A pull back is a camera move that moves the camera backwards, away from a subject. Pulling back tends to alienate and isolate subjects and characters, creating a feeling of loneliness and sadness. But this type of move can also be used for the opposite purpose, to create a sense of freedom and power. Directors can also use such camera moves to reveal things to the audience.
- In the last tutorial, we looked at…the psychological effects of moving the camera…towards our subject.…But we get completely different results…if we pull the camera back away from the subject.…This can really add to a feeling of sadness and isolation…as we withdraw from a character.…We used this at the end of the goodbye scene…when Cordea was left alone.…This was used for a seemingly similar effect…in the opening shot of The Godfather.…This shot however is a little bit more emotionally complex.…This man initially is talking about…how his daughter was attacked, so the camera…pulling back does enhance the sadness a little.…
But then the man starts asking for a favor…and the pullback makes him…increasingly smaller in the frame.…This makes him look weaker.…And this camera move has a third purpose…in that it also reveals the other person in the frame…and shows us by the framing who is begging…and who has the power.…It's important to note though that…the context of what is happening…is the most important thing when…
Watch and learn how to shoot a script, using visual motifs, atmospherics, framing, and different types of shots to tell the film's story. Find out how to give direction to your crew and be a good leader, while staying on budget and on schedule. Plus, get tips to improve shots during retakes or in post, and to become a better director, storyteller, and communicator.
Note: Like the rest of the Creating a Short Film series, this course was shot during the production of The Assurance. It offers a unique window into the actual struggles and challenges filmmakers have to overcome to get films made. Find the rest of the courses in the series on Chad's author page.
- What a director does
- Interpreting the script
- Scouting locations
- Choosing the tone and theme of the film
- Using motifs
- Shaping the story through visuals
- Being a good leader on set
- Respecting budgets and schedules
- Planning shots
- Moving the camera: on a tripod or dolly or in handheld shots
- Using rolling takes
- Framing shots
- Adding atmospherics
- Directing in post-production
- Becoming a better director
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Creating a Short Film: 04 Working with Actorswith Chad Perkins1h 49m Appropriate for all
Creating a Short Film: 01 Producingwith Chad Perkins1h 6m Appropriate for all
Creating a Short Film: 02 Writingwith Chad Perkins3h 17m Appropriate for all
Up and Running with DSLR Filmmakingwith Chad Perkins1h 10m Appropriate for all
1. Preparing for Production
2. Themes and Tone
3. Shaping the Story
4. Running the Set
5. Planning Shots in a Scene
6. Getting the Shot
7. Improving the Shot
8. Directing in Post-Production
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