Blocking and movement play a pivotal (literally, at times) role in the art of storytelling. Whether the camera does the moving or the on screen talent does, crafting a scene can be true art, and some are better than others at it.
We often don't take the time to lay flat on the ground, or gaze up under tables, but there's a completely different world to be seen from low angle shots. Using low angles effectively in your story can be a challenge, but these tips for going low can help get your brain working toward even more creative uses. In no particular order, here are some ways to use your camera with very little clearance above a solid surface.
Saving Private Ryan, released in 1998, is known for it's realistic portrayal of war. Janusz Kaminski used various techniques to create gritty, intense cinematography that has some of the most memorable battle scenes ever shot on film, earning him an Academy Award for his work.
The Godfather. Released in 1972, redefined the gangster genre and won the academy award for best picture. Cinematographer Gordon Willis masterfully crafted shadows and created a unique look and feel with great lighting techniques throughout the film to create some truly intense scenes.
This segment examines a scene from a film that took low-light shooting to new levels. Director Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, released in 1975, still holds the title for the lowest f-stop lens used in a film. With the beautifully crafted shots in the film, it's no surprise that Director of Photography John Alcott won the academy award for best cinematography. Deconstructing Cinematography looks at an incredibly lit scene, using only three candles.
Cinematographer Conrad Hall won the academy award for best cinematography for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, and his style still has enormous influence in movies today. We look at a scene from a great film that boldly pushed the boundaries of the western genre and set a new look for the classic western.
Videomaker's Deconstructing Cinematography examines great movie scenes known for spectacular cinematography and breaks them down to find why they're highly revered. In this segment we review a scene from an all time classic, Citizen Kane. Released in 1941, and nominated for best cinematography, many of the techniques used in the film proved to be groundbreaking changes in the way movies are made.