Popular Cinematic Techniques You See in Films

In modern film, traditional angles and camera stability are no longer as important as they once were. Here are seven cinematic techniques you’ve likely seen in recent films, possibly without recognizing it.

1. Long Tracking Shot

This technique involves following story characters during a long, uninterrupted take. They may exit a cab, walk across the street, enter a building and sit down at a table, and the camera tags along behind smoothly.

2. Montage

A shot montage involves numerous images playing out in rapid succession. This is often used with close-ups — and zoom — to convey urgency or for comedic effect.

3. Dutch Angle

When you tilt your camera to capture a scene, this is referred to as a Dutch angle shot. It creates films that are slightly diagonal.

4. Alternate Filming Sources

In addition to the main camera, modern storytelling frequently includes video from first-person camera perspectives. Technology within the story, such as body cams, smartphones, laptops and other types of digital cameras, provide a unique perspective for viewers.

5. Camera Interaction

Instead of being a simple spectator, the camera becomes a part of the story with this technique. From being covered by rain and debris to visibly shaking with the blows in an action sequence, the camera is constantly in motion.

6. Whip Pan

Instead of a gentle, smooth pan from one point of view to another, the whip pan instantly whirls around to show new characters. This can be used for action sequences, energetic dialogues, jump scares and surprise reveals effectively.

7. Low-Angle Shot

Placing the camera close to the ground and looking up at film protagonists makes the audience feel like part of the story, whether kidnapped in the back of an automobile or seeing the world from a child’s eyes.

Create Your Own Signature Filmmaking Style

The key to standing out with cool shots is to use them sparingly. Save your favorite techniques for big moments and then put your own spin on things. Find images that always make a huge impression by checking out Shutterstock’s Select video library. Our library of stock video clips covers just about every imaginable topic at a budget-friendly price.

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