, fluid, realistic continuity can contribute more to a motion picture's success than any other cinematic device.

CINEMATIC TIME & SPACE TIME & SPACE CONT INUITY A mo tion picture can create its own time and space, to fit any p ar tic ul ar story-telling sit uation . Time may be compressed or expanded; speeded or slowed ; remain in the pr esen t or go forward or backward ; or it may even be held constant for as long as desired . Space may be shor tened or stretched; moved nearer or farther; pr esen ted in true or false perspective; or be completely r em ade in to a setting th at may exist only on film . Both or either - time and space may be eliminated, recreated and presented in any manner th at will h elp th e audience comprehend .

A motion picture may go anywhere - by showing actual travel - or editorially, by cutting from one locale to another.


THE FIVE C's A motion picture can go anywhere in time an d sp ace at any moment. Thus , a sto ry may sudden ly go back into history, or shift across the world ; or a scene may be speeded up ; or a setting made to appear fore -shor tened. Time and space may be real or imagined, en larged or reduced, torn apart or tied toge ther. An event may be presented in its entirety as it actually h appened ; or fr agmented into bit s in which only highligh ts or impressions are ac tually show n. Several locations separated in space may be presented singly, or combi ned on film to appear as a single setting . Proper h and lin g of both time and space will enhance the visual and audio values of the mo tion picture story. Abusing time and space req uirements may shatter the audience's recept iven ess to the screen h ap penings. T IME CONTINUITY

Actual time moves forward only , chronologica lly. Motion picture chronology, however , may present the story in reel - rather than real - time, Motion picture time may be divided in to four categories: present, past, futu re, and conditional. A motion picture story may employ one or mo re of these time elements , singly or in any combination. The film may depict events as h app ening in the present, and then switch backward or forward; or it may compress , expand or freeze time in any

An event - such as this In dian making a san d painting - may be presented in entirety, or by showing only highlights.

THE FIVE C's manner. However time is port r ayed , its h andling must be easily compreh end ed by th e audien ce. Uses of real time, and employme nt of dream time, are limi ted only by the imagination an d technic al abilities of th ose produ cing the film . However th e time factor is em ployed , the film story based on time con tinu ity is told with the passage of either actual or f an ciful time. Presen t-tim e continuity depicts the ac tion as if occur rin g n ow . Th is is the m ost popular an d least confusing m eth od of presen ting the m ateri al. Events tran spire in a logical, straightforwar d seeit-now way; so that, regardless of story developments, tran sitions , con tinuity lapses, the audience is always watching the event in the presen t. The viewer obser ving even ts th is way h as a stronge r feeling of p ar ticipati on in the screen h appenings . Neither he nor the screen characters know wh at will come n ext. This keeps the viewer interested in following the screen story to its con clus ion . While most modern theatrical fea tures employ present-time con tinu ity, use is also made of oth er time and transitional techniques , as re quire d. By presenting the fac ts in a see-it-now manner, m ost documentaries could benefit from present-time continuity , which would en liven the m aterial and give it greater dr am atic impact an d audie nce par ticip ation . Rather th an depict a labor atory experiment as a past event ; a research project or constru ction of a missile base as a historical document; it may be m ore dramatically shown as

Stories based on present-time continuity depict events as if occurring n ow.


Docum en tary films benefit from presentation in a see-it-now manner.

occ urring now, before spectators' eyes. Thus , the even t is r e-lived as if h appenin g in the presen t , r ather than in the past. An event progres sing in one loca le: suc h as a construction project, an athletic contest, a scientific demon stra tion - any happen ing without m oving from place. to place - may be filmed with presen t-time con tinu ity . Past -time continuity ma y be divided in to two types; occurring in the past; a flashback, from present to past.

Construction project may be filmed wit h time con tin uity, because events are depicted progressing in a sin gle locale.




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Historical stories m ay he presented as past ha ppenings, or as flashb ack .

Past eve nts should he filmed alive on the screen, as if happening no w .

Even ts occurri ng in the pas t - presented in their entirety or as prologue to a story tr an spiring in the presen t - arc depict ed in a m anner similar to present-time con tin uity; except th at the audience sho uld be m ade aware of the time element

teres t and fu ll accept an ce of the audience . Th e events shou ld be depicted as if happening n ow! A flashback may portray an event th a t occurred hefore the presen t story beg an . Or , it m ay retrogress in time to depict a portion of th e story n ot previously shown . Or , it may repeat an ea rlier event. Thus , a character may tell a story that h appened years ago or explain an inciden t in th e present story; not shown to th e audien ce. Sever al characters m ay eac h tell his or her vers ion of what h app en ed. Fl ashb acks are of ten employed to clear up a plot point, by showing what ac tua lly h appened in a mystery story; or developme n t of a m ech an ical process . Or , flashb acks m ay provide b ackground material by showing wh at took pl ace years before to bring abou t th e present sit ua tion. Oft en, a story is told entire ly in flashbacks; or m ay even go so far as to employ a flash back within a flashb ack, in which a ch ar ac ter tells about ano ther charc ter , wh o - in turn also rela tes an in cident! Th ere is no limit to the ways flash back s may be us ed in a dram atic film - providing the story always returns to th e present, and the editorial pattern is ca refully worked out so that the audience is n ot confuse d. Th is is particularly important if several characters each tells his or her portion of th e story out of chronologica l sequ ence. Fl ashbacks m ay be effectively em ployed in industrial film s , wh en comparing th e old with the new .

inv olved. Historic al stories h ave p ast-time con tinui ty; but oth er th an the f act th at th e audience is

aware that these eve nts h ave alrea dy h appened , th ere is little change in presenta tion. The viewer must be m ade to fee l, however, that "this is what h app ened as it h app ened" rather th an "this is what is h appeni n g." Th e picture stor y will be m ost successful when th e audience is tr an sported back in to the time perio d with a you-were-the re technique. One problem in presenting past events is that the audien ce may be either aware of the outcome セ if the story is h istorical - or feels th at the eve nt is over and decided . This would not be the case if the story is begu n in the past - in order to bring the aud ience up -to-dat e on developments - and th en brought in to presen t tense. While once-upon a-time treatment may be excellen t for f air y tales, suc h fa n tasies m ake the audi ence wor k harder to become involved in the scree ne d event; and become identified with the players. For this reason , historica l scree n su bjects often fail to gain favorable resp onse. Stories of pas t eve nts succeed only when players , story an d setting "come alive" on the scree n in a way designed to capture both in 70


Today's jet fighter aircraft may -

flashback to World War II prop airp lane-

or flashforward to future Space Liner .

CONTINUITY Or , a completed project m ay be presen ted at the star t of the story. How it was researched, designed , and constructed can be told in flashback. Flashb acks h ave these advanta,qes. They permit several characters to tell the ir por tions of the story . They all ow narrators to regress in time , and present historical or background m ateri al. Different fact ua l or fictitio us aspects may be prese n ted from various viewpoin ts by flash backs. The story may depic t an earlier period. Story-telling is no t restrict ed to the presen t, b ut may m ove back and for th in time to describe or expl ain even ts significant to th e n ar ra tive. Flash backs ha ve certain disadvantages. Th ey tend to break up chronological continuity and confuse the viewer. They often dem and greater au dience attention, par ticular ly if sever al flash backs are em ployed . Viewers m ay become "lost" in a len gthy flashback , an d become disoriented ; the stor y may move backward in stead of forward, so that the normal prog ression of building toward a clim ax is impeded. Som etimes , the audience kn ows the outcome of the stor y in advan ce, becau se they h ave seen th e end. The la tter pro blem may be solved by beginnin g n arrative ju st before the ending ; then goin g in to th e flash back to tell th e st ory up to th e poin t where th e picture began . Th en, the story returns to the pre sent for it s denouement. Em ployment of flashbacks , or tellin g a stor y en tirely in flash backs , should be carefully con sidere d . Fl ash backs should not be used unless th eir adva ntages in story-telling greatly ou tnum ber their disadvan tages . Use of an occasi on al flashb ack , h owever , ca n be a trem endous aid in both theatrical and docu mentary films; whenever regressin g in time supplies th e picture with a missin g ingre dient , provides b ackground m aterial, or allows a n ovel por trayal of events . Fu ture-tim e continuity may fa ll into two ca tegories : occurring in the future; a flashforward from pre sen t to future. Events occurring in the future may be predicted, projected or im agined . A stor y tr an spiring in th e future m ay thus inv olve a science-fiction predic lion, an industrial projection , or epilogue of the present story, or events im agin ed by a ch ar acter 71



in th e present sto ry. The viewer is transported into the future. so th at he is seeing the even t "as it will or could happen ." The even t is present ed with presen t-time con tinuit y, as if happeni n g now. Th e aud ience sho uld be kept aware of the tim e cleme n t. so th at they are not confused. A future time con tin uity m ay involve space shi ps on rout e to the moon ; the projec ted growth of a com pany; or tomorrow's h appe nings , im agined by a player. A flasJiforward is the opposite of a flash back. It

Future events - such as flashforward depic ting (irst moon landin g - m ay be predicted . Audience is transported into future , an d sees event as it cou ld happen .

moves ahead in to the fu ture to describe events th at will , m ay, or cou ld hap pen - and then returns to the present . A scientist will projec t how present pollution of streams an d ri ver s wi ll affect our futu re wa ter supply. An air force officer describes what may h appen in a fu ture nuclear war. A space scien tist explains how a m anned sa tellite cou ld reach the moon . Th e differen ce bet ween a flash forward a nd a story occurrin g in the future, is that the form er is a fr agme ntary leap ahead which re turn s to the present, an d the la tter is a fu turistic story in it self . The flas h for w a rd possesses few of the dts ad vantages of th e flashback. If not proper ly presen ted, however , flash for wards may confuse the viewer. By jumping ahead of the present stor y, the flash forward m ay add a future dime ns ion to a docum ent ary fact film . Thi s tech nique sh ows wh at could happen if a different course is followed in research , developm ent or desi gn of a new missile, an electronic brain , or a color televis ion se t. A flashforw ard m ay be filmed and edited in a follow-through con tinuity, similar to presen t-tim e con tinuity. Or it m ay be depicted in impression istic fragment s, as if in a dr eam or im agin ation . Conditional time continuit y does not deal with rea l tim e. It is the depiction of tim e as conditioned by other eleme nts, su ch as the men tal a ttitu de of

.... ⦅ セ


Flash forward - such as this depiction of interplane tary re fu elin g - adds fut ure dimension to present-da y documentary film on space travel.


セ MM

Conditional time depict s events as assumed by menta l attitude of playe r through w hose eyes au dience views ha ppe ninq s,

THE FI VE C's player viewing the event ; or the mem ory, im agin ation or th oughts of a person who m ay "sec" an even t in a distorted m anner in h is mind's eye. Since conditional time is unreal , it is un lim ited by bound aries or m an ner of presen tat ion. This does not imply that conditional tim e need no t m ake sense. The aud ience m ust com prehend wh a t is h appeni ng. A switch to condition al tim e mus t be properly es tablis hed or explained with appropria te pic torial transiti ons and /or aud io effec ts. Stra ight cut s ma y be em ployed , viewe rs m ust be m ad e to understand why th e se tting is sudden ly switched to a scene ex istin g on ly in the player's distorted mind . Tim e m a y be eliminated , fra gmen ted., compressed . expanded , distor ted , or combined in any m anner, so th at on e or more eve n t m ay be pre sen ted in a con tinuous m ann er - impossible in real life. Con dition al tim e con tinuity m ay be employed to e xpress a nightm are, delirium ; dru nken or othe r distor ted thinki ng by a player. Or , it m ay be used to portray a pl ayer's m usin g, me mories , or an im agined event. Cond ition al time may be used for a sing le scene , a sequence or an en tire pic tur e. This technique m a y be co mpa red to a stream of conscious nes s. in whic h unrelated real and fanciful events . clea r and distort ed though ts - present . pas t or future - arc a ll in termi ngled in j umbled continuit y. Event s m ay be dep icted in slow nigh tmarish mo tion . or in a seri es of flash sho ts , in wh ich images arc ch anged a t high speed. Or , an im age m ay be frozen for a lon g int erv al. Condit ion al time m ay also be employed to introduce a flashback in which a drownin g pers on views his en tire life, depicted in a straigh tforward con tin uity requiring seve ra l reels - in a few m oments ! If conditional tim e is properly pr esen ted , the audie nce will interpre t a nd accept the situation under conditions dep icted.

CONTINUITY also possible - as with lime continu ity - to move back and for th in spac e, 10 speed or slow tr avel, or to be in st antly tr a nsported to another location ; providing th a t the abrupt change in con tinuit y is understood by the audience. Viewers shou ld al ways be aware of location of ac tion. and the d irec tion of the m ovem ent. Th at is th e only wa y the audience will kn ow "irom where th e m ovin g players or vehicles arc com ing, a nd to wh ere they are going." Space is rarely portrayed in a motion pictu re as it ac tually cxtsts , except in a single setti ng : an d then it m ay be conden sed or expanded by phy sica l. opti cal and ed itori al techniques . Illu sion s of space m ay be created in vario us ways. Space m ay

Space contin uity ゥNセ used to tell story which moves from one place to anoth er. s..,,, B セBy


Telling the story as thc ac tion mov es from on e place to a nothe r invo lves space conti nuity. An expedition document ary, an auto tr ip or a travel picture are typical examples. To be acceptable, a logical pattern of move me nt must be shown. It is 73



be st retched or shor tened through em ploymen t of optical tr an sition s. This result can be att ai ned by simply ski pping unimportant are as ; by alterin g spatial rela tionships ; by in gen ious editi ng and by imagina tive story-telling. A simple dissolve m ay cover hundreds of mil es. Film ing only areas of special in terest, or differen t types of terrain . m ay give the audience the impression they are seeing the en tire trip セ although on ly highlights arc act ua lly shown . Choice of len s focal len gth may dr astic ally cha nge perspective, the distance between objects or the rela tion ship of the pla yers and the background. Clever editing may convince th e audienc e that th ey arc viewi ng all the travel. In ven tive story construction may provide m ean s of movin g about in sp ace , so th a t a gre at deal of territory is covered ; whil e the viewer is un aware th at mu ch of the tra vel is rea lly missin g. Audien ces h ave been conditioned to accept th e rem oval of needless tr avel, so th at a player m ay be shown leavin g his office on the tenth floor and immed iately dissolve to th e stree t en tr ance. There is no need to show him walki ng down the hall, taking the elevator , emerging a nd walking through th e lobby, e tc. Or , sp ace m ay be length ened in a subtle m anner, so that the audience is not awa re th at part of th e travel is repe a ted ; for ins tance, by overl apping severa l shot s of a walk down a shor t fligh t of stairs to make the fligh t appear lon ger on the screen.



A film takin g place in a single setti ng m ay be told with time continuit y on ly. A constan tly-m ovin g film de picting a race, a journey or a chase ma y be told with sp ace co n tinuity on lv. Most stories employ both time and space con tin uities alternately. A picture m a y s tar t ou t with space co nt in uity by tr an sporting the audience to a foreign land . Th en it se ttles down to tell the st ory in time cont inuity. Even an expedition picture m ust pau se at the various locales and switch to time contin uity as the explorers m ake cam p , study native h abits , and carry out th eir ass igned duties. Time and/or space stories featuring sim ple, st r aightforwa rd, chrono logical continuities presen t few filmi ng prob lem s . A complex picture, in whi ch th e st ory mov es back a nd forth in tim e and here and th ere in space , mu st be h andled carefu lly - so as not to con fuse the audien ce. Most importan t - the viewer mu st never be lef t in doubt w here th e event is taki ng place, and what is h appening. Onl y suspen se stories are design ed to confuse the audience , until explan a tion of th e mystery in the last reel.


Film ing of any event which th e camera man ca n direct or regul ate is known as controlle d action . In this categor y, th e best examples are th eatrical motion picture s. Sequences are planned , rehearsed an d staged for the camera . Each sce ne is filmed from as m any angles , as many tim es as req ui red ; until a sa tisfac tory tak e is recorded. All es thetic and technical elemen ts in volved in filmin g the pictu re are under complete con trol of direct or and camer aman. u........ u , _

Subject travel need not be shown in it s :ntiret y. Space m ay be shortened by depicttn g only Ilighli ght s of a journey.



Event s which cannot be staged for the camera con stitut e uncon trolled action . A newsreel of a



Although parades cannot be controlled by cameraman, camera angles should be carefully planned in advance. All shots should be filmed from same side of action Q::l?S, so that line of march moves in constant direction.

shows. The cameraman kn ows wh at will h appen , but h as little or no control over action or staging. Many shots an d sequences in no n-theatrical films canno t be controlled by the cameraman, and are best treated in n ewsreel technique. En gineering trials, field problems, fligh t tests, m issile firin gs, military mane uve rs, historical pageants, an d similar events must be filmed ju st as they happen. When filming uncontrollable action, the camer am an m us t adapt his effor ts to prevailing cond itions, to record best coverage available. Sta ndard film ing procedu res should be followed as much as possible to obtain technically excellent res ults. In completely uncontrollable filming situ ations, th e cameraman may be able to choose little mo re than th e camera-angle an d len s focal length . Choice may be further limited by ligh ting and space res trictions, an d physical dangers.


MASTER SCENE TECHNIQUE A master scene is a continuous take of an entire event occurring in a single setting. It is a complete chrono logical motio n picture - silen t or syncsound - of over-all action , from beginning to end .

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Some scenes in engineering films - such as this static test of rocket engine - cannot he controlled. Multiple cameras should be use d for complete coverage .

n atur al or m an-m ade disaster, suc h as a h urrican e or a fire, is recorded jus t as it h appen s. Wit hou t control over the subjec t, th e cameraman is m erely an observe r with a motion pic tu re camera. At worst , uncon trolled filming is a one-take affair. At best , it is filming of previous ly-ann ounce d events, suc h as parades , bea uty contests, air

Dramatic theatrical features are generally filmed w ith one camera; which records master scene of overall sequence and later closer cut-in medium shots and close-ups of individual players.

(Video) Eben - Jesus At The Centre (Victory) Video




If filmed with a single camera : por tions of the ac tion are la ter repeated to obtain inter-cutting closer shots. If filmed with m ultiple cameras : in ter -cutting closer shots arc film ed eimu ium eonslu. HOW TO USE MA STER SCEN E TE CHNIQUE

T heatrical film s : Genera lly filmed with a single ca mer a because the ac tion is staged . and m ay be repe a ted any n um ber of tim es ; in order to shoot medium shots , two-s hots , ove r-the -sho ulder sho ts and individu al close-ups required for inter-cutting. Close r shots are set up and ligh ted to por tray th e playe rs best from th at particula r angle. Both ac tion and di alogue a re overl apped for each shot. Television fi lm s : Dram atic television film s are gen erally filmed in the sam e mann er as th eatrical pictures . Situ a tion comedies and similar "stagefront" m ateri al - in which ac tors perform for audien ce as if on-stage - are filmed with multiple ca me ra s , to record all ang les simultaneously. Non -thea trical films : Controllable ac tion, suc h as staged sce nes , m ay be filmed in a theatrical m anner with a single camera an d action repeated for closer shots . Uncontrollable action , such as field tests , m ay be filme d with multiple cameras , to record all angles simultaneously.

Non -theatrical films - such as this report of Titan lII C chec kout activiti es being

photographed by RCA cam eramen - may be film ed wil li single camera, w hen action is unde r control of camera crew.


Non-theatrical films , w hich the cameraman camlOt control - such as missile launching or fl(qht of prototype airplan e sh ould be filmed w ith mult iple cam eras, to obtain uartaus shots required (or sequence.

Single cam era s v s. multiple cameras : Th e choice lies no t only with n a ture of material , but with people being filmed . Closer shots requi re precise duplicat ion of ac tion performed. and dtalogue spoken in the m aster sce ne. Profession al ac tors are able to repe a t their per formance any nu mber of times for vario us sho ts req uired . Amateu r ac tor s. co mpany person nel. people performing in a docu men ta ry film , may not be able to dupli ca te their ac tion or speech . Th erefore, it is be tter to employ multiple ca meras whenever sub sequen t matching of tnter-cu ttlng scenes m ay be a pro blem . There is no questi on abou t using multiple ca me ras to film one-time eve n ts th at ca nnot be rep eated - a missile launchi ng. a sta tic rocket engine tes t, an ad lib speech - so th at all angles arc cove red . Sequences in a doc umentary film utilizing amateur ac tors , may ofte n be advantageou sly filmed with multiple cameras, to in sur e editori al m atching. Sin gle ca mera should be used on any stage d action wh ich ca n be precisely duplicated for closer shots . Multiple cameras sho uld be used for n ews even ts, qui z shows, panel programs , round-table discussions , quest ion -and- an swer session s, engineering test s ; or whenever people being film ed m ay not be capable of exact repe tition of th eir



セセ Round-table dis cussions, quiz shows , panel pro,qrams - OT other question-and-answer type sound sequences セ should be [dmcd with multiple cameras to record simultaneously overall scene, and close-ups of individuals as they speak.


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Theatrical cinematographers employ multiple cameras to film tricky stunts - such as this simultaneous fall of six horses and riders - so that the feat need not be repeated for additional coverage.

performance. Directors of theatrical features often use more than one cam er a to film complicated action sequences, hi ghly emotional sce nes, or tricky stunts which may be difficult to duplicate . ADVANTAGES OF FILMING M AST ER SCENES

The master scene and inter-cutting closer shots supply the film editor with all action and dialogue in a sequence in duplicate - both in long-shot and various kin ds of close shots from diffe rent angles . Thu s , the ed itor has wide choices in cutting the sequences , since he may "open" up the picture and return to the long shot whenever he wishes to re-establish se tting or actors, or move actors to new positions. Or , he may cut to a closer shot or another angle when he desi res to emphasize a par ticu lar player's act ion or speech , or a fellow player's reaction . He may cut-an-action to move players in to or out of closer sho ts . Since the action is covered in duplicate from several ang les, editing decision s are facilitated . If unsatisfactory for any reason, the sequence may be re-edit ed in an entirely differe nt manner. The editor may even "improve" an acto r's performance - if required - by inser ting a re action shot of an opposing pl ayer ; or go to another shot,

if a partic ul ar portion of a player'S perform ance is weak. Or , dramatic em phasis may be sh ifted to a player other than the one indicated in the script. The editor will encounter few problem s in matching action and dialogue when per formed by pr ofessiona l actors. Or , when multiple cameras are used to film uncon troll able action. Th eatrical production personnel prefer th e single camera master scene technique because it insu res complete coverage without cos tly holdups on the set, necessitated wh ile edito rial decis ions are being made . Closer shots of por tions of the ac tion are easily repeated . Single camera coverage 77



permits filming the entire action in long shot ; an d each cu t-in shot with individual atten tion. Du plicating act ion from two or more angles permits re-lighting for each camera set u p, so th at bes t photographic re sults are ob tained. The sing le camera master scene technique is preferred by professional ac tors , because it allows th em to carry out a complete performance witho u t in terruption . It is often difficu lt - particularly with high ly drama tic material - to ob ta in a satisfactorily sustained pe rformance, when filming

-. ,,""P". Lセ prefer master scene Professional ーャ。ケ・イ trcatment because it permits complete performance without interru ption . Later, cutin close-ups (below ) are filmed by repeating necessary portions. Action and dialogue m ust he precisely matched w herever they flow across cut from master to closer shots. Hm o o



stop-and-go in small bits. Even thoug h th e sce ne is repeated later in short pieces for closer shots, the actors arc allo wed one com plet e run -through . It is m uch easier to record a performance in th is w ay, since actors can re peat por tions of the m aster sce ne , once a satisfac tory long shot is obtained. Precise repetition of action and/or di alogu e in closer shots is no t always ne cessar y, if camerame n or direc tor make a change after the m aster scene is filmed . If th e pla yer is moved into or out of position , and bo th ends of the cl oser sh ot are m at ch ed where they cut into th e master scen e , the he ar t of the individual shot m ay be cheated. This is possible because either the m aster or the cu t-in sho t is used - not both. Action an d di alogue must overlap only wh ere scenes are inter-cu t. It is im por tant th at pl ayer movemen t out of and back in to the m aster match-c u t. This allows for secondguessing when filming closer shots. Editors sho uld be notified of any script changes. Multiple camera master sce ne coverage ass ure s perfec t matching of ac tion and di alogu e , without regard to performer s' ability to repeat scenes exactly. Un con troll able action may be covered from all angles simultaneously. Lighting must be a compromise and camera set-ups are bes t when shooting more or less from the sa me angle with differen t focal len gt h len ses. Amateur actors, or company personnel, need no t be concerned with repeating their performance, bec au se every angle is filmed in a single run-throu gh . Salesmen , lecturers, company executives, enginee rs, may all be



Multiple cameras should he used to shoot long shot and medium shot, or close-up, on nncomrclicd action - such as flight test of prototype airplane. All cameras should be positioned on same side of action axis .

Players' positions, movements and looks must: be carefully blocked out in master scene, so that they may be matched in closer cut-in sho ts filmed later. Players should move into and out of closer shots .

filmed in least time and effort. Yet , su fficien t cov erage is obtained for editorial pu rposes.

Th e single camera master scene technique does not readily lend itself to improvising as shooting progresses, becau se closer scenes may n ot in tercut with the over-a ll long shot. Radical changes in positions, looks, moves, will result in jarrin g jump-cu ts. Since flawless master scenes call for more rehearsals, they req uire more re-takes th an shorter, less complicated scenes. However , a mistake may be disregarded if the editor uses a closer shot for th a t portion of the action. In master scenes, the ratio of film exposed to film use d in finished pictures is greater than in recording a series of individual consecutive shots. For instance, in a scene las tin g several minutes, the film edito r may use only the opening, re-establish once during the sequence, and retu rn to the master for the clos ing. If editorial requirem en ts can be pre-de termined when filming , there is no need to sh oot a master scene all the way through on every sequence. Required por tions shou ld be filmed ; and rem ainder of th e sequence walked through for positions , and m ovem ent s into an d out of closer sho ts. If he art of closer action will definitely not be used , th ere is no need for these portions to be filmed in long shot. Thu s , much shoo ting time, r aw st ock and


The several disadvantages in filming single camera master scenes are fa r outweighed by editorial benefits. Single-camera thea tri cal filming r equires pl ayers to m emori ze entire sequences; and to be capable of delivering their ltnes , making their moves, hitt ing their marks precisely - and repeating their perform ance a number of times for matching closer shots . Long or complex sequences should be attem pted only by professional actors, capable of sustained ex act performances. Player and/or camera movements m ust be precisely blocked ou t and foll owed. Closer shots mus t be carefully planned . Once player positions are cap tured in th e master scene, they must be duplicated in medium shots an d close-ups. Looks must be correct; and props, such as cigarettes, hats, papers, must be held or pl aced in the same manner, in closer shots. As previous ly explained, a limited amount of cheating is perm issible; but generally it is best to adhere to th e master scene as closely as possible.



THE FIVE C's the same angle , with differen t focal-length lenses , There are few disadvan tages in filmi ng m ultiple camera master scenes outdoors on uncon trollable action - such as field tests or new equ ipment demons tration s - exce pt additional film an d processing cos ts . Ordin arily, this is the on ly way such events may be properly covered , so th at the editor can be supplied with all shots required to put together a sa tisfactory seq uence.


Master scene need not be filmed in its entirety - if most of scene will definitely be covered in finished film , with closer shots . Doorway sequence may require entrance and exit only.

processing can be saved. While all these costs may be in significan t in theatrical pic tures, they are wo rth co nsideri ng in limited budgets of non-

theatrical producers . Multiple camera filming of staged ac tion - such as television shows - requires much planning and rehear sal, so that both players and camera crews hit their marks on every posi tion . Cam er a set-ups,

lighting and player movements must be blocked out;to en able various camer as to record all necessary shots in one run-through . Cut-in cameras must use lon g focal-length lenses in order to remain out of line -of-sight of the wide-angle long shot camera. Som e cameras mus t be dollied, or moved to other positions, during filming. Len ses must be changed, cables kep t clear , ligh tin g varie d, cameras mo ved - noisetesstu! Because of many camera angles and various player positions, lightin g must be a com prom ise. Fully -illum inated ac tion may be most successfully filmed in this manne r. Low-key dr am ati c lighting can r arely be use d, since it must be precisely tailored to each shot . Mult iple camera filming is ideal for comedy, panel, quiz or sim ilar shows. Disadvantages of emp loying multiple cameras on artificially-lighted interiors arc minimi zed whe never cameras may be operated from approximately 80

The simples t method for obtaining sho t-to-sho t continuity, par ticularly when film ing withou t a script, is by over lappi n,q the action at oeqinninq and end of each sho t. In this filmi ng tech nique comm onl y termed cutting in the camera - th e cameraman thinks of three consecutive sh ots , regardless of th e number of scenes being filmed, Action at the end of th e first shot is repeated at th e beginning of the second shot; and action at en d of second shot is again overlapped a t beginning of the third shot, Triple-take techniqu e is very simple in operation, The cameraman n eed refer on ly to en ding of the previous shot; an d repeat a small par t of that action, to match beginn ing of the shot being filmed, Then , the end of the present shot is noted; so tha t it s final ac tion may be carried over to beg inn ing of the next shot .

Triple -take tech nique requires that action occurring at end of first shot - such as picking up cllfting fool セ be repeated at beginning of Lセ・」ッョ、 shot.


Action continues into medium sh ot as tool is b rough t in to fram e . S cene progresses until machinist begins positioning c u tti ng edge of tool. Ac tion at end of mediu m sh ot

is repeated at lJe,qin ning of close-up .

Th is link-chain procedure produces a series of in terlockin g im ages , planned to convey the im press ion of un int errupted action when edited. Overl appin g ac tion ass ures perfect con tinu ity. because scenes m ay be m arch-cut . The triple-take autom a tica lly preserves cine continuity , since it forces th e ca m era man to be constan tly aware of the action a t the begi nni ng and end of each shot ; and elimin a tes possibiliti es of jump-cut s caused by missing or mis-m atched action between shots. While the middle portion of the scene is ver y im por tant for story-tellin g pu rp oses; star t and finish of each sho t ca use m ost editorial problem s.

CONTINUITY Therefore, it is not the heart of the ac tion during the sh ot tha t mu st be m os t closely obse rved ; bu t movemen ts at beginning a nd at end of each sho t whic h must be matched to bracke ting scenes. Motion pictu res are present ed in sequences, not shots. While individu al sh ots h ave th eir own value, each mu st be considered a portion of the sequence, serving only to advance the story. A series of sho ts must be woven into a coherent sequence , wit hout distractin g j um ps or breaks in th e con tin uit y. Th e audi en ce should be barely aware of changes in camera an gle or im age size. As in life, the seque nces must appear as a conti nIl OILS flow of m ovemen t, from star t to finish . While cheating of bot h tim e and space du ring filmi n g and editing is permissible. it should not be appare nt to th e aud ience. HOW TO USE TRIP LE·TAKE T ECHN IQU E

Th e triple-take tech nique m ay be used only on controllable action, wh ich the ca mer am an m ay start and stop a t will. Whil e it generally requires a sing le ca me ra, multip le ca me ras m ay be used on occasion to film addition al angles , time-consuming or difficult ac tion ; or scenes im possible to repeat. Both th ea trical an d non-theatrical pictures m ay be filmed in th is m an ner with the ass urance th at all sho ts will m a tch-cut. The tri ple-take techni que calls for thinking in threes. As film in g progresses , the cameram an thi nks back to th e last shot befo re filmi ng the present sho t; and also ahead to th e next shot. Fir st th e cam eraman should acqu ain t hi mself with the sequence by h avin g pla yers walk through the entire ac tion from start to finish , with out ac tually perfo rming the task in volved. If a mechanic is going to assemble a jet engine , he should explain the work step by step - to acquai nt th e cameraman with the ope ration . Careful analysis of work and mech anic's movements will sugges t the types of shots required for the vari ous steps ; camera angles th at will best portray eac h par t of the action ; and where to cut th e cam er a, and overlap th e ac tion. It is usu ally best to begin and end th e sequence with a lon g sho t. It is also advisable to re-establish the long sho t whene ver the audience should be 81



Lon g shot should be used to estab lish geography of setting. It is ad visable to re-establisl1 lon g shot w henever audience should be re-oriented, beca use of major changes in players' position s.

Movem en t at end of previous shot shou ld be repeated at beginning of following shot . Action shou ld be carefully ma tched so tha t film editor may cut on action .

with a lon g shot. It is also advisable to re-es tablish the long sho t whenever the audience sho u ld be re-oriented . because of a change in the mec h anic's position in relati on to th e engine ; or the introduction of new tools ; or for other narrative re aso ns. If the camera stays in close, the audience soon becomes "lost", and for gets loca tion of the wor k being performed. The came ra should begin far back for a full sh ot , from a hi gher ang le. Th en the camera should m ove in , lower and around to th e side, for me diu m shots and d ose-ups. By es tablishin g and re-establish ing wi th lon g shots, dep ic tin g th e h eart of the ac tion in medium shots , em phasizin g the important portions with close-ups; good cont inuity will be achieved. Closer sho ts will au toma tically suggest themselves whenever the ac tion becomes concentrated in a sm aller area. Moving in closer satisfies the audience's curiosity for a more intimate look. It is natural to view the scene firs t from afar, and then approach the subject as in teres t increases. Th is is equally true whether viewing people, places or objects. Players arc firs t sh own in long shot , in re lation to the set ting ; then in closer shots ; and fin ally in close-ups, as they rela te with each other , excha n ge dialogue or perform some ac tion. Cities are first seen from a distance, th en

explored street by st reet , and building by building. Ob jects arc first viewed in relation to their surroundings, or as p ar ts of a lar ger group, and th en , perhaps ind ividually. Obviou sly, it is bes t to cu t a fte r com pletion of a movemen t - such as ope ning a door , sit ting in a cha ir, pickin g u p a tool, m oving into a new position , e tc. The en tire movement is then repeate d at the begin ni n g of the next sho t, from a n ew ca m era ang le. Th e film editor is thu s given a choic e in match ing the shots, since he may cut bef or e or after th e m ovement , or cut on action dur ing th e move. Cert ain m ovem ents should n ot be int errupted by cu tti ng, because the n a tural flow of ac tion m ay be distu rbed . Usua lly, however , a cut between shots ca n be carried by the mo vem en t for a smoother visual effect. Th e movemen t m akes the sp lice less evident, since the viewer is wa tching the ac tion , and will be less aware of a change in image size and/or camera an gle. The camera man shou ld overlap all movements and no t attemp t to decide on editing du ring filming. Such decision s are best made later on the cu tting bench , whe re various possibilities may be studied for best screen effec ts . The came raman sho uld overlap complete movem en ts at end and be gi n ni n g of consec utive sho ts.



Overlapping act ion - from one shot to ne xt - should be per formed in precis ely sam e manner, to assure a matc h·cut.

For in stance , an in dividua l m ay sit down at th e end of a m edium sho t. He should agai n sit down a t the beginn ing of th e following sta tic close-up. A wor ker may pick up a tool in a lon g shot. He should again pick up th e tool for the following medium shot. Th e ca me ra m an should be sure th a t the action is performed in exactly the same m anner each time : sitting th e same way, re aching wit h the sa me hand , tu rnin g in the sa me manner , lookin g in the same dire c tion . If over lapping porti on s of the ac tion are not performed in precise duplic ate, they ere useless. The editor cannot ma ke a matchcut on m is-match ed action! Pro fession al ac tors underst and this problem thoroug hly, and can be relied upon to repeat th eir ex ac t actions every time. Ama teurs or factor y perso nnel, lab tech n ician s, engineers - an d others recru ited to per form in a documentary Him - must be ins tru cted to repea t the ir ac tions in exactly the same way. and obse rved closely to be ce rtain tha t they do so. If there is no perce ptible move men t bet ween peop le in volved in the sho t, or if an indivi dua l is perfo rmi ng a solitary tas k , it is best to "freeze" him in posit ion a t proper inte rva ls ; and to move the ca mera to a pre-de termined ang le before continuin g filmin g. Such freezing and unfreezing m ust be deftl y accomplish ed , since it int errupts the natura l flow of ac tion ; a nd m ay appear je rky

CONTINU ITY when edited. This ca n be h andled most exped ien tly if camer aman and players walk th rou gh the entire action , so th at camera sta rts and stops may be pre -determined ; and ca mer a angles blocked out for the va rious por tions of the sequence. Cam era sto ps sho uld 'lOt be made impulsively, and came ra mo ves should not be decided after the sce ne begin s; oth erwise con fusion will resu lt. Pla yer s m ay ha ve to hold frozen position s for an unduly long time , wh ile a waiting decisions for the next move. Th e triple-ta ke techniqu e requires the u tmost conce n tration by th e ca m er ama n if he is filmin g alone; or by the direct or ass igned to the task . The came raman , or director , should atte mpt to develop a "stream-of-consciousness" thinkin g process, which proj ec ts the finish ed sequence in individu al shots in the m ind 's cine eye before filmin g. Only in this way ca n the en tire sequenc e be visua lized , a nd player and ca me ra positions blocked ou t properly. Whil e the tri ple-take technique is basical ly a sing le camera method of filming, there are occasions whe n a second camera may be successfully e mployed to film a n additional ang le, or a cu t-in close-up. Two セ or more - ca meras m ay be used for a particular portio n of a seq uence , to record all sho ts required sim ultaneously. A tr icky , time-con sumi ng operation may be required in assembling an in trica te machine par t ; a lengthy demonstration m ay hav e to proceed with out int erruption ; a rocke t eng ine m ay be Itrcd only once. Under such conditions, additional coverage is obtained only by u sing ano the r ca mera or two, to film extra sho ts. ADVANT AGES OF TRI PLE-TAKE TECH N IQUE

The triple-take techn ique permits greatest freedom while filming, beca use ac tion may be broken down in to sma ll par ts , and improvised if necessa ry as shooting progresses. Only beginn ings and ends of sho ts require m a tching, so du plica tion of the en tire sequence is avoided. Film waste is held to a minimum , and a higher proportion of film exposed to film utilized in the edited picture is a ttained. Off-the-cuff filming of difficult or longdr awn subject m att er is more easily handled. beca use the cam eram an need only con cern himself


CONTINUITY with three shots at any time. If all shots are properly overlapped and action matched, editi ng problems will be minimize d . If the subjec t makes a mistake , the ca meraman stops shooting, switches ang les, and overlaps the action transpiri ng just before the mistake occurred. The entire shot nee d not be re taken, because footage up to the mis take may be saved, and only the faulty action discarded. Only mis-played portions of action need re-take coverage. The triple-take technique allows film ing the sequence in consecutive continuity , as action progresses. Many indu st rial operations, military tests, assembly "nuts-and-bolts" training film s , progress reports - and similar docu me ntary subjects - will present few problems if filmed in this way . A complex machine need not be assembled, and dis-assembled and reassembled for close-ups. A chemical, electronic or mechanical test , dem on stration or experiment, need n ot be r epeated in it s entire ty for both long shots and closer matching shots. If can be filmed under the cameraman's control in chronological order as it is conducted; providing the work can be stopped at any time, and the personnel will per form as instructed, an d overlap their actions for var ious shots and ang les . Th rough the triple-take technique, the camerama n gains opportunities of moving in an d aro un d

Assembly of a complex unit - such as Explorer XII space satellite -may be filmed with triple-take overlapping technique.


THE FIVE C's the sub ject, an d shoo ting r equir ed scenes with least inconve nie n ce to those being photographed . Filmi ng in continuity preserves n atur al flow and rhythm of an event, and is almost always easier for perform ing personnel un famili ar with professional motion pic ture production procedures. DISAD V A NTAGES OF TRIPLE-TAKE TEC HNIQUE

Wh ile th e tr iple-take technique permits film ing perfectly matched shots , it may get out of h and in com plex off-the-cuff shooting. This ca n result in a hodge-podge of odd camera angles , shots of varied lengths, mis-matched cuts, poorly-chose n medium shots and close-ups, and other un satisfac tory procedures based on spur-of-the-moment decision s. Cutting in the camera, and me n tally carrying both ac tion and camera treatment, demand concentration and ade quate planning. Impulsive filming can create pitfalls. If th e sequence is n ot pro perly planned, and the camera is frequently moved merely to get away from the previous angle, the shot ends whenever there is a mistake; and the length of individual shots depen ds on how far performing person nel can go before they make a mis take! If the cam er am an concentrates on overlapping movement from scene to scene, the principal ac tion of th e scene may be deprived of proper attention . The res ult may be per fec tly-matched footage with lifeless character. Constan t sh ifts in camera angles an d changes in image size m ay be more easily h andled ou tdoors, where daylight problems are minimal. Interior lighting continuity , however, may be very difficult to preserve, especially on loca tion -filmed documentary subjects , since lights may have to be changed for each shot. Ma tching ligh tin g becomes invo lved whenever camera is moved back and fort h for long sho ts and closer sho ts of the same general area. If sufficient ligh tin g units are available, the long-shot ligh ting should n ot be disturbed. Closer sho ts shou ld be illumina ted wit h other units, so that a re-establishing sh ot with the original ligh ting set-up may be made whenever req uired . If the ligh ts must be m oved , their previous positions

THE FIVE C's should be chalked or taped on the floor ; so th a t they can be returned to the long shot ligh tin g arrangement. The cameraman , or director, filming improvised ac tion wit hout a script to guide him, m ust be wellversed in both film ing and ed iting techniques. He must th oroughl y underst and th e ar t of cheating from both shooting an d editing sta ndpoints , so that h e instin ctively knows how fa r he can go in chang ing action, angles , player s' positions, pr ops and other cin ematic elements. Yet he must shoot scenes that will match-cu t when edited .


Th e ma ster scene method with single camera should be used whenever a sequence is film ed from a shooting script ; whenever profession al ac tors are employed , whenever all production elements are complete ly under control; whenever sufficien t time and unlimited film are avai lable; whenever the director wants greatest range of choices in editing the sequence; and whenever all of the action shou ld be covered in long shot. On the surface, disad vantages of filming master scenes may appcar to outweigh advantages; but a properly-executed master scene , with complete coverage in matching closer shots , provides

the film ed itor with the greates t possible variety in assembling the seq uences. The master scene method is truly professional and should be used whene ver filming fr om detailed shooting scri pts . Th e master scene method with multiple cameras should be used whenever the action is not under the cameraman's con trol; whenever an event cannot be in terrupted ; whenever it is desirable to stage a sequence in its entirety only once; when ever amateur ac tors or working personnel, who c annot duplicate the ir actions, are filmed ; whenever long shot an d closer sho ts must be recor ded simultaneously . The triple-take technique with single camera should be used wh enever it is advantageous to film an event in a stop-and-go pa ttern; whenever inexperienced person nel perform a series of actions wh ich are best filmed individ ually, whe n ever film cos ts are a factor ; wh enever shooti ng off-the-cuff on an im provised basis ; whenever th e cameraman c an control the event, start, stop and rep ea t an y port ion at will ; whenever it is difficu lt to ligh t, stage , or otherwise sh oot the entire even t in long shot; and whe never the came raman and/or director havc sufficient editoria l ability to cut the picture in the camera . The triple-take technique may also u tilize m ultiple cameras for any portion of the action th a t

Properly filmed master scene, with matching medium shots and close-ups, provides iilm: editor with greatest variety in assembling sequence.

Triple-take technique shou ld be used whenever filming industrial operation ; which may be started, stopped and repeated - for overlapping action from shot to shot.



CONTINU ITY the action may be staged in its entirety in lon g shot - such as the beginning and end of a sequen ce - and the in-between ac tion is best filmed in an overlapping manner. This means shoo ting partial m aster scenes, or certain por tions of the lon g shot action with a single camera se t-up. The rem ain der should be picked u p with triple-takes. This will save considerable film.

Or , a master scene may run until th e actors fluff their lines, or miss a cue . Then a switch made to triple-take overlapping filming- returnin g to the master, perhaps, for re-establishing the over-all setting, or for an exit at the end of the sequence. Many poss ible combinations to meet prevailing conditions can be worked. When in dou bt, a master sce ne may be attempted, with the assurance that a switch may be made to the tri ple-take technique , if required . The cameraman need n ot fee l committed to one m ethod or th e other for the enti re filmi ng. The event should be analysed in its en tirety. All factors in volved - people, types of action, len gth and complexity of event, lighting, editorial requirements , time available, budget, etc. - should be considered . Size of camera crew and availability of camera equipment may also be lmpor tant, if m ultiple cameras are required . Since the cameraman u sing the triple-take technique has already cu t the seque nce in the camera, little or no choice is left the film edito r. The editor may eithe r use a shot or discard it ; or he may dissolve to cove r a jump-cut created by eliminating foo tage which is undesirable. Other cho ices are the use of protection or reaction shots which the cameraman may have see n fit to film . The master scene technique offers th e editor unlimited selec tion to cut th e sequence in any number of w ays ,bec au se each portion of the ac tion is covered in lon g shot as well as medium shots, close-ups and additional angle shots. In either case, the cameraman should fu rnish the film edttor wi th sufficient cu t-in and cu t-away close-ups , to help sho r ten th e seque nce, or to cover con ttnutty lap ses. In the fin al analysis, the triple-take technique allows more leeway du ring film ing; but the master sce ne techniqu e provides greater editing freedom,


THE FIVE C's DIRECTIONAL CONTINUITY IMPORTANCE OF ESTABLISHING DIRECTION The direction in which a person or a vehicle moves, or the di rection in which a person looks, can cause the most vexing prob lems in motion pic ture continuity . If a complete production could be photog raphed in a single shot there would be no directional problems ! A mo tion pic ture is made up of m any shots, filmed from different camera angles and put toget her in a sequence - a se ries of shots - which becomes a chapter in the story . In tu rn, a series of sequences is combined to make up the complete n arra tive. If an es tablished move or look in a particula r direction is unaccountably changed in consecutive shots, the picture's contin uity will be disrupted, an d the aud ience will be distracted or even confused. An unex plained change in screen di recti on can resu lt in a serio us mis-match , in which players arc suddenly looking away [rom r ather than toward , each other ; an d vehicles sudden ly reverse their screen movement, and appear to be going in th e opposite direction! Eve n veteran directors working from a de ta iled shooting script will often rely on the director of photography for screen direction , so that actors and vehicles are sure to look and move in the correct direction. A cameraman shooting off-thecu ff can get in to serious directi on al trouble if he fa ils to pay particula r attention to this highly important filming problem . Once it is thoroughly understood and given proper attention, direction al continuity can be easily mastered. There is no be tter way for a c am er am an to win the respect of a film editor than by deliverin g footage whi ch will "cut together" without the need of op tical {lopovers, or ot her rever sin g editing tricks - necessary for salvaging carelessly-filme d footage. A m otion picture lives in a world of its own . There is on ly a single viewpoint: the lens of the camera . H ow the camera sees the subjec t is impor ta n t - not how it appears in ac tuality. In certain instances, it is necessary to film the su bject






tatn instances, it is necessary to film the subject traveling in the wrong direction, so that it will appear co rrectly on the screen 1 Action is judged

only by its screen appearance; by the way it should look - and not the way it actually appears while being filmed .

SCREEN DIRECTION There are two types of screen directions: DYNAMIC (Bodies in motion) STATIC (Bodies at rest) DYNAMIC SCREEN DI RECTION Constant; either lef t-to-righ t or right-to-left Contrasting; both left-to-right and right-to-left Neutral; toward or away from the camera Constant screen tra vel depicts subject motion in one direction only . A series of shots of a person walking, a ca r driving, a plane flying - should move in the same direction to show progression. If a shot sudde nly depicts the person or vehicle movi ng in the opposite direction to that previously established, the audie nce will receive the impression that the moving subject has turned around, and is returning to the starting poin t! Once screen direction is es tablished for a par ticular travel pattern it should be maintained . This holds true for two shots, a series of consecutive shots, or a single shot in ser ted at interv als in the n arra tive. The narrative may be concerned


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Subject should move in a constant direction - either left-to-right or right·to-left to show progression.

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Established screen direction should be maintained throughout a travel sequence, regardless of camera angles.




Contrasting screen travel may be used to show subject going and returning. Left scene depicts qrou p traveling from

Group at right is returning home -

hame to town.

opposite direction.

sole ly with act ivity inside a train, but whenever the moving train is shown - it must move in a constant direction. The train may enter from screen left , move across the screen in a left-toright direction, and exit screen ri gh t. Camera angles may be varied, long shots of the train may be in term in gled with close-ups of its drive wheels but direction of movement must not be changed. When cutting from an exterior of th e moving train to an interior shot , the camera should shoot from the same side of the train for a smoother transition. Later, the camera angles may be varied as the interior sequences continues . If, however, the camera were to cut abruptly from an ex terior shot of the tr ain mo ving in one direc tion to an in terior shot showing the people (and the view through the window ) moving in the opposite directi on セ it would create the impression th at the train were suddenly going backw ards ! Contrasting screen travel depicts subjec t motion in opposite directions when necessary to sho w a person or vehicle .Going and returning; or whenever two subjects must be shown moving toward each other. In order to establish and maintain both directions of travel, think of screen travel in terms of "comings and goings" (a descriptive phrase used by early film makers) which must be strictly followed. The subject may go and re turn



- pe rhaps fr om his home to town and back again. Both travel directions should be decided before the scenes are filmed , so that whenever the subject appears walking or rid ing, he comes and goes in opposite directions . H om e to town may be established as left to right. Town to home would be filmed right to left. This would apply regardless of camera angles, whether lon g shot or close-u p - or if only player's horse's feet are shown! The audience will be ori ented that tow n is toward th e ri ght and home is toward the left . Later, a group of men may be shown leaving town an d going ri gh t to left . The audience will automatically assume that they are headed for the subject's home because they are riding in th at direction . Travel direction for both coming and going must be con sisten tly the same, however many times the action return s to the same locale . This is just as im portant in documen tary films showing airplanes leaving their base and returning. Or , in depicting raw materials arriving at a plant and fin ished pr oduc ts being shippe d out to market. Camera angles and types of shots may be va ried, but the subject m ust come an d go in an established directi on al pattern, maintained throu ghout the picture. An orien ted audience will be confused if travel movement is switched .



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Audience will assume that group of men shown leaving town, traveling right to left, are headed for subject's home - because they are riding in that direction. Contrasting screen travel is also employed to depict opposing subjects moving toward each other. Opposing screen movements are generally edited in an alternating pattern, to portray moving subjects that will meet or clash. The her o leaves his ra nch , r iding left to ri gh t. Next, the heroine is shown leaving town, right to lef t. The au dience will correctly ass ume th at they are riding toward each other , and will mee t. This effect is achieved through opposing movements, an d

also because the audience is properly oriented through earlier es tab lishment of directions - town toward righ t and ranch toward left. By judicious use of opposing screen travel, the audience will always assume that the two opposite moving images will meet - unless otherwise in form ed through dialogue or other means . Contrasting screen direction may empl oy moving opposition to buil d suspense, predict a clash , or con tribute dramatic impact to the narrative. Suspense can be built by showing hero and villa in approaching each other for a show-down. A clas h ca n be pre dicted by showing In dians and cavalry galloping toward each other. Dramatic impact can be inc reased by introducing two football teams trotting on to the field from opposite directions. While individua l sho ts may no t be suspenseful, clashing or dr am atic in themselves, they will help buil d toward climactic meetings. This can be accomplished with visual simplicity , without n eed for for ceful dialogue or narration. A cam er am an filming on his own , or a direc tor shooting from a detailed script, shou ld use contrasting direc tiona l contin uity . Thus , the film editor is supplied with a dr am atically-fashioned series of scenes, filmed to fit a definite editi ng pattern. Series of opposing action shots, such as Indian s and cavalry, should be filmed with progressively closer sho ts as the actio n reaches its climax. Such

Contrasting screen travel may be used to show opposinq subjects moving toward each otner. Moving opposition -edited in alternate pattern -may predict a clash.




closer-and-closer shots m ay be cut shor ter and shorte r , so th at the sequence builds fr om len gth y long shots to shorter medium shots . to clipped close-ups and a frenzied finish . Th e viewer s' em otions are excited by the acceleration editing pa ttern ; an d involve d even m ore deeply as th e cam era moves into the clashi n g clim ax.

Neutral screen direction depicts moving subjec ts tr aveling toward or awa y from the camera. Sin ce neu tr al movem en ts are n on-direction al , th ey may be inter-cut with scenes showin g movem ents in eithe r direction . Th e followin g are n eu tr al screen movements :

neutral condition betwee n two sho ts movin g in opposite direction s . Head-on and tail-away shots , in which a per son wa lks or runs direc tly tow ard the c amera and cover s the len s, so th at th e screen is blacked ou t or , wa lks directly aw ay from th e camer a so that the lens is u ncovered and the setti ng is reve aled have limited us e for chase seque nces, or for providing fade-in or fade-ou t effec ts . T racking sho ts , in which the ca mer a moves directly ahead, or directly behind the player or vehicles , are ne utral if th e subje ct does not enter

Head-on and tail -away shots, in which the subjec t moves directly tow ard or away from th e camera. Suc h shots are neutral only as long as the moving im age re m ains centered in the fr am e. An en tra nce or exit will denote directi on . Th e fr on t or rear of the m oving subject should be dep icted for an absolutely neutral effec t. If one side is seen , suc h as the side of a horse or a car, th e direction of travel will be indicated . A he ad -on shot m ay begin neutral and th en exit one side of th e picture to m at ch-cu t with a followin g directional shot. Or , a tai l-away shot may en ter one side of th e picture and then become neutr al as it moves away fr om the len s . Such shots m ay be used deliberately to switc h scree n dir ection , by pr esen tin g a tempor ar y

If head-on sub ject exi ts fram e - proper exi t side is im portant to preserve established screen direction. Rider, above, m us t exit righ t side of frame in order to travet left-to-riq!lt in next shot , below.

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Head-on shots - dep ictin g subject moving toward cam era - are neu tral in screen direction .





Subject movement is neutra l when cam era tracks directly ahead of walking players.

or exit th e fr am e. Either a fr ont or rear view is depicted . If a side or three-qu ar ter ang le is filmed, one side of the subject is fa vore d, so that the sho t will in dicate direction of tr avel.

T rav el movement is neutral when filmed from hi gh dow nward an gle so, t hat subject ex its bott om of frame .

High or low ang le shots in which the moving subj ec t travels directly toward and under or over the ca mera, so that it exits eithe r bottom or top of the fr am e. A car filmed from a hi gh angle may tr avel directl y und er the camer a. A train or a jumpin g h orse may tr avel directly over the top of a low-an gled camera.

Tracking shots : Cam era # 1 films front three-quarter anole depicting wa lking player m oving le ft to right. Camera # 2 films neutral head- on shot; Cam era #3 films neutra l tail -away shot. If player walks into or out of neutral sh ots; h e must enter from left of Cam era #3, and exit right fOT Camera #2 to preserve l e f t -l a-rig h t

directiona l


Directional travel is n eutral w hen two or m ore players w alk abreast toward camera, and then sp lit up to exit both side s of fram e.



TH E FIVE C's effect a gre ater depth than cross-scree n sho ts. Head-on and ta il-away tracking sho ts offer welcome changes from the usua l three -qu arte r side ang le. High or low ang les, in which the m oving subje c t goes under or over the camer a, furni sh contrast to eye-level sho ts .

To providc greater audien ce impact. Head-on sho ts pla ce th e viewer dead ce nter , with the action advancing toward him. An on-r ushing train or a jum ping hor se, which exits a t top of fram e, will jar the audien ce in to increased invo lveme nt wt th the screen action.

Directi onal trav el is neutral when several players enter frame (ram both sides of camera and join up going direc tl y away.

Sh ots of grou ps of people , or two or mOTe ve hicles, traveling abreast - whic h advan ce towa rd the cam er a and split up to ex it both sides of the fr ame. Or, enter from both sides of the fr am e an d join up going directl y away fro m the camera. An army may ma rch toward a ce n tered camer a ; an d half th e m en may exit lef t, and th e othe r h alf may exit r igh t. A crowd may enter from botn sid es of the picture, and ru sh away from the ca mera.

USE NEUTRAL SHOTS T o provide visual variety. A constant left-toright or right-to-left series of shots m ay be broken up with neutral subjec t movement. A head-on shot may be used to open a seq uence by brin ging the m ovin g subj ec t from a distan t point toward the audi ence. A tail-away sho t m ay be used to close a sequ en ce , or a picture , by h avin g the subject recede from th e camera by walkin g, riding or otherwise moving away. Such shots presen t moving images wh ich increase or decrease in size as they adva nce or retreat from the viewer , and thus 92

To distract tile audience. A seque nce depictin g subject travel in a cons ta nt directi on , is ofte n filmed with one or more shots moving in the oppo site directi on , This may be du e to carelessnes s, light conditions, backgr ounds, poor planning - or it m ay be intended by th e director or cameraman. A neutral sho t ins ert ed between shots m oving in opposite directions will distract the audien ce mo menta rily . Head-on , ta il-away , or fr ont or rear trackin g shots will allow th e editor to reverse com ple tely the original screen m ovement ; witho ut the abruptness of a direct cu t from a shot m ovin g in one direc tion , to anothe r shot tr avelin g in th e opposi te directi on .

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Neutra l/l ead-on shots provide greate r audience impact than angled t ravel shots, because subject increases in size as it advan ces.



ACTION AX IS A sim ple method for es tablishing and maintai ning scree n direction is by use of the actio n axis. Sub ject travel m ay be considered as a lin e on a m ap . or an im agin ar y line m ade by an individua l walking down a hall ; or a vehicle dri ving on a road . or a plane flying through the air. This tra vel line is the action axis . If all ca me ra se t-ups are positione d on on e side of this lin e, scree n direction will rem ain the same thr oughou t a series of sho ts . regard less of cam er a an gle. The subjec t m ay travel cross-s cree n , or toward , or away from the ca me ra . Direction al m ovement will be cons tant wh en the subject m oves in a constant directi on : and cont rastinq when the subject m oves in opposite directions. The relati onshi p be tween ca me ra an d subject movem en t rem ains the sa me , providing the ca me ra n ever cr osse s t he ac tion axis. A picture shot from script should have all it s tr avel m apped out before production begins. A cameram an shooting off-the-cuff should take particu lar ca re to establish and maintain screen direction , so th at all travel will match-cut. If tr avel sho ts are not filmed according to pre-conceived plan , the resulting series of scene s may be a hod ge-podge of opposing movem ents , which will prove difficult to edit. Matching movement is just as importan t in two shots of a person walking down the street , as in a long series of scene s. Once th e Icf't-to-rt ght or right-to-le ft direction al movem ent is es tablishe d , it can be main taine d thr oughou t a series of sho ts , by remaining on the same side of til e action axis . A new location will require drawing a new axis, and remaining on the s ame side as the origin al axis to preserve established travel directi on . Man y ca me ra me n and directors think of the axis as a direc tional left-torigh t or ri gh t-to-left m ovem ent , r ath er th an an im agin ar y lin e. Whil e th is is the sam e, it com plicates th e work : becau se the tr avel mo vem ent must be considered every time th e camera is moved to a new set-up. If the came r a is always positioned on th e same side of the axis, th e proper tra vel directi on will be filmed automatically.

Girl t ravels along path: to hou se left-tv-right. All ca me ra set-ups should be position ed on same side of travel axi s to depi ct progression in a constant direction.

Ta il-away sho t of girl walking up porch ウエ ・ー Nセ N セ ィッキ ウ her entering frame from screen left - to preserve es tablished le ft-to-right travel direction.

An exception to crossing the action axis occurs when two or m ore pla yers wal k abreast or rid e side by side. Th e ca me ra m ay trac k directly ah ead or behind the moving players, to film neu tr al shots. Or , it m ay trac k alongsi de to shoot a three-quart er fron t angle - wh ich will depict tr avel direction . Wh enever the players look at each other, an axis m ay be drawn through them ( based on two-sh ot axis explained in St atic Screen Directi on ) . 93




Exception to crossing action axis occurs

when two players look at each other as they walk or ride. Two-shot static action axis should be drawn through moving players. Camera may he positioned on either side of travel axis to shoot opposing shots of moving players - in the same manner that they would be filmed. standing still.

The camera may then be switched to the opposite side of the travel axis, to film th e players fro m an opposing angle. Although consecutive sho ts of the playe rs m ay show them moving in opposing screen direc tions , the audience will no t be confused . The camera may be safely switched to opposing ang les when filming walking players, or players seated in a vehicle . It is bes t to es tablish the moving players or veh icle in a long or medium shot; an d the n move in for a two-sh ot from the same side of th e axis . An opposing two-shot from the other side may then be filmed, based on the axis drawn through the playe rs. Individu al opposing close -ups may also be filmed, if des ired. The camera shou ld re turn to a two-shot from the orig inal side of th e axis, before filming a final long shot or medium shot. Thus, shots moving in the opposite direction - filmed from the other side of the travel axis _ are sandwiched between two series of sho ts m oving in th e established direc tion . 94

Camera :If 1 films head-on shot of walking player. Player exits screen right to establish left-to-right directional travel.




Cam era #2 shows player in front threequarter an gle as he en te rs f rom screen left , crosses screen and exit s screen right. T his angle is excellent for tracking a moving player or ve hi cle.

Camera # 3 record s player moving left to right acros s screen . Sho t m ay be static, OT camera m ay be static for entrance, pan player for Sh OTt di stan ce , and hold static [or exit - screen right .

Cam era # 4 film s rear three-quarter angle of player, w ho en ters left , exits right.

Camera # 5 depict s player entering frame sc reen lef t an d w alkin g awa y from lens in tail-aw ay shot, as he en ters building. Player ma y be film ed wi th any or aU of these camera se t-up s : wi th ass urance he will travel left-ro-righ t - regardless of w hether static or m ovi n g shot; long shot, medium shot or close-u p; or whether player is movin g towa rd or away from camera.



Camera should rema in on sam e side of t ravel axis to show player leaving building f OT ret urn to starting point. Player moves in contrasting right-to-l eft screen direction. Head-on or tail-away shots m ay be filmed in same manner.


Preser ving the direction al movement on curves requires careful cam era placem ent . Curves can be tricky because the camera m ay shoot across a curve , and place the lens viewpoint on th e opposite side of the axis. If this occurs , it is the same as placi ng the camer a on the wrong side of the lin e. A su bject moving left to ri ght wo u ld be filmed across the curve movin g righ t to left. This would be all righ t if a lon g sh ot is filmed in which the entire cu rving movemen t is included , so th at the subjec t is shown turning in fron t of the ca mera and then resuming the prop er left-to-righ t direction - exiting screen righ t. A closer sho t of the m oving subjec t filmed across the curve wou ld depict opposite screen travel. A long sho t , or a pan sho t. in which the subject is seen in a long curving movemen t. m ay sh ow an opposite movem ent during th e sho t; but it shou ld ri ght itself and curve bac k, so th a t the origi nal direction is again filmed when the subject exits th e fr ame. A moving subject may be filmed movin g in opposite directions as it follows the curve. providin g it en ters and exits the frame correedy , A ca mer a set- up on a curve - film in g the



Constant care is required whe n {t Imin g curving movement . If camera vieurpoi n t is allowcd to cross t ravel axis , camera photogra phs m oving subject from opposite side - moving in the wrong direction. Viewpoint shou ld cross a:ris only when subject movement curves back and rights itself.

sub jec t en terin g and exiting th e same side of the fr am e - should be avotded. It will not Inter-cut wit h other sho ts moving in a cons ta nt direction . A curve may be u tilized , however. for a deliberate switch in screen direction wh en req uired , The switch may serve as an editori al transition between two series of tr avel shots mov ing in opposite direc tions ; yet intended to depict cons tan t screen direction , In this case, the en trance wou ld be correc t, but the subject would cu rve a round and exit th e same side of the fr am e; and int e r-cut with the followi ng sho t going in the opposite direction . Th e audien ce will accept this n atural ch ange in screen direction, Curves may be an asset or a liability , Curves offer the cameraman an opportunity for film in g beautiful curving mo vements offering varie ty from stra igh t-line tr avel. Film a correct entrance , a co mp lete curving m ovem ent . a nd a correc t exit to m aintain established direc tional con tin uity, A closer sh ot records a portion of the m ovement across th e curve, It will depict the subject m ovin g in the opposite directi on , Do shoot ac ross a curve . how ever, to film the subject moving correctly, and then curving around and exiting the wrong sid e if a change in screen direc tion is req uired ,




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Camera # 1 is positio ned on proper side of travel ax is - to film sub jec t m ovin g left to rictu: Camera # QG Nセ view point crosse s axis optica lly, and films suhj ect from wrong side - moving in opposite direction. Came ra # 2 [dnis entire curving movement, so that sub ject is sho wn tu rning and moving eorrectly w h en crossinq camera and exits .

A curve m ay be ut ilized , however, for a deliberate sunich in screen directi on when required . The switch may serve as an edi torial transition bet ween two series of travel shots moving in opposite directions ; yet inten ded to depict constan t scree n direction . In this case. th e en tr ance would be correc t, but th e subject would curve around and exit the same side of the frame; and in ter-cut with the following shot going in the opposite direction . Th e audience will accept this natural ch ange in screen direction .

Cu rve may be used to switch travel dirccnon delibe rately . Camera # 1 is set up on w rong side of tra vel axis - so that its vie wpoint crosses axis optica lly, an d film s movin g subject witlt correct left-to-right movement at beginning of shot. Subject t hen curves in fron t of Camera # 1, and tra vels in opposite di rection - rig/It to le ft. Su bject exus left, and will m at ch-cut with: subject tra veling riqht-to-leit ,


A person or vehicle turning a comer m ay be filmed he ad-on , so th at the movin g subject turns in fron t of the camer a. If filmed tail-away , how ever. th e tum will requ ire two sho ts - to dep ict th e subject goin g away from th e cam era, turning the comer and bein g picked up in a head-on shot aro und the comer. Th e axis should be dr awn aro und the comer, and th e camera positione d on the same side for both shots. In a tail-away shot the len s m ay view the tum across the axis, as on




a cu rve. This ca n be hand led editorially by cu tti ng on th e turn . The moving subjec t m ay begin the turn in the tail-away sho t, and be picked up aro un d the corner in a head -on shot. The re verse tr avel at beginn ing of turn is of no con sequence. A corne r may be used in the same m anner as a curve, to switch direc tion al m ovem ent delibera tely. If a change in directi on is desirable for editorial or other re ason s, the movin g su bjec t sho uld be allowed to exit the fr am e as . . -iewed from across the exi t, so that subject moves in the opposite direction to th at established. This will wor k best on wide turns, whe re the m ovin g subject will tr avel enough distan ce to establish the new direc tion before it exits. Cam era # 1 pan s to follow player arou nd corner. Camera # 2 films tai l-away SliD! ioith: player en tering (rom screen riqht, to establish right -ta-left travel. Camera #3 films rear three-qu arter angle - witll player moving right to left. Cam era # 3's viewpoint crosses ax is, and film s player moving in opposite direction after rounding corner. T his may be used on w ide tu rn t o swi tcll direc tion delibera tely. Optical axis cross may be avoi ded by cutting film on tu rn to Camera #4 , iohich shoots ( rom th ree-qu arter angle. Camera # 5 films head-on shot . Player must exit screen left , to preserve original ti qht-to-leit t ravel m ovemen t . T hese camera set-ups may be used in various com binations .

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Established directional movement need not be maintained whe n sub jects go through doorways. Ma ny cameramen and directors feel that this creates a "new deal" because the movi ng su bject enters a new setting. If the movement is filmed cross-screen, it will appear smoother if the camera remains on the same side of the axis on consecutive shots - filmed on opposite sides of a door. If the moving subject exits one room in a tail-away shot, and en ters another room in a head-on shot; the directional movement may be switched without difficulty. Rooms and doors in ac tua l buildings and studio sets should be checked, to be cer tain that sufficient room is available for positioning the camera properly on cross-screen exits an d entrances. Whenever difficulty arises, it is fairly simple to bring the subjec t in to the new setting in a head-on shot , and switch directi on if desired. For precaution, players' exits should be filme d before breaking down in terior long-shot lighting and moving in for close-ups. This is also im portant in exterior shots where lighti ng changes consta ntly as filming progresses . Don't discover after a series of medium shots and close-ups are filmed tha t an exit is required , and the long shot mus t be filmed again . When in doub t , it is best to shoo t an exit immediately after filming the entrance. It is better to discard the shot セ if not needed - than to set it up again.


At times, it is expedient to have the subject move in the direction opposite to that es tablished; because of light, background or other production f actor s. This may be done if both the camera viewpoint an d subject movement are transposed, so that they remain the same in relati on to each othe r. If the subject movemen t is reversed, or if the camera is switched to th e opposite side of the axis , the screen movem en t will be in the wrong direction . Both eleme n ts mu st be changed , so that when the movement is reversed, the camera is photographing it from the opposite side: res ulting in preserva tion of the original travel direction.

Since doorways create a new deal, directional continuity mayor may not he maintained. Neutral tail-away (Camera # 1) and head-on (Camera # .4) shots may be used - with proper entrance and exit, to maintain screen direction - or wrong exit (Camera #4), to create a new directional movement. Three-quarter side angles may be used (Cameras #2and#3) - if play . er is filmed cross-screen, and directional continuity is maintained.





Action axi s may be cheated - to take advantage of sun angle, back ground or terrain - prov iding both subject movement and camera position are reversed . Subject may move in opposite direction, if camera is moved to oppo site side of axi s. Thus , subject movement and camera set-u p relation sh ip remains the same.


Cheating the ac tion axis on outdoor shots must be h andled ca refully, so th at sun angle and shadows do no t disclose th e cheat. Considerable cheating may be done outdoors around noon, or on close-ups when reflec tors or booster lights are u sed to illumin ate sh adow areas on faces. Long sho ts, made early or late in th e day , m ay show lon g shadows in a direction opposite to th a t already estab lishe d. A late afternoon sho t, for instance, m ay depict the pl ayers walking westerly in to the sun with long shadows toward th e camera. A reverse cheat filmed elsewhe re would h ave to be shot in the morning in an easterl y direction , to match established sun angle and shadow pattern. 100

A m ovin g subject should en ter and/or exit the fr am e un der th e following conditio ns; Whenever a series of m ovin g sh ots are filmed against different backgrounds . An en tr an ce-an dexit provides the edit or wit h progression from one sho t to an other. Pl ayer s walking from one room to an oth er - or cars in a chase sequence - should exit one locale and en ter th e other. It is impossible to depict progression if th e m ovin g subject is already in the center of the frame whe n the scene starts , and does not exit th e fr am e during the shot. A series of differe nt shots cann ot be edited in sequence , becau se the m ovin g subjec t is con stan tly cen ter-screen - panned or tr acked for a while - and left there wh en th e shot ends. The movin g subject would be sudden ly somewhere else in th e next sho t, against a different background! This is particul arl y undesirable wh en th e subjec t - such as a mov ing ca r - is filmed in the same m ann er ; with same image size an d same image ang le, in both sho ts . In the resulting ju mp cu t, th e subject seem s to remain the same ; but th e background abruptly chang es. Non- theatrical ca m eramen occas ion ally try to save film by shooting a movin g subject in a p an shot, minus entrance or exit. The came ra should be started before the subject en ter s the frame, and cu t after the subjec t exits . En trances and exits should be shot "clean" not just as the subject enters - and cu t just before a complete exit . Cutting th e film is th e editor's func tion - not the cameraman's. An exit made close to th e side of th e camera should be followed by a sho t show ing th e subjec t entering th e fr am e in a similar way. If th e subject en ters the far side of th e frame in th e n ext sho t, th e audience will be dis tracted ; because th e dista nce is too great to cover between straigh t cuts . Exits and en trances thr ough doors should be carefully m atched when straigh t cu t. Two or m ore players sho uld follow in the same progre ssion , if filmed going th rou gh doorway ou tside to in side a buildin g; or from one r oom to another. Th is m ay seem obvious, bu t du ring a lon g interval between such cam era se t-ups , a mis -ma tch may occur, unless no tes are carefully taken and observed .


Exit made close to side of camera -

shou ld depict subject entering frame in same m anner. Exit to screen lef t wo uld be followed by entrance from screen righ t.

Movin g player shou ld not exi t close to side

of the camera , and enter next scen e at far side - and walk cross-screen. Off-screen distance is too far to travel between consecutive shots.

CONTINUITY A mo ving subject should n ot enter or exit the fram e under the followin g conditions : A series of consecu tive shots against the same background m ay be int er-cut if the moving subject remains ce n ter-scree n . Since the background remain s th e sa me , there is no progression - other than th at shown within the sho t. Thus , a medium sho t or close -up may Inter-cut with a lon g shot, while the subject remain s centered. In this case, it is best editori ally to h ave the subject en ter the fr am e in the first shot of the series ; and exit the fra me in th e last sho t - to provide progr ession with brac keting sequences. Ind ividu al sho ts of movin g ac tion - su ch as a m an on horseback or a ca r in m otion - may be filmed ce n ter-scree n without an en trance or exit , if edi ted in alternate patt ern with oth er scen es. Progre ssion will be show n by the ch an ging background in different shots . It is advisable to make occasiona l en tra nces or exits for visual variety, but it is not necessary for editorial pu rposes , beca use movin g sho ts arc cross-eu t with other scenes. Wh en in doubt, an en trance and/or an exit should be shot to provide editor with cine choice .

REACTION CLOSE·UP FOR SWITCHING SCREEN DIRECTION Th ere arc differences of opinion regarding direc tion in whic h a player sho uld tum hi s head , following moving actio n in re ac tion close-ups. Th is often resu lts in shoo ting it bot h way s. Th e playe r should follow the m ovin g object with h is head , as though it were behind the camera . The player may be considered a member of the audience, viewing action on th e screen. An airplane, flying left-to-right on the scree n , would be followed by the viewer turning hi s head in the same direction . Since the camera is shooting a rercrse shot, this results in a right-to-left screen movement in the reaction close-up. While th is may seem illogical, it is correct! Before close-up is shot , directional movement of the matching scene mu st be confirmed. Player should follow the ac tion as if it were occurring behind the ca me ra . Oft en , better reaction re sults if some body wa lks, or runs - behind the camer a, so pla yer has movin g target and speed to follow. 101


THE FIVE C's if necessary to polish the sequence. Th ey may be filmed again st sky or trees, without a backgroun d matching prob lem .

REVERSING SCREEN DIR ECTION Established scre en direction should be preserved , if at all possible; or explained, if necessarily reve rsed . Con trasting screen directions cannot be changed wit hout con fusi ng the audience. Once a direc tion al pattern is set , it should be rigidly maintained . Const an t screen direction, is often altered inadvertently; or by pro duc tion factors which do not permit strict directional continuity. Whenever possible, a switch in constant direction should be shown on th e screen - to inform the audience of the change. Cutting from a person or vehicle moving in one direction, to a shot depicting the movement in th e opposite direction, will confuse the audience. The switch in screen direc tion may be explained in the following ways: Show the person or vehicle turning around. Shoo t across the action axis on a curve or corner, to allow the mo ving action to exit the wrong side of th e pict ure. Inser t a reaction close -up of an observe r viewing th e movemen t in the new direction . Use a head-on shot which exits the wrong side Player observ ing moving action should turn his head as if followin g movement occurrin g behin d camera.

Reaction shots may also be used to di stract the audience, so th at screen movement may be switched to th e opposite direction . In this case, the player woul d follow the movement occurring in the second series of shots. A sequence m ay begin left-to-ri gh t and la ter move r ight- to-left . If a turn around is not shown, the change may be covered by cutting to a head-on or tail-away shot; followed by a reaction close-up of a player supposedly watching the moving action going in the new direction . The neutr al shot will aid in br eak ing up the directional pattern established, and the reaction shot will dis tr act the audience by "explaining " the direction al switch. Such re action shots may be filmed after the picture is completed, 102

Established screen d irection of moving suhject may he reversed hy inserting a cutaway close-tip of someone supposedly observing the directional change.



Screen direction ma y be reversed by filming " ead-on neutral sliot, which shmos subject exiting w rong side of f rame. Th is wi ll serve to introduce Jlew series of travel SllOtS m ovillg in opposite direction.

of the picture, to m at ch-cut with th e moving person or vehicle going in the new direction . A tail away shot wou ld on ly distract the audience momen taril y, and is no t nearly as effective becau se it does no t exit the scene . Effectiveness can be gain ed by cutting to the interior of a ca r, trai n , boat or airplane ; and th en cutti ng to the ex terio r moving sho t going in the opposite direct ion. If only one shot is used , it is bes t to cut to a head-on view of th e players. If a series of sho ts arc used , the ca me ra ang le may be work ed around so that the fin al sh ot has the players faci ng in the new directi on - which will match -cut with the ext erior scene .

MAP DIRECTION Travel over great distan ces sho uld emp loy di agram map direction with East alwa ys on the right, and Wes t always on the left. That is how a m ap is est ablished in the human mind. Sin ce North and Sout h are us u ally de picted as up an d down , such directions are difficult to h andle on a hor izontal scree n. If poss ible , no rthbound travel should be staged on a line ascending fr om lower left to upper ri gh t; southbound tr avel, on a line descending from up per left to lower ri ght. This is in keepi ng wit h the accepted com positional con cep t of up or down move m ents.

An airliner flying from Paris to New York should be shown heading screen left , or West. A ship saili ng from Hawaii to con tinental United States should be dep icted m ovin g left to right , he ading East. Th e initial sho t of th e airliner pilot , ship captain , or passengers, sho uld show them facing in the est ablished tr ave l direction . This preserve s con tin uity of the ac tion axis. Later , the ca mera may move around a nd sho w crew members or passenge rs fro m eit her side . This m ay seem unim portant to inexperienced directors or ca mera men, wh o question the validity of this proven theory. "Why can't the mo vin g car, pla ne or ship be seen from the other side , going in the opposite direction , a nd still be tr aveling correctly?" It ca n! But , why not take advan tage of a pre-established concept, already pla n ted in the audience's mind ? This will make it as easy as possi ble for viewers to underst and happenin gs. Moving an airplane , sh ip, train or car in an opposite m ap direction sets up - in the viewer's mi nd - a subconscious distu rbance, which warns him th at th e movem ent is wr ong. Th e viewe r will be momen tarily distracted , It is wise to keep the audience pro perly oriented , by est ablishing an d m aintaining map dir ection on all tr avel shots.

LOCAT ION INTERIORS Shootin g throu gh th e open side of three-walled studio set s helps m aintain dir ectional continuity of players moving a bou t the set , or going from room to room . Filming in multi-floored , com plex, natura l loca tion in teriors wit h a maze of rooms , hallways and stair ways of ten complic a tes directional continuity. If much room-to-room , f1oor-toftoor or stair travel is invol ved ; it is sm art to keep all camera set-ups on the same side of the building - so th a t the len s viewpoint is alwa ys in the same general direction , and the ca mera never crosses the ac tion axis. Travel in any direction , eve n u p an d down stairs , sho uld always match , and players will alw ays mov e in a similar dire c tion , in any par t of the building. If physical or other limit a tion s prevent positioning the camera on the same side, head -on or tai l-away shots of the playe r s should 103


This ocean liner is traveling from Hawaii to continental United sエ。 ・ Nセ - west to east.


Jet airliner is {lying toward screen right west to east - New York to Paris.

pl an - so that both constant progression an d contrasting movements will be photographed in es tab lished directions. E stablished direct ion should be maintained throughout th e filmin g. While preservation of directi on al tr avel contin uity may seem like a Sim ple task , it h as pitfalls. Lon g shots m ay be photogr ap hed one day, wi th in ter-cutting close-u ps made several days la ter. Or , an en tire series of traveling sho ts may be The f ollowing sequence fr om Martin Rackin's pr oduction of STAGECOACH (released by 20 th Century-Fox) illustrates how Dyn am ic Directional Cont inuity is established and maintained.

T rain going from Chicago to Los Angeles should move right to le ft - east to west.

be shot; but they should enter or exit the f r ame on the side whi ch prese rves the established travel directi on. Thu s, travel toward the front of the building may alw ays be fr om left to ri ght - for instance - and tow ar d the rear, fr om ri gh t to left.

PLANNED SCREEN TRAVEL All scre en travel must be th orou ghly analyzed before a foot of film is exposed . If shoo ting from a script , m ar gin al notes should be us ed . Outlines , or diag rams , are mos t im por tant if film ing offthe-cuff. It is essential to work from a definite 104

Stage coach is established m oving left to right in a front three-quarter angle,



Stagecoach continues traveling le ft to right in cross screen shot.

Reverse shot of opposite players is {tImed (rom same side of action axis.

Players are filmed from exterior cam er a

Coach con tin ues on its way. Ve hicle enters scree n left, an d exits screen right.

ang le, from same side of travel ax is.

Inte rior shot shows players from similar angle .

Pursuing Ind ians move lef t to right.




Driver is filmed in three-quarter angle medium shot from same side


of axis.

Three-quarter angle shot shows attackers.

Stagecoach must exit screen right to preserve estahlished travel direct ion.

Cut-away shot reveals U. S. Cavalry cctning on scene.

Coach {tImed in three-quarter angle.

Shot of troopers maintains direction.


CONTINUITY filme d at one time in both directions. The cam er aman, or the director , who becomes overl y concerned with background, sun angle or came r a angle, may forge t est ablished scree n directi on . The actio n axis is some times overlooked, in order to film a pictorially beau tiful individua l sh ot. This oversight can be avoided if all sho ts in a se-

Indians are driven off, and cauolru escorts stage coach t o destin ation.

Stagecoach enters town - still traveling lef t to righ t.

Coach pulls up to depot - left to right.

quence arc thoroughly mapped, an d th e action axis es tab lished to f avor the best ca me ra an gles, su n angles an d backgroun ds . There is no n eed to sacrifice a p articul arly good sho t in orde r to preserve directi on al con tin uity. Sequences involvi ng a great num ber of shots may be best plan ned by workin g backwards, and studying th e terrain wh ere the climax will be st aged . A par ticu lar location site or building may r equire filming from a cer tain angle, which will decide th e screen direction for the en tire sequence . If this is overlooked, a switch in screen direc tion may be m ade when the location is reached. The m ovin g subject may be picked up in a head-on sho t and simply panned around in th e ne w direction. Or, it may be show n exiting th e wrong side of th e frame a sh ot or two earlier, and switched to th e new direc tion before it arrives, so th at subject is movin g in the proper direction for en terin g the se tting. The en tire terrain covere d by tr avel sho ts should be s tudied for sun ang les, camera set-ups and backgrounds , at the time of day th a t the various shots will be filmed. Only then can the ca meraman be positive that he ca n keep obst acles at a m inimum , while filming th e entire sequence. Tr avel sequences whic h include in terior scenes of cars, buses , trains or air pla nes, must be carefull y planned wit h both in ter ior an d exte rior ca mera set-u ps in mi nd. A s tud io film may involve a mock-up of a vehicle which h as an open side requiring that all ac tion be staged against one side only. Or filmi ng in an actual air pla ne m ay permit lit tle room for camer a ang ling . A tr an sition from ext erior to in terior - or interior to exteri or - par ticularl y the for mer, sho uld be film ed from approximately the same camera an gle - as if the cam era m oved through a window or side of the vehicle to look inside. The original tr avel axis is m ain tain ed for a sm ooth m a tch-c ut. Interi or shots m ay be filmed fro m vari ous an gles. 107





_e-..,. . .. , _ ......

T his sequence - depicti ng landing 01 1 OmallQ Beach of Allied troop s on D-Day - dem on strat es riqlu-to-le it progress ion ( in this in st ance dra m atically st ronger tha n left to rig /It ) throughout a series of shots - from landing craft being beacued , to offlcers and men moving u p int o battle positions.


THE FIVE C's STAT IC SCREEN DIRECTION Static sc ree n di rection is concerned with the way in which players face an d look on th e screen. Th e screen treatmen t of motionless bodies may seem incongruous, but even action pictures present th e players at rest, or at least in a sta tic position while they talk or perfo rm . Th e princi ple of th e act ion axis is ju st as important in filmi ng st atic set-ups of players as in shoo ting tr aveling sho ts of mo vin g subjects. Est ablish ed direction al con tinuity must be m ain tained , not on ly when player s m ove abo ut , bu t also when they are at rest , so th at direction in which a player moves, an d direction in whic h he looks, m a tch throughout a series of consecutive shots . The position in whi ch a player faces m ay n ot necessarily be the sa me direct ion in whic h he looks. A player m ay face the right side of the screen , but his eyes m ay look ove r his shoulde r toward the left. It is impor ta n t, therefore , to refer to matching the look: when discussing static screen direction, r a ther than simply matching facing positions. A single player - or two or more players - m ust look in the same direction on each side of a m atch-cut, so that the edited shots will presen t a consistent appearance. A playe r m ay not look left in one shot, and then sudden ly look r ight in the nex t shot - unl ess he is sho wn shifting his look. The action axis could be disregard ed on static se t-ups if mo tion pictures were filmed stag e front - with th e camera viewpoin t always from the audience angle , an d th e player s an d se ttin g visible only fro m on e side. A camera placed anywhere in th e audience, shoo ting fr om any an gle and distance, would record per fec tly matching shots ; since the lens would re mai n on one side of the axis , and the players would be seen fro m the audience viewpoint only , never from the opposite side . Most live television shows and many filmed television plays , par ticularly situation comedies , are presented in th is manner, so that they may be filmed continuously with mu ltiple cameras.· " This app lies only to d rama tic or other story type teleplays where the players relate onl y with each Of her across a stage. It does no t apply to a live o r filmed televisio n show , whe re th e master of ceremonies faces front a nd rela tes wit h the audience.

CONTINUITY Modern motion picture prod uction techniques , however , requir e film ing with a sing le ca mera shifted between shots , so that each por tion of th e action is presented from a different camera angle . In spite of the moving players and repositi oned camera , it is necessary that m atching shots be filmed with a one-sided viewpoint. The axis is a me an s of re maini ng on one side of the players , so th a t the players' positi on s and looks appear con siste nt from shot to shot as the sequence progresses, regardles s of the playe r or cam era movement involved . The acti on axis is established by drawing an imagina ry line throu gh th e tw o players n earest the camera on oppos ite sides of the pictu re. Th e came ra viewpoint and the players' look s mu st rem ain on the same side of this im aginary line in consccuttoe matching shots. A sequence of sho ts may be filmed by placing the camera anywhere with in the 180 degree arc which may be descri bed on one side of the players . The camera may be placed ncar or far , film a ny number of players or a single in dividual, but it must not cross the line. The camera may not be moved 180 degrees from one set-u p to another. It may be moved within 180 degr ees, a co mplete sem i-circle , on one side of the axi s only, every tim e the ca mera is positioned for a m atchin g shot. If the camera crosses the line a nd views the player s from th e opposite side , the y will be tr ansposed on the screen so tha t a player seen on the righ t will sudden ly appear on the left. A close-up of an in dividua l play er filmed from across the line will be recorded with a "fake reverse" or a look in the op posite direction to that previously established . A close-u p filmed in this m an ner will appear on the screen as if the player is looking aw ay fro m , ra the r than toward , the other pla yer. No te that th e came ra ang le, or poin t of view, m ust »ce cross the axis. The camera itself may cross over, however, to film a player in the rear of the set , providing th a t the camera angle is in keeping with the es tablished action axis. This am oun ts to drawi ng a new action axis para llel to the original axis; and posit ioni ng the ca mera on the same side. A simple me thod for shoo ting across the axis is to remember tha t the ca mera may move across 109



Camera # 1 films two-shot - girl on left , boy on right. Cam era # 2 51100tS close-up of boy over girl's shoulder. Cam era #3 shoo ts close -up of girl over hoy's shoulder. Camera # 4 crosse s ax is and films over w ron g sho ulder of boy - thu s tran spo sing playe rs: boy is now on le ft an d gi rl on right.


Camera # 1 : T wo-shot - girl on left , boy on right.

to film any shot th at it could shoot from th e ori gin al axis with a telephoto or zoom lens. Thus the ca me ra ac tually crosses th e axis op tica Uy, r ather than physically , and the viewpoint remains the sa me. The shor ter foca l length lens simply allows th e came ra to move in closer and film th e same shot that could h a ve been photographed. with a longer focal len gth len s .


Th e reason for th e camera rcmammg on one side of the axis wh en filming two or more pl ayers is readil y understood , since it is apparent that crossing the lin e will result in tr an sposition of th e sce ne. Th e player on left will sudden ly appear on ri gh t - the player on righ t will appear on left. Such an obvious mist ake should be avoided . Mistakes do occur, however , in filming individuui opposing close -ups of two pl ayers bec au se th e look m ay cross th e axis. Th is may happen in a close-up in wh ich the playe r is facing th e camera. Such oversigh ts can be prevented by positioning the off-screen playe r on the proper side of the camera , to preserve the established two-sh ot relationshi p. Th e on-screen player will always look on the proper side of th e axi s if this is done . If the on-scree n player sim ply read s his lines to an im aginary off-scr een player he m ay look on th e wr on g side of the came ra and be filmed with a look in th e wrong directi on . Littl e or no difficul ty will be en countered with a three-quarter an gle, since the position the player is facin g will generally govern th e look . A fiat-on p.o.v. ang le m ay result in a wro ng look , bec ause the eyes m ay inadver ten tly shift to the wron g side .



Camera #2 : Over-shoulder close-up of boy.

The eyes govern the look. A perfectly centered person faci ng the camera may look either right or left, up or down , or straight in to the lens -withou t moving his head! Or , the head may be turned in one direction and the perso n look over his shoulder in th e opposite di rection. It is most important th a t the look be correct , so that opposing pl ayer s re late with each other smoothly in a series of consecutive shots. Any change in look must be shown. It must not occur between sho ts , so that it is suddenly opposite to the look shown in the previous shot. Ma tchi ng players' positions and looks is an absolute requ isite if a series of consecutive shots mus t be match-cut , so that an en tire sequence is to appear as continuous action. Particular attention must be direc ted to high and low camera angles , which may be required to film back-and-forth poin t-of-view sho ts of grownups an d ch ildren ; or , if one player is seated an d the other standing. The look must always be to the side of the camera, but it should be directed slightly above the lens by the player looking up, and slightly below the len s by the player lookin g down. Considerable cheating ca n be employed in positio ning the ca mera for height; bu t care must be taken n ot to cross the action axis by looking on the wro ng side of the camera.

Camera #3 : Over-shoulder close-up

of girl.

Camera #4: Ouer-umm q-shoulder close-up of girl. Players are transposed .

Player movement into or out of a close-up must also be properly handled, or the axis may be

Un;vo,H, 0' so. C"'" . C"O'" ""'"

Player may be given reference point for look by holding fist at side of camera.

11 1


Camera #2 film s girl f rom boy's point-oi-oiew .

Cam era # 1 films boy fr om girl's point-of-view.

Girl's look has crossed axis, and crea ted new look in opposite di rection .

Cam era sct-ups for opposin g p.c.v. closeups shou ld he very close to side of players, so that looh is to side o f len s.

crosse d. This is par ticularly im portan t when the camera is very close to the line - such as in the filming of a point-of-view close-up whe re a player is lookin g close to the side of th e len s. Crossscreen movements will give little tro uble , because they poin t obviously toward righ t or left. Head -on movement some times appears neu tral to the player , camer am an or director ; and it is very easy to make a m istake . and look in on e d irection and then exit in the opposite direction! To preserve screen direc tion in close-ups, wh ere th e player en ters or exits th e scene close to the side of the camera, movem ent sh ould always occur between the lens and the ac tion axis. 112



A player m ay turn hi s head from one side to th e other , an d look past the camera len s - to rela te with pla yers on either side of him ; or to look from an on-screen player to an off-screen player . The trick in sweeping a look past the lens is to avoid looking direc tly into the lens. The look must pass just above or below the lens, dependi n g on wheth er the ca me r a is below or above the player's eye-level. A profession al actor will ha ve


Camera #2 film s girl.


Cam era # 1 film s boy .

Camera set-ups for oppo sing three-qua rter angle close-ups are made from iniperson ul objective ang les.

no difficulty in sweepin g his ga ze pa st the ca me ra withou t ac tua lly lookin g into the lens . Wit hout ca re ful instruction , an a mateur m ay "sneak" a look into the lens , out of th e corner of his eye! Inexperienced ca me ra men and directors oft en hesit ate to a llow a pla yer a sweeping look ; because they fear the look may be into the len s , or the shot will n ot match bracke ting scenes. The pl ayer

m ay turn and look on both sides of the lens any time he is posi tion ed between two or more players ; or , any time he switc hes his gaze from an onscree n pla yer to a player or ac tion off-screen. For instance, he m ay turn to watch a player ent er a

Player in close-up relating with off-screen player must exit scene between camera and actiQ1l axis. Thi s is particu larly im portant in p.o.v . close-ups becaus e player is working close to the axis and filmed almost fu ll face to the camera. 113



Examples of cross: Cam era set-up :H 1 depicts player wi! 1I knife on screen left girlorl sc reen rig/It. Camera se t-up #2 h as crossed axis, and transposed players on screen .

room . or a car arrive. A new ax is is created whenever a player switches his look at the end of a shot. The next shot mu st be based on the line dr awn be tween the playe r and the subject with whom he rela tes . This is import ant whenever a player looks at an off-screen player , who is th en shown in a cu t-away reaction close-up. NWT RAL LOOK

Whenever a perso n looks above or below the lens, the resultin g look is neutral. A neutral look must he used with discreti on , beca use it sudden ly brea ks up the norm al n ght-and-lc ft looks and 114

Neu tra t took - above or below lens - m ay PUZz.le audience, un less player is lookin g up or down at another player, object or action. Neut ral look breaks up nonnal right or lef t direc tiona l look tow ard opposing player. Up or down look sliOuld be to side o f camera, to pre serve direction.

thrust s a puzzling non-directional look at th e audience. Th e neutr al look is so close to a look direc tly into the lens th at it m ay be mi sin terpreted . Cam er amen and direct ors sometimes resor t to a neutr al look, to cover an inadvert ent mi s-ma tch du e to wrong player or ca mer a m ovement. Th e neutral




Camera viewpoint may cross action axis to film player s in rear of set . Cam era # 1 film s (lIll shot, Camera :: 2 may be positioned ac ross axi s to film medium shot of rea r ー ャ。 ケ・イ N セ N T hi s is same as drawi ng parallel a.\is or shooti ng across original a:ris wit h lon ger iocel l en qt h: lens.

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look is rarely successful if both players are the same heigh t ; since they must look a t each other in opposing close-ups , and cannot look up or down. It can be used if one player is seated , or if a player is kn ocked down durin g a figh t, or if a player is a t anothe r level - such as the top or bottom of a stai rcase or a mountain . A player looking up . in such inst an ces , would look ju st above the lens. One lookin g down , would look ju st below the lens. Eve n in th ese cases , however , the up or


down look should be to th e side of the camera , to preserve the ac tion axi s. The neut ral look should be used only in eme rge ncies wh en retakes cannot be filmed , or when a ca mera man or direc tor must film a player lookin g up or down to match stock footage which h as not been chosen, or whose direction al look is unknown . If only a shot or two are inv olved , it is best to shoot th e scenes twice , with both a left and ri ght look - rather than a n eutral look - so th at th e film editor m ay have his choice. 115


Mat chin g the look on statically-positioned pla yers present s few problem s,because the ac tion axis remains fixed . When players move du ring a scene, the action axis moves with them , and m ust be redr awn at the end uf each shot . Thus , the action axis may be further defined as a line dr awn thr ough the nearest player s on opposite side of the frame each time the camera is cut.

THE FIVE C's Thi s is nec essary because th e pl ayers may change their positions . or camer a may pan or dolly so as to origina te a new look in a directi on different th an tha t with whic h th e shot began . The players , th e ca me ra , or both , may cross the axis w hile filminy is in progre ss because the audience observes th e moving cha nge in their positions. However , the player , or the ca mera , may not cross the axis between cam era set-ups, because player positions would be changed unaccountably, and the followin g sho t would not m atch . An ytIling m ay h appen du rin g a sce ne - nothing must be altered bctuxen scene s. Drawin g a fresh a xis at th e en d of each shot will autom atically maint ain m atch ed looks , because the cam era will always be positioned on the proper side of the line. To avoid a jum p-cut , care must be tak en to du plica te players' position s. MATCHING LOOKS ON MASTER SCENE CUT-I N SHOTS

Opposin y dose -u ps of pl ayers with lamp or ot lier object - betw ee n them , should not include portion of obje ct , because it will

appear on right in one close-up an d on left in opposing close-up . Object sl,ould be chea ted out of close-u ps or moved closer to onc player so t llat it appears in one closeup onl y.


When consecu tive shots are filmed in chrono logical order , it is fairly sim ple to m a tch th e look on movin g players. Difficulties sometimes arise when sever al cut-in sh uts mu st be matched to a master scene. Matching the look on closer shots may be tricky if a great deal of player and/or cam era move me nt occ urred in the master. Since the ac tion axis mo ves with the players , and can be altered by camera movem en t crossing the original axis, it is necessary th at the axis be drawn through the players at the particular point in th e master scene



where the closer shot will be cut in . If all player and camera mov ement is blocked out an d filmed with the aid of chalk or tape mark s on the floor , returning to any position and duplicating th e axis at tha t poin t, is fa irly sim ple. Th e Polaroid ca mera is a valuable aid in m atching preci se positions and looks. Stills m ay be shot during the m aster scene to aid the players and the camer am an . Particu lar care should be taken in sh ooting close-ups which may ca ll for the player looking in one direc tion a t one poin t in th e master, and in an opposite direc tion la ter for a se parate c ut-in shot. Alth ou gh such close-ups are film ed a t one lim e, ch anges in direction sho uld n ot be disregarded . Multiple cameras should rema in on same side of axi s throuqucut scen e. Opposin.q ang les, above. will illte r-cut . If players move about - such as in fight sce ne - so tllat cameras shoot from both sides of new axi s, below , playe rs will appear t ranspos ed io tien: film is inter-cut .

o Opposing clos e-ups of players should not be filmed with microphone. cryslal ball, bow l of fruit , or other object. on table between them , w llicll w ill ap pear on righ t in one close-up, and on le ft in ather ( above ) . Object should be exclu ded or positioned closer (b elow) to on e player, so tluu: it appears in his close-u p ッョ ャセjN




An in d ividual - sitting a t a desk , working at

a m ach ine, or operating an in str ument pa nel _ shou ld be filmed wit h a cons isten t look in a seri es of consecutive shuts . The fact th at he is alone an d not rela ting with anyone else in the scene makes no diffe re nce. T he pr inc iple of the action axis holds true when film ing an indi vidual becau se the look m ust be consisten t on ea ch side of a cu t un less the player or the ca mera crosses th e axis duri ng a sho t and begi ns a nFW look. A worker operating a machine should n ot be shown first from his left side and then from his right , unless he necessarily turns during the sh ot.

Action axis for cut-away shot is drawn from on -screen to off-screen player. Camera # 1 films on-screen player. Camera #2

films off-screen player. Loohs will oppose each other umen ッョ ᄋ Lセ」イHG ョ and off-screen players arc filmed [rcnn. same side of axis.



Player looking screen right turns his head to observe ot her player entering room. A ction axis is drawn between e n-screen and off-screen players.Cam era should be positioned on same sid e of axis for cut-aioau close-up so that both players look tow ard each other. 118


THE FIVE C's The featured person should first be conside red in relation to h is work , so th at th e axis is drawn in the direction he is facin g. If sitting a t a desk signing papers , fur instan ce . he may be filmed in a front three-quarter an gle fa cin g sc reen left . The axis would be d rawn through him in the direction he is looking. The camera m ay be positioned anywhere wit hin a 180 degree a rc on the ri gh t side of

the line. An over-the-shoulder shot - such as sign ing papers or reading a repor t - would be film ed

Matching players' look s on master scen e and cut-in shots is easier when players remain i n static positions. Looks m ust be care fully no ted if master scen e con tain s cons iderab le player an d/ or camera m ovem en t.

over the le ft sho ulder. If the c amera were to shoot over his right shoulder , it would cross the line and sud den ly present the pla yer tr ansposed - facing in the opposite directi on - on the sc ree n . The came ra may be mo ved to the front for a head -on sho t. but the look should still be toward screen left. If th e camera were moved too far . it would cross the lin e and tran spose the player - because he wou ld be faci ng sc reen right. The pers on may turn hi s head in any di rec tion durin g th e scen e. The ca mer a may dolly acro ss the axis during th e scene. But , a ny shot th at ends with a new look requires a co rrespond ing axis for filming the follo win g shot. Suc h a situ ation m ay arise if anothe r per son were to en ter th e scene , and stand or sit in a pos ition th at would cre ate a new ax is . It is wise . however , to remain with the or iginal ax is when film ing one person in a static position , partic ularl y for a short seque nce involving o nly a few shots. Be fore the lon g shot is filmed . it is best to check whet her the individu al is rig ht- or left-h anded . Other wise , the close-up may require shooting over the wrong shoulde r to avoid hiding the acti on . A right-handed person . for exam ple , shou ld be filme d over hi s left sho ulde r ; so th at the a udience m ay see what he is sig ning , or view wha t he is doing with his ri gh t hand. Sh ooting over his r igh t shoulde r wou ld obscure the ac tion if it cove rs th e ac t of signing his name.

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. .. .....

Camera set-ups are positioned on same side of a:ri s, and players' looks are pre· ci sely m atc hed in tllese objective ly-filmed opposing cu t-in closer shots .




Person looki ng throuqh w indow should ha re action axis drawn ill di rection of look . Bolli interior and exterior camera set-u ps should film from same side

u........... ..

of axis .

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j.!;resses. Th e セゥ コHG of the various im ages may re main th e same , or cuonqc from scene to scene; or durinq a scene if the players advance toward or recede frum tlw camera . or if th e camera is do llied , panned , tilted or zoomed. T his constant lychanging im age pattern tends to complicate motion picture com position. T o product' ;-1 successful photograph, a still photographer must ap ply composit ional r ules correctly . A mutiu n picture came-raman . h owe ver . can simplv c-enter a moving im age in h is finde r and regardless of )loor compositio n, im pro per placement III the fra m c, unsatisfactory backg roun d or 198

GOOD CAMERA WORK BEGINS WITH COMPOS ITION Composi ng the scene is th e cameram an 's Iunclio n. He must arrange th e var ious pictor ial clements in to a sem bl ance of order before h e can

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sutnccs matter impo ssibie to pre-



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