Writing A Shooting Script

A Guide to Writing A Shooting Script

The shooting script is the filmmaker’s way to communicate well with the other departments of his production. It also saves time and money and if your shooting script is detailed enough, they’ll be fewer chances to make mistakes that may crash your film.

The shooting script is really the film on paper so it is a very important tool to deliver your director’s vision to the crew along with storyboard and floor plan. In the shooting script the director is breaking down the screenplay into shots, so it is kind of another draft of the script written by the director, Therefore the shots you write in the shooting script will define the scene. 

The preparation for the shooting script

Before you start working on the shooting script, make sure the script is written in the right format. It is very important. If the script is not formatted in the right way, you are working with a broken tool and you won’t be able to know how long each scene is. You can read my post on film script format to learn more about the subject but for now, the most important element is that the scenes are numbered.


read the script again and this time, think about the general atmosphere of the script. Don’t go into too many details at this point, just think about the general atmosphere. Your next step will be to decide how to get that atmosphere from your shots. I recommend reading my post on the director’s vision to understand how to do this.

Writing the shooting script

When writing the shooting script, you should think about 3 main aspects:

1. The camera, 2. The lightning and 3. Blocking of the characters.

The camera

When we say camera, we mean camera angle shots and the type of lens you plan to use. Think about the shot you want for each action. I like to write it down first in the script itself since it helps me to visualize the film better. When you are done, go through all the script and see if something pops up to you in a wrong way and if the staging in each scene is clear. Now, go through the shots again and think what type of lens will bring you the best results.

Lighting and colors

Now it is time to think about more image techniques to create your atmosphere, so this is a good time to talk with your photographed director (if you haven’t done so until now) and see if he has any ideas. Your object now is to make sure that the theme or premise of the film is expressed by these shots.

Blocking of the characters

The third step is to think about the blocking of the characters. How do you want them to move within the frame? Every move they make will has a meaning, so bring some good thoughts into this.

The shooting script format

Click to see shooting scripts templates and shooting script examples to see what does a shooting script look like.

The shooting script is a table with details about the shots. It should contain these details: Number of the scene, Number of the shot, the explanation as to who is in the shot, what is happening in it, time of day, the special camera needs (like Steadicam) and the location of the scene. If there are camera movements, write them down too. you should also write the dialogues in each shot and special sound effects that are important for the scene. If the rhythm of the scene is important (like in most action scenes, for example), then write down the timing of each shot too.

Homework- write your own shooting script

  Your homework is to find a screenplay (you can find many on google), choose a scene you like. It is better to find a scene you don’t know well and to start. If it possible, find the real scene and compare the director choices for shots with yours

Film storyboard – The director’s tool

How to make film storyboard

film storyboard definition

A film storyboard is a pre-production tool that is a must tool for every film director. As the director of the film, you are in charge of everything that gets in the frame and the storyboard is a tool that helps you deliver your director’s vision to the rest of the crew members. You can see the film storyboard as a transition tool between your script to the film. It is also a tool that helps the production of actors blocking and camera setups.  

The great advantage of the storyboard is that it makes you think in a visual kind of way, which is what filmmaking is all about.  The storyboard is a series of pictures that each picture represents a shot in the film. It looks kind of like a comic book. It describes the shots that are going to be shot by illustrations of how the frame is going to look like.

Some beginner directors fear the storyboard stage, but with time and practice, you’ll learn to develop your visual thinking very easily. 

The storyboard drawing is also a good chance to try things. If you can draw well or you are using a storyboard artist and you are not sure about a few shots, you can ask the storyboard artist to try different shots until you’ll find the one you’ll like.

When to start working on a film storyboard?

The most important tip I can give you about drawing a storyboard is to plan it carefully in your mind before you start the drawing. Know exactly what you want to see before you take it out to the storyboard.

Your next step will be to write a shooting script. The shooting script is a list of all the shots in every scene. You can start the work on the storyboard only after you decided which shots and camera angles are required to express your interpretation of the movie script. 

Do I need to know how to draw?

Well, you don’t have to, but it will help. You don’t have to be a sketch artist, but if you’ll learn the basic rules of drawing like the rule of third, learn how to draw basic figures and basic rules of perspective, you’ll be good.

There is some great storyboard software you can use, so I recommend checking it up too.

How many details does a film storyboard need?

Most of the time the details you’ll need will be, the number of the shot, the camera angle, camera movement if there are any and a short description of what’s going on in it, but it really depends on the kind of film and scenes you are drawing. In dialogue scenes, you usually won’t need to go into deep details, but in action scenes, more details will be needed for the length of every shot and sometimes even how fast the object in the shot is going to move around the frame.

Basically, there are 3 details you need to have with each picture:

  • If there are special effects or camera movements, you should write them down
  • What happens in the shot. that includes dialogue if they are important to the shot
  • The location of the shot and time of day

It is a good idea to take pictures of your locations before you start drawing and if you are using a storyboard artist, you can even take him to the location.



Your homework for today is to find a script of a movie that exists (you can find many scripts in google), print a few pages from it and start drawing them as you see it. Then look at the real movie and compare what they did with what you did.










The Three Point Lighting Technique

Film Light With The Three Point Lighting Technique

Film_lighting-SWhen you light a scene it is not enough to just bring enough light so the character will be seen. You also need to give the photographed object a three-dimensional look. This illusion will be created with the shadows and highlights in the shot. The great advantage of this technique is that you can do it even without any expensive lighting equipment.

The three point lighting technique is a classic Hollywood lighting technique. There are many more lighting techniques out there, but this is the most basic one and it can be developed into many other variations.If you want to learn how to set up light in a scene, you have to start from this scheme. It is built from key light, fill light and backlight.

Before you start working on the Three points light scheme

If you read the 5th lesson about Tips for lighting a scene, then you already know this. I’m going to repeat it here because it is very important to remember.
You can start working on lighting only after the shot has been set and the camera angle has been chosen. You have to make sure you know, where the actors will stand, move and wich way they will face. You should also think what is allegedly the main source of light in the scene (is it the window in the room, the lamp etc).

Key light

  • The key light is the main light in the scene. (It doesn’t have to be the brightest, though) and It is the first light we establish. The key light is aimed directly at the object and it will determine the shape and form of the photographed object.
  • When planning the key light think about what is the main source of light in the scene. If the main light needs to come from a window, make sure your key light looks like it’s coming from a window.
    There are several types of key light. There is the point source key light,
    a spotlight or an area light, so the first thing you need to decide
    is which type of key light you want to use.
    The second thing you need to decide is the position of the key light. The angle that you’ll choose to put your key light will create shadows that will tell us what kind of location it is and even what time of day it is.
  • The conventional key position is about 45 degree to the side of the object, eye level and in front of it, but I really recommend playing with it. Put the key light in different positions (even behind the subject) and see what kind of shot you are getting.
    Look at the person’s nose and at the shadow it casts. Does it look natural to you? Are the eyes too dark (happens when the key light is too high)?
    If your source light in the scene suppose to be a lamp from the ceiling, and the shadow your object’s nose make is in the mouth, then it makes sense.
    Take the time you need to set the right key light. All the other lights will be set by the strength, angle, and color of the key light.
  • When shooting outside the sun is usually the key light and the photographer need to decide if he wants to arrange the whole  scene by the sun or to wait until the sun is in the right position for him.

Fill light

  • After we set the key light, we have a big contrast between the lit area and the dark area, so now we need to balance the key light. The fill light’s purpose is to soften the key light’s edges so the shadows will be softer and also cover a side of the photographed object that the key light can’t reach.
  • usually, it’s the second light you set and usually, the light is positioned in the opposite to the key light and in the same height as the key light. 
  • Before you set the fill light you need to think what is allegedly the second source of light in the scene (is it a candle in the room, a small lamp, etc).
  • It can also help if the key light and the fill light overlap each other.
  • Many times the key light can be produced by a reflector like a white wall or a card box. That will create a softer light that sometimes look better

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it

The problem with fill light is that it might cast a shadow of the subject in the background. When that happen you need to find a way to diffuse the light further so the shadow won’t be so bad. You can move the light close to the photographed subject. Another solution might be to move the subject and the fill light as much as possible from the background.

Check out the Fancierstudio Light Kit 3 Point Lighting Kit Fluorescent Lighting Kit Umbrella Kit DK3B


  • By highlighting the subject’s edges, the backlight will separate the subject from its background. The backlight is usually positioned behind the subject and above it.
  • The backlight should be used also to lit the other elements in the scene. Only after seeing the light that the key and fill created, you can tell how much light you’ll need for the background. Sometimes You may not need it at all.
  • The trick with backlight is not to lit the background more than the subject.

The three point set up is a great technique, that once you will control it, you will be qualified to work in the industry, but I suggest to always try and develop it into something more creative. The three point lighting doesn’t have to be as strict as it sounds. It can be used for many lighting styles. For example, you can decide to have a few key lights on each object in the shot. Play around and work by the logic of the scene. 

If you have any suggestions for developing the Three point lighting technique, please comment and let us all know.




Basic Tips for Lighting Setup


The Basics of lighting A scene

In this article I’m going to give you some basic tips for lighting setup in a scene. Lighting is one of the important tools the cinematographer can use to tell the story. When lighting is made correctly, you can use it to say a lot about your characters, about the film’s theme and atmosphere, the emotional mood of the scene, and more. You can also control the colours of the set and create depth to the picture. When working on lighting for a scene, there is no time for experiments. You have to know what you want and go after it.

Study classical art

Watch some important paintings. You will be amazed how they use light to tell a story in one frame.

Color Balance

The first thing you need to do before you start working with the light in the scene is to color balance the colors in your camera. This is a step cinematographer can skip id they want to create a special effect, but when you aiming for realistic lighting, you should balance the colors first. Most cameras have a Color balance or White balance button. They usually will have at least two standards: One daylight (5500k) and one for indoor light (3200k).

Adjusting The Monitor

When you start planning your lighting in the location, you should make sure your monitor is adjusted. You have to make sure you see all the colors in the palette. It is very important because you are going to see how things will look with that monitor and you want to have a true picture.

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it

Know all the Scene Details

Before starting the work on the scene, you need to have details about the scene (If you came prepared then you already know these answers). You do need to know stuff like what time of day is the scene happening, Where is it happening? How many actors are in the scene? How big the frame is and where the camera is going to stand? You also should watch a rehearsal, you need to see where everyone is standing and walking.

Use a Light Meter

for professional cinematography (film or video), you will need a proper light meter. The light meter will help you to measure the amount of light in the shot.

Today there are many cameras with a light meter built in them, but they are known to not be accurate many times. A hand-held light meter will give you much more details than the one in the camera will. It doesn’t cost much (shouldn’t be more than 300$) and your picture will have better pictures. I’m probably going to post about how to use a hand-held light meter, but I’m sure the guy in the store will explain it also (let me know if you want me to write about it soon)

Lighting The Scene

First look for interesting elements you can use in the scene. Stuff like candle light, lamp; window and etc. Your next step is to turn off all the lights in the location until you have a complete darkness. Then we simply light one lamp at a time and see how it helps us.

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it

On the next cinematography course post, I’m going to write about the basic light positioning for lighting a scene. For now I advise you to exercise by shooting under different lightings- natural or indoor. Try to shoot in as many locations as you can and try to learn why each picture turned out the way it did. If it’s possible, try even different weather conditions.

Recommended Books

For Others Recommended Books Click here

Depth of field – Create great image

Working With Depth Of Field

The depth of field is the area in the shot where all the items in it look sharp. You can say the depth of field “decides” what is going to be sharp in the picture and what is not and by that creating depth in the picture. 

The two types of depth of field 

There are two types of depth in image: shallow depth and deep depth.

Shallow depth is a field in the shot where the focus area is very small. We usually use it to direct the viewer’s attention to something specific in the frame. You might also see it a lot in interviews. The DSLR cameras became very famous because of their ability to create a shallow depth of field very easily. Anyway, what you need to remember is that the closer you are to the photographed object, the shallower the depth of field is going to be. 
The second type is Deep depth which means that the entire frame from background to foreground is as sharp as possible. 

The three factors that contribute to the depth of field

Aperture -This mechanism is in charge of the size of the lens opening that determines the amount of light entering the lens and also the angle of light rays that are hitting it. Aperture is measured in f/stops, for example, f/2 or f/16. F/2, For example, represents an aperture diameter that is 1/2 the focal length of the lens. Therefor, f/2 will be bigger than f/16.
A larger opening will decree the depth of field. If your camera has an internal neutral density (ND) filter you can dial this in.

Focal length – The longer the focal length of your lens is, the shallower the depth of field will be. In other words, the more you magnified your object the less depth of field you’ll have.

The 3rd factor is the distance of the object from the camera– The closer you are to the filmed object, the shallower the depth of focus will be, the farther the object is- the greater the depth will be.

There are many tables that can help you do calculations needed, but there are not always accurate and sometimes missing the new cameras and lenses out there. I recommend playing with those 3 factors until you’ll have complete control and understanding on them. If you don’t have time for playing, there are many apps that can help you to calculate the depth of field. A good one is called pCAM FILM + DIGITAL PRO – Thin Man Inc. This app not only does great calculations with a depth of field, but it also calculate exposure, running times and more. Another good app is Toland ASC Digital Assistant – Chemical Wedding which also does a lot more than just calculating depth of field

Shooting with depth of field

Using this tool needs to be considered while doing the shooting breakdown. Let’s say you are shooting a scene with a long shot, a medium shot, and a close-up, you may need to increase the light in the medium shot in order to get the depth of field you want or even to change lens.

The depth of field is a great way to make a good picture, but also good to manipulate the viewer’s emotions and concentration. Don’t use it just for the sake of using it. On the set while looking at the picture on the monitor, you should always ask yourself, is it what I want? How does it serve the theme of the scene and even the premise of the film (among other question we will learn later on in the blog)? Using this tool right will make your film look more professional and interesting.





Buying A Video Camera

Buy a video camera

Buying a video camera today can be hard work. There are just too many video cameras out there.and every one of them has different interesting features you can use. Just try to write camcorders on google and see what happens.
The first rule you should remember  If you want to buy a video camera
,is that eventually it is not the camera that matters-it’s the operator. there are many filmmakers that run to buy the best cameras out there, but don’t really know how to use it right.

Before running to buy your dream camera, you should know what are your goals for it. You should cover as many elements as you can, so you won’t fail on something silly (For example excellent camera quality, but there is no option to zoom in or bad focus). So here are some things you should be considering before buying the camera:

Buy video camera within your budget

Be realistic!
Know how much you can spend on a camera, but also what camera will fit your needs. Everyone wants to shoot with the RED cameras or 4K cameras, but do you really know how to use it? Is your post ready to deal with the RED camera’s files?
When making the budget for buyi a video camera, you should also think about the accessories that come with it like extra batteries, tripod and so on (I’m going to talk about it in the next passage) If you don’t have enough money to get what you need, you can always check the used camcorder section, but you should be careful over there.

You can get an older standard def camera that shoots 24p for around $500, but maybe you’ll prefer a newer HD camera. There are good new HD cameras out there,
but you might need to give up the manual control as possible.

Accessories with the camera

So you buy a video camera that doesn’t cost much, but then you find out that you need to buy also special lenses and equipment that is expensive. For example, you might see a good camera, that will need a special lens to shoot in darker locations. so always check the equipment that comes with the camera. Personally I recommend buying a video camera that has the possibility to attach different lenses. That gives you more control on your shooting. If you are buying a camera that needs other lenses, you should also check if the camera accepts third party lenses too. If there are lenses or other equipment that comes with the camera, check their quality and see if that’s what you need. Can the lens cover enough wide angle? How is the zoom in? If there is a “Macro” mode, see how big it is . Different lenses have different macro sizes. How easy is it to change focus? Check the aperture ability of each lens you get (you can read about the aperture in this article about depth of field ). There are many things to check when you buy lenses so I’m starting to feel that an article about the subject will be uploaded soon.

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it

Camera Options

Before you buy a video camera it’s important to see if you feel comfortable with it.  Is it possible to zoom in (you’ll be surprised how many video cameras today do not have this option) and whether its movement is smooth? Is there a manual focus? If so, where is it’s button? Is the button located in a place easy to reach during shooting? The first choice you will have to deal with is am I going to buy an automatic camera or a manual one. The professional camera operators will always prefer manual because it gives them more control, on the other hand, sometimes you want to work with an automatic camera like when you are shooting sports events or documentary or when you shoot candid camera.  There are cameras that offer certain effects or options or dissolve option. I strongly discouraged those features. It is best to shoot clean and then put the effects in the editing stage.


When you buy a video camera, you should check if there’s an option to attach a microphone? If so, you should check how it sounds. Connecting professional microphones usually called XLR connectors, so you should pay attention if there is such a connection. You should also check the quality of the camera’s microphone and a headphone jack is highly recommended that camera.

Talk to the Cinematographer

If you buy a video camera for the next film you are shooting, check with the cinematographer, what look you’re looking for a movie, do you intend to shoot with a Steady Cam, camera tripod or on the shoulder? What kind of shots will be in your film? For example, The Cannon Duel Pixel CMOS AF is a 70D camera, which means it has a good autofocus that is able to adjust fast while the characters are moving.  


The new cameras batteries have a tendency to run out quickly.
Find out about them and how much it costs to buy a Battery that holds several hours.

LCD screen and viewfinder

The LCD screen is a small screen that flips out from the camera so you can see what is filmed. It will be better if the screen will be a removable one and that you can rotate it down (if you pick up the camera to shoot from above) and vice versa. In addition, it should be possible to watch through a viewfinder. Sometimes it is more convenient and more accurate.

The post-shooting stage

You don’t want to end up with a camera that will make your post editing stage long and expensive, that’s why, before you buy a video camera, you’ll need to check if the files that the camera produces are such that video editors can easily insert into their editing software without conversion? Conversion of the files might mean losing some quality and time. Some cameras have a convert software you can download from the website that does a good conversion for specific video editing software. 

I hope this helps you. You can figure that to buy video camera is a step that has to be done carefully. Sometimes it’s the little bugs in the camera that can create an ongoing frustration later. I really recommend reading the reviews of every camera you plan to buy.
If you are just starting, I recommend buying a basic camera that can adapt other lenses and buy another lens with it, but makes sure you are buying from a reliable company.

Types of Camera Angles and Shots Every Film Production Use

camera angles and shot types

If you read my first post-Basic camera angles & movements in filmyou are ready to go on and learn the camera angles and shots we use in the film industry.

It’s very important to understand that the way you choose to shoot can really affect your audience emotions. For example, the camera is panning through a room and suddenly stops on an object. At that point, the audience understands that there is something important about that object. Panning can also be used on two men talking and by that it will emphasize the contrast between them.
Each time your camera will change angle in the scene, it will change your audience attention, so you must know how to use the camera right.

Why knowing the camera angles and shots is important?

I know I promised that on this blog, I want to focus more on the creative part of filmmaking than the technical part, but knowing the camera angles and shots is very basic and will help us to communicate better on the next articles. The camera angles and shots are the basic language of the film production. Everybody in the production set will communicate using these shots names, so you absolutely must know them. The cameras angles are the best tool to tell a story without explaining too much.

Building relationship with camera angles

The camera angles you’ll choose will be a great tool to describe the relationships of the characters without words.  POV shot (I will explain it later on) will tell the audience who is the important character in the scene (that will also be the character that get more screen time), If you’ll shoot one character closer and the other in a more open shot, the one that was shot closer will look and feel to the audience as the stronger one. Read the next shots angels I’m introducing here and you will understand what I’m saying.

so here it goes:

Long Shot(LS )

The shot shows all the  body of the photographed object and some of its background. Usually, we use it the beginning of a scene, so the audience will understand where the scene is taking place. Sometimes, when the scene is long,
we will use it to remind the audience where the scene is happening.
This angle has no emotional strength. It simply gives us information.

you can see good examples of long shot by clicking here 

Medium Close Up (MCU )

A very intimate shot. What we see is only head and shoulders of photographed object. It provides a great sense of intimacy with the photographed object. This shot is used a lot in interviews and TV. In films we use it a lot on reaction shots or when we want to emphasize the drama.It is customary to put the photographed object in this shot just beyond the center of the frame, so the shot will not be too symmetrical. You should also leave some space on the side to which the character speaks or turns to.
There is also a shot called Close Up which is little closer.

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it

The advantages of this kind of shot are:
They are easy to lighten and it’s also easy to connect them with other shots in the scene.
This shot helps convey what the character feels with only very light expressions using mainly the eyes.

The disadvantages of this kind of shot are:
Sometimes the shot has nothing to do with the spirit of the scene and can serve as a kind of invasion of subject’s privacy (especially in documentary cinema). The viewer may find himself uncomfortable when it happens.

Click here to see examples of Medium close up shots

Extreme Close-Up(ECU)

The shot is very close to the object. For example, in a person shot, we might see only the face of the character or his hands. The feeling that the viewer gets is that what we see at the moment is very important, or with intense emotional weight. For example, a woman walking on the street at night. ECU on her eyes can convey to us a sense that she is scared.


Medium Shot(MS)

A very popular shot angle. Also called “Waist shot”. Usually, it’s an angle that contains the top of the photographed object. It creates a sense of distance from the person that is being shot, but to such an extent that we can still see him and his body language clearly, with some level of intimacy. When you are using this kind of shot (and you are going to use it a lot), you must pay attention to the background. Also pay attention to the actor’s body posture and movements. 

you can see good examples of Medium shot by clicking here

Full shot(FS)

A shot that is being used a lot less today. Its primary use is when you want to connect the character to its location. It’s a hard shot when to edit with. especially because it reveals too much of the background. If for example we have a dialogue scene, we can see the second character in the shot of the other, and that can make it difficult for the continuity of the editing. The biggest advantage of the shot is that it allows the actor to use his body language.

See good examples of Full shot by clicking here

Two Shot

The same as Medium Shot with the difference that it includes two people.

See good examples of Two shots by clicking here

Over The Shoulder Shot (O/S)

The shot focuses on an object over the shoulder of another person whose face is directed to the same object. We will see the back of the shoulder and part of the head of the person who looks at the object. Directors use this shot a lot in dialogues since it is kind of a “shortcut” to see both characters at the same time. 

See good examples of Over The Shoulder shots by clicking here

Ok, so I understand this post is getting too long, but please bear with me
and trust me, if you don’t know the jargon of the film industry, you will be in a lot of troubles. So just a few more to go and we’re done:

Point of view (POV)

The POV shot is a great film technique to make the viewer identify with your character. This is also a great way to create tense.  In the POV shot, the camera transmits the point of view of an object in the scene. It basically takes the place of character that looks at something. If we are filming two people talking and we want to pass the point of view of one over the other, the camera will be in front of the photographed object in the place of the one we want to emulate his eyes. Usually, the photographed object will not look directly into the camera, but 30 degrees to the side. If the object looks directly into the camera, it’s like he is looking directly at the audience and thus breaks the magic of cinema. Of course, there are quite a few films that do this on purpose, but this should be a conscious decision.

lower angle

On this shot the camera is positioned in a low angle, making the shot object look very big.

See good examples of lower angle shots by clicking here

higher angle

On this shot the camera is positioned on a high angle, making the object look small.

See good examples of higher angle shots by clicking here

A bird’s Eye Angle

When the camera just above the photographed object. Also good to show us where the characters are. The shot is aimed directly to the object, but from above.

See good examples of A bird’s Eye Angle shots by clicking here

So there are many more types of camera shots and angles, but I think I brought the important ones here. If you think I missed any important camera shots,
let me know

Recommended books on Cinematography

Basic camera technique & movements in film


The camera angles in a film are one of the most important rules you need to know about filmmaking. Whatever field you’ll take on the film and television industry, whether it’s producing, directing, acting, scriptwriting, etc. It is important for every filmmaker to learn the technical terms of any type of shot.

Why is it so important?
First of all, it will help you to develop your camera techniques.  But more importantly:
this is the way all the film casts communicate. It will save you a lot of time (and embarrassments) to know them.

 “There is only you and your
The limitations in your
Photography in your self, for
what we see what we are.”                                                                                                   Ernes Hass

The Important rules you must know:

180-degree rule

This is a rule you will hear lots of your crew member talk about in a film production.
Here’s the deal:
The rule helps you not to mess up the direction of characters in the film while they are relating to each other. For example, if you have a scene with two characters talking to each other, not following this rule, might make them look like they are talking to themselves.

So what’s is the 180 rule?

The 180-degree rule is an imaginary line that connects between the two (or more) characters in the scene. The camera has to stay on the same side of the line during the whole scene. Crossing the line will mess up the direction the characters are looking at.

Click here to watch illustrates of the 180 rule

30-degree rule

To make your video editor’s life easier, your camera angle should move at least 30 degrees between each shot of the same subject being shot. For example, if you are shooting a car and you want to shoot it from a different angle,you should make sure your next camera angle will move for at least 30 degrees from the previous shot,
otherwise a “Jump Cut” will appear
A jump cut is when two shots don’t attach together smoothly.

Click here to watch illustrates of the 30 rule

Like this tip? Click here to tweet it

Use Camera movements to built emotion 

There are some camera movements that can make the atmosphere in the film a lot stronger. The camera movement is very important to set the emotion of the scene and it something you’ll have to practice a lot. A bad camera movement can really ruin the scene atmosphere. You have to be careful not to use them too much as many beginner directors tend to do, as it might make the audience lose focus. Use them only when it’s necessary to the scene. Remember! a good camera work doesn’t call attention from the audience.

If you decide to go on camera movement, I would recommend shooting the same shot in static camera, just to be safe. Sometimes a movement shot will look great in your head, but in the editing room, it won’t feet and then you’ll be lucky to have the static take too.

As an exercise, I would advise you to shoot a scene with all the movements I’m going to introduce you now and then shoot the same scene again with static cameras and see what kind of scene you are getting each time.

Zooming In

It is a process in which the cameraman changes the lens length from long
(Wide Angle) to close-up. This movement tells the viewer that what is happening now is important. Usually, we use it when the character becomes emotional or to highlight what is being said.

 Zooming Out

Same as Zoom In but inverted

Pan Left \ Right

While the camera is sitting on a tripod, we set in motion its lens to the left or right. It means that the camera is scanning the scene horizontally. If you’ll nod your he’d left and right, you will see how pan left and pan right looks like. If the director wants to see more of the right, he will ask the cameraman to Pan Right. These movements often are done relatively slowly unless doing what is called:
“Swish Pan” which is a very fast pan that creates a blurred background. This camera movement also very good to immolate point of view

Tilt Up, Down

While the camera is stable on a tripod, move the lens up or down, so the camera is scaring the scene vertically.  If you’ll nod your head up and down, you will see how tilt up and down looks like. If the director wants to see more of below the frame, he will tell the cameraman to tilt down.
Usually, we use it to show the size and power of a person or an object in relation to the viewer, So the viewer feels as if he is looking up. The same thing when you want to emphasize the lack of power Tilt down will show the bottom part of a photographed object.This camera movement also very good to immolate point of view

Here is a scene from one of the funniest films I know- the movie Top Secret – from the masters of parody- Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker– to show you a small Til up

Click here for an  illustrate that describe it the best

Enhance your camera movements 

The movement we saw up to now are very simple, but there is a way to make them look much more powerful. The Dolly is kind of a cart that you put on tracks and put the camera on it and it creates smooth motion. It makes the viewer less passive while watching and feel more active.

Dolly In/Out

Also known as” Dolly Zoom”. Dolly in means to get closer to the object and Dolly Out means to get away from it. It is quite similar to Zoom In and Out, but there is a big difference:
On a Dolly shot the ratio of the photographed object and its environment will remain similar, so the visual effect will be a lot stronger in the “Dolly shot”. The way to do this is by pulling
 the camera backward or pushing it forward while pulling the zoom on the lens to the opposite direction. It will always look better then zoom in because zoom in calls for more attention from the audience, while the dolly in is more subtle. 

Track Left/Right

is byTry them both and see the difference. t

Move the camera on the dolly to the right or the left. This kind of movements is good to create at the viewer a feeling of more activeness.


Make your movement look professional

It is very important that your camera movements will be smooth and substantial to the story, otherwise, they will attract too much attention and it will interrupt the viewer to Be “sucked” into the atmosphere of the film. The viewer might be too aware of the fact that he is watching a movie, and once that happens, you lose him.

Therefore, it is very important to practice as much as possible on these camera movements.

Your home work for today is to start paying attention to the camera angels and movement in the films and tv shows you are watching. Try also to take it a step forward and understand what are the emotion the director is trying to set with these angels.

 film school on line