HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL FILMMAKER USING CAMERA ANGLES

I would like to buy an HD camera, oh no wait .. a 4k one … no no no wait .. are there already 8k cameras on the market?
High-Tech cameras can definitely help a filmmaker; technology is constantly evolving and the tools we use will be even more sophisticated in the future, but what really matters is creativity. There are strategies that, if properly learned, can help you to become a better filmmaker and consequently improve your sales on stock footage agencies.
One of the things we, as video content creators, often tend to forget, is camera angles. Camera angles are crucial in determining the quality of a video. A good filmmaker must always ask himself if he has done everything possible to make his videos exceptional and unusual. The peculiarity of a video lies, among all other things, in the shooting angle. There are three video angles to consider:

  • Low angle
  • High angle
  • Aerial perspective

Camera angles can completely change the context of a video and are also responsible for the interaction that exists between the subject and the background.

LOW ANGLE
Any shot taken below the subject’s eye level, with the camera pointed upward, can be considered a low-angle shot. When is it used? From a psychological point of view, using a low-angle perspective makes the subject appear stronger, more powerful or, simply, bigger. For example, the point of view of a child looking at an adult. But a low angle also expresses adventure, curiosity, wonder.
Low angles give more emphasis to the main subject of a clip.
In this clip, for instance, we see a romantic couple enjoying an amazing Italian landscape, the place is Rocca Calascio, in Abruzzo, in Italy. This is a low angle moving forward, toward the couple.
 

Romantic couple enjoy amazing panorama from Rocca Calascio in Abruzzo in Italy

In this other example, we see a sailboat sailing on the calm sea waters, with the sunset light in the background. Here we have a very low angle point of view as if you are looking at the boat while swimming in the sea.

Low angle view of small boat sailing in calm open sea at sunset

HIGH ANGLE
A high-angle shot is when the camera is placed higher than the subject’s eye level and is pointing down. This type of angle can make the subject look smaller, weak, or vulnerable
When is it used? When you want, for example, your audience to focus only on the main subject that appears in your video. It doesn’t give much emphasis to the surrounding environment, elements in the background. Because often, when using a high angle, the background basically just adds details into the story but nothing more than that.
Look at this video, there is a meerkat digging a hole surrounded by other elements, but the viewer’s attention is focused on the animal, the meerkat is the main subject, he is the absolute protagonist, he is the star.

High angle view of meerkat digging hole in the ground. Static shot

In other words, high angles drive your attention towards the actions toward the subject, and in the meantime decrease your awareness of what is around the subject, what is in the background.

AERIAL PERSPECTIVE
Saying aerial angle doesn’t sound correct, in this case, we talk about aerial perspective rather than an angle.
A shot made using an aerial perspective gives viewers a deeper understanding of what is happening below, both literally and conceptually.
Let’s not confuse aerial shots with high-angle shots. A video with an aerial point of view can only be produced through the use of drones, helicopters, or even airplanes.
There is a high demand for this type of clip which are used for advertisements, films, TV series. Aerial footage has been one of the most searched and sold categories of stock footage in the last 4 or 5 years.
Aerial footage are very powerful in terms of storytelling. They can highlight important elements, create a sense of participation in the viewer who finds himself suspended, flying, almost flying like a bird. In fact, this type of perspective is also called Bird’s eye view or even God’s eye view if the clip is recorded from an even higher altitude.
In this both aerial and high angle video, very rare, almost unique, and definitely very difficult to produce, we see an airplane as seen from a high angle point of view, cruising while leaving the air trail generated by engines at high altitude.

Airplane flying high above the clouds leaving long white air trail

On a creative, narrative level, experimenting different types of angles, perspectives, point of views, can give you many more possibilities.
The next time you go out to film something, please try to put these tips into practice, you will no longer be able to do without them.

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The Amazing Cinematic World Academy Team

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