Join Eduardo Angel for an in-depth discussion in this video Sliding in and out, part of Camera Movement for Video Productions.
In this movie, we will be discussing the dramatic effect that moving the camera forward and backward can have on our video projects. By adjusting the distance between the camera and the subject, we can create a sense of depth, which we can provide a three-dimensional feel to a two-dimensional image. We will often see a slow dolly in during important moments of dialogue in a film. As the camera moves closer, it signals this is important.
It is essentially drawing the viewer into the scene, into the psyche of our character, and can be done to the point where the movement itself is hardly perceptible. By dollying in, we are forcing the viewer to get closer to this object. Let's look at an example of dollying in on a dialogue scene. It is a great way to create more tension to add drama. She's really surprised or she really wants to know more. So whereas we are dollying in, we as viewers are looking into his eyes. We're trying to determine, is he lying? Now when there's no motion, we witness the scene, but we don't become part of it.
Many filmmakers just beginning to introduce movement into the repertoire have to understanding the benefits of dolly shots, as opposed to a zoom in or out. Let's look at a quick side-by-side comparison. Here's the zoom, and notice how the proportions change in the background of the zoom. And here, they are side by side. Psychologically, these have a very different meaning. Although the frame is actually shifting more, it is less noticeable camera move than a zoom because it is something that the human eye can relate to.
Rather than perceiving it as an optic trick, we read it as simply adjusting our distance from the action to get a closer look. By increasing the distance between the camera and the subject, we can place the subject within the context of his or her surroundings. The overall effect diminishes the importance of the subject and emphasizes the location. This can work to convey a sense of loneliness and isolation, or perhaps a sense that the subject is looking at the world with a new perspective.
Whether the mood created is one of intrigue or revelation, all depends on the context of the scene. Dolly moves can also be a great way to introduce the viewer into a scene. A subtle and slow movement like these can give the viewer a sense of place and time. One important thing to remember when implementing this camera technique. Depending on the depth of field we're working at, the subject may go out of focus as the camera distance changes.
To successfully pull this move, it is best to have someone assist you. One person concentrates on smoothly moving the camera and another one is in charge of making sure that everything is sharp.
- Exploring the different types of camera motion
- Panning and tilting
- Tracking on sliders vs. dollies
- Stabilizing camera movement
- Working with cranes, jibs, and mounts
- Choosing the right camera for motion