Jennifer shows us how taking the camera from eye level to a low or higher level can change the perspective of a shot and enhance the emotional mood of your scene.
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Female 1: Hi, I’m Jennifer O’Rourke for Video Maker Presents. Now lately we’ve been giving you some very basic tips on different ways to make your video better with shot types and camera placement, but today we’re gonna talk to you about camera angles. Your camera angle can change not only the perspective, but sometimes the emotional feeling of your video. For instance, this is production manager Derek DeMarco’s office. Normally Derek is a fun guy, but today he’s not too happy that I’m interrupting his work. Hello, Derek.
Male 1: Hello, Jennifer.
Female 1: How are you, Derek?
Male 1: I am not too happy you’re interrupting my work.
Female 1: (Laughter) So see? He still looks like a fun guy, right? I want to make him look like a mean, formidable boss, but I’m shooting him at my angle, ‘cause I’m standing up. Now if I shoot him down where I’m sitting and he and I are both sitting – so now Derek and I are at eye level, which makes us equal, but I want to make him look like a mean boss and he’s an angry boss. So I’m gonna bring the camera a lot lower than he is, and see how that changes his perspective? See how it changes the look at the emotional feel of this scene? He is now a very angry boss.
Male 1: I am an angry boss. I have work to do.
Female 1: Derek actually is a really sweet guy. He’s a wonderful boss, but let him get back at work and we’ll show you a couple different ways you can change your camera angles to change your perspective and make your video just a little bit more interesting.
Interesting camera angles can make a small, non-basketball player appear more athletically gifted than her much larger opponent. Here’s how we set the scene. Side by side, Rochelle is obviously shorter than Christopher, but by placing her on a park bench we made her taller. Now to add to the effect, we shoot her from a lower angle making her look bigger and more powerful, and shoot him from a high angle making him look smaller and less imposing.
This scene shows the basketball star leaping out of the camera frame. To pull it off we simply had two people on each side of our star pull her up. Now let’s look at that entire workshop lesson on camera angles and perspective.
Male 2: She shoots, she scores. She shoots – Dimwell, you dimwit. It’s almost noon! Where’s that company report? Got game? What’s the matter? You can’t hang with it? Holy cow!
Female 2: Sally Dimwell, the dimwitted dunce of the dry goods department, gets ready. She shoots, she scores.
Male 2: Dimwell, what in the world is going on? Where’s that company report? Yeah!
Female 2: The California State Lottery, current jackpot now more than $25 million – play to win.
Female 1: So to change your POV or your point of view from shoulder height, try a bird’s eye view or an ant’s eye view, and you have a whole world of angles yet to try. For Video Maker Presents I’m Jennifer O’Rourke.
To learn more about perspective and different angles, check out these articles in Video Maker magazine: What’s Your Angle, article number 8723; All About Angles, article 9128; A New Perspective, article 3408; How High the Camera, article 10297; Creative Camera Work, article 7185; and Camera Work, Shots and Scenes, article 1384.
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