Different Types Of Camera Movement In Filmmaking

27 Aug 2020

4 Min Read

One of the reasons that we like movies is that they make us follow a beautifully engaging story. There are a lot of times that the audio-visual story that we’re watching makes us feel we’re really in that world following the character. The narrative technique behind it that triggers this feeling of “following” is combined with a certain type of camera movement most of the time. So let’s see what we have in hand when choosing a nice camera movement and how we can use each type.

Static Shot or Fixed Shot

Whenever the camera is in an immobile situation, it’s called a static shot. In fixed shots, the focus is on the image and movement of your subject against its environment. These kinds of shots are taken by a camera that is fixed on a dolly to remain stable. Although static shot can play its role in every genre, the preference is for comedy because the actor’s movement is somehow more important than the camera’s.

Camera Dolly Shot

To handle huge cinema cameras, the most common option is a machine called a dolly. This mechanism is designed in a way that the camera attaches to it and works with a push-cart. There are some seats as well for operators to control the camera. Dollies are big and heavy so they are placed on rails for easy movement. A well-designed dolly even has a hydraulic head that can move up and down during filmmaking.

Zoom lens shot

A kind of shot that changes the focal length of the lens during the shot and is called the zoom shot. The actions of zooming in or zooming out are different from pushing in because in this situation the camera has rare changing positions. A noticeable factor is that the camera does not zoom, but the lens zooms.

Dolly/Zoom Shot or Vertigo Shot

In a filmmaking process we can see a warping effect in which the dolly/zoom shot simultaneously altered the camera position and focal length to create it.

Camera Pan Shot

When you are following an event in a movie, the camera pans are rolling the film side to side in a horizontal way.

Camera Tilt Shot

Tilt shot is as same as the pan shot, just vertical. Moving the camera up and down on a vertical line.

Tracking And Crab Shot

A tracking shot is any shot that the camera moves with, backward, or forward your subject. Most of the time in this shot the camera is on a dolly that is placed on rails.

Crabbing shot and tracking shots are somehow the same. The difference is, the crab shot movement is side to side.

Arc Shot

As the name talks, these types are camera shots where the camera moves around the subject in a semi-circle shape. This will be done well when the subject is stable. For showing more depth and details of surrounding we use more of the arc shot.