Camera Shots

The trick is to practice these, and then link as many of them together as practical.

Camera Shots practice:

Doorway/Hallway jump cut

    A jump cut is a very fast switch from one shot to another. There are no transitions. This is effective to show speed, action.


  •      A shot of the subject entering a room, then a shot of the empty doorway. Just add a cross fade transition between them.

Reflection ( mirror, window, calm lakeshore)

  •      Here, the camera is focused on the subject’s reflection, not the actual subject


One thing changes into another

  • shot of a book on a table
  • shot of the table without the book
  • shot of something else in the book’s position
  • in post production, use cross fade transitions showing the changing of the book into the second object.  You don’t have to have the empty table. Try using it and try it without.

Inside shot

  • set up camera inside a cabinet, on a shelf, or in a wastebasket
  • turn camera on
  • subject takes something off shelf, puts something in wastebasket
  • camera is retrieved and filming is stopped
  • In post production, the beginning placement and the end retrieval are edited out
  • This leaves the scene of the subject taking something off the shelf or putting something in the wastebasket.

Come With Me shot

  •      Camera is focused on the CD being carried to the CD tray
  •      Camera is focused on a pencil, heading to the pencil sharpener
  •      Camera is focused on a letter heading to the mail slot

Tracking shot

     The camera follows the subject from the front (walking backwards, camera person, is not easy so be careful) or the back.  If from the side, the camera “tracks” or follows the student rather than walking out of the frame.

Panning shot

     The camera “pans” from one side to the other, or from up to down, down to up. Be careful not to overuse this. 

Zoom shot

     Beginning film makers can use this too much. The zoom shot can be annoying, disorienting, but also effective to focus the viewer’s attention of the one thing in the shot that carry’s the film’s message. For example, zooming in on the school and ending at the door would come just before a shot of someone entering that door from the inside.

Crane shot

     While standing on a chair, or hanging from the ceiling wearing a climbing harness are not encouraged, these are ways to change the perspective from something above the subject and action

Over the shoulder

     This shot looks over the shoulder of the subject; for example, he or she is typing on a laptop. The camera shot looks over her shoulder and focuses on the hands on the keyboard.

Framing shots

     Using the side of a doorway “frames” the shot helping to establish the nature of the scene. And when outside, hanging a tree branch over the shoulder of the camera person, gives the sense of the camera person standing under a tree when no tree exists. 

Establishing shot; Re-Establishing shot

      This “establishes” where the action takes place. If the filming takes place in a school, then the establishing shot could be of the front door with or without people coming in/going out. It can pan or slowly zoom in. There is a jump cut or fade to the next scene.

Rule of Thirds:

      The rule is that the subject isn’t in the center of the shot……but off to one side or the other. The reason for the rule is to establish more of the scene to one side or the other of the subjectl

.  © Brad Edwards 2016