Textual Analysis: Camera Work

Camera Shots

     Wide Shots

     Also known as “mid-shots” and “medium-shots”, a wide shot shows a character from waist to head. A lot of the character’s surroundings is shown, which assists the shot in being the most popular around.

     Long Shots

     A long shot shows the character’s full body, with usually a little buffer room to spare. This type of shot shows more of the character’s environment, and therefore is shot further back than a wide shot.

     Extreme Long Shots

     An extreme long shot shows much more of the character’s environment, and usually shows the smallness of the character, compared to their environment.

     Close up 

     A close up is a shot close to the entity which it is filming. For small items, this usually displays the item as a whole. For example, a shot may only show a person’s head.

     Extreme Close Up

     An extreme close up is closer to the object being filmed than a close up. It usually only shows one segment of the object, taking up the whole of the shot. For example, an eye in a shot would be done using an extreme close up.

     One Shot – A one shot contains one person.

     Two Shot – A one shot contains two person.

     POV (point of view) Shot

     A POV shot is positioned to proport to be from a character’s eyes. What the character sees, the viewers should see.


Shallow Focus

     A shallow focus displays one entity in focus, and the background is usually out of focus. This can be inverted, to show a user’s concentration.

     Deep Focus

     Deep focus requires a special lens to do, but provides nice results. It shows the whole shot in focus.

     Focus Pull

     Focus pull is a technique where the focus of a shot is changed mid-shot. It can be used to reveal items in the shot, for example when a character realises something.

Camera Angles

     Eye Level Shot

The most common and easy to achieve is the eye level shot. The camera is positioned at eye level.

     High Angle Shots – A shot where the camera’s position is high.

     Low Angle Shots – A  shot where the camera’s position is low.

     Birds Eye View – A top-down shot from a high-up position.

     Down Shot – Similar to a birds eye view, but at a lower height.

     Up Shot – The camera is pointing directly upwards.

     Dutch Tilt – The camera is tilted at an angle, in order to disorientate the viewer.
Canted Angle
Oblique Shot

Camera Movement

     Aerial Shots

     Helicopter Shot – A shot from a helicopter. Very expensive to do, but good for expensive movies. A helicopter is easy to maneuver.

      Drone Shot – A drone shot is shot from a remote controlled drone. Cheap and easy to maneuver. The shot is usually smoother due to the computer controlled mount.

      Wire Shot – A wire shot is when a camera is attached to a wire. It is good for scenes where shots must be repeated to pinpoint accuracy.

      Crane Shot – A crane shot is when the camera is placed on the end of a pivoted pole. The crane shot allows for a high angled shot, where costs do not.

      Dolly Shots

     Dolly Shot – A precise smooth movement, from where a camera runs a

     Crab Shot – A crab shot is a regular dolly shot, but where the camera is at a 90 degree angle to the track.

     Arc Shot – An arc shot is a dolly shot, where the track has an arcing bend in it. It is usually used in scenes where an object is circled by the camera. This type of shot is usually combined with a crab shot.

      Fixed Shots

     Fixed Shot – A fixed shot is where the camera stays in a fixed position. They usually utilize a Tripod or similar system.

     Pan – A pan consists of a horizontal sweep of the camera, across the scene. This is done from a single, fixed position.

     Tilt – A tilt shot is a vertical sweep of the camera. This too, is done from a single, fixed position.


     Over the shoulder shot – An over the shoulder shot is where the camera is positioned into a way that it can see two main entities. For example, two characters talking, and we may see the over the shoulder of the listening character.


Zoom In – Using a lens, a camera operator will zoom the picture in, towards an entity.

Zoom Out – Using a lens, a camera operator can zoom the picture out, away from an entity.

Crash Dolly Zoom – An opposite mix of dolly movement and zoom displays a character’s realisation.