Filmmaking is essentially a tool through which a story is presented to the audience in the form of different shots and sequences. A filmmaker needs to master several important techniques in order to prove successful in this competitive industry. Although some of these techniques might seem basic, they are as important as the more advanced shots. Getting the perfect shot requires excellent coordination between the director, camera operator as well as the actors. Nailing the perfect shot isn’t as easy as it looks, it takes a lot of professionals to be able to work with each other as a single team.
Here are a couple of important camera techniques that every aspiring filmmaker needs to master:
· Over the shoulder shot
As the name suggests, this shot involves a shot where the actor’s shoulder is in the foreground and is out of focus. Getting the right amount of shoulder within the shot can be a difficult affair even for serious filmmakers. However, it is not a shot that should be skipped either since many films require the over the shoulder shot to move the story of the film forward.
· Tilt Shots
Although tilting up or down might sound like an easy thing to do, it is often either poorly executed or overused by filmmakers. An experienced film maker can make magic with a well done tilt shot combined with excellent coordination between the camera operator and an action scene. The classic “Schindler’s List” is a great example where Steven Spielberg used tilt shots perfectly.
· Panning Shots
The horizontal counterpart of a tilt shot is called a panning shot. Although they are simple to execute, it takes a bit of practice to get them right. A well-executed panning shot will get the audience draw in to what is happening on the screen and create a more emotional effect than any other shot. Steven Spielberg has used panning shots perfectly in several of his acclaimed films.
· Zoom Shots
The zoom shot needs to be executed smoothly to be able to blend in with the scene. This technique was a huge favourite in the early 90’s ad was used in popular movies like Hannibal, Gladiator, etc. To get the right effect of this particular shot, you need to ensure that the camera is not jerky.
· Tracking Shots
One of the more complicated camera techniques, tracking shots are executed by mounting the camera on a dolly and moving it along the tracks. Although it sounds easy to execute, it takes a lot of practice to get it done the right way. The camera should be able to focus on the scene throughout the tracking shot and avoid any objects it eh foreground from enhancing the parallax. Directors like Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott have used tracking shots to shoot dynamic sequences in several of their popular movies.
· Crane Shots
Crane shots can be quite expensive as they require the use of a crane to be executed flawlessly. However, huge Hollywood production use crane shots to get wider shots using this particular technique.