Unique Camera Angles To Try in Your Next Film
The movement and angles of your camera are powerful storytelling tools. If you’re accustomed to leaving your camera on a tripod in one place for the duration of a shoot, why not try these unique camera angles in your next film? These shots can help you achieve the mood you’re going for and subtly influence your audience’s emotions as they watch your movie.
If you want to follow a character as they walk down a long hallway or approach another character, affix your camera to a dolly. The dolly will help you move your camera smoothly down a long track, conveying an urgent sense of movement and placing your character in the context of a scene.
To shoot a scene from a particular character’s point of view, filmmakers use DSLR helmet rigs to keep the camera at the character’s eye level. The audience will see the scene from that character’s perspective, helping them gain more insight into their frame of mind.
Does one of your characters feel isolated and alone? Accentuate that sense of unsettling solitude by placing the character in a big, empty space. Shoot from a distance so that the emptiness of the room takes up most of the shot; the lone character in the corner will look even lonelier.
To convey vulnerability or powerlessness in a character, shoot them from a high angle. Looking down upon characters, such as when they’re collapsed on the ground or lying in bed, makes them look comparatively small in the context of the scene. High angles also relay lots of visual information to the viewer, like the location and scale of the scene.
The Dutch angle, or Dutch tilt, was first pioneered in the 1920 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It involves rotating the camera at an odd diagonal angle to incite feelings of anxiety and disorientation in the viewer. If your character is confused, terrified, or struggling with their mental state, a Dutch angle can make your viewers feel the same way.
Have you grown bored with your current filmmaking style? Shake things up for your next film and try these unique camera angles to bring your audience into the world of your movie.