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Camera Movement (4 replies and 6 comments)

snowliontigre
4 weeks ago
snowliontigre 4 weeks ago

Hey Roger,

Just wondering how you decide to add camera movement to your shots? Just started going through the storyboarding/shot-listing step of preproduction with the director on a short film.

We started building scenes/sequences shot by shot, but most of my shots end up being static without any movements. How do you move the camera motivated by story? Should I just go with what feels right in my mind's eye?

Thanks!

Roger Deakins
3 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 3 weeks ago

Why do it unless you feel it is 'right'. Robert Bresson seldom moved the camera whereas Miklos Jancso's camera hardly ever stops moving.

Vanniyan
3 weeks ago

Which one Miklos jancso's your favourite film visually

snowliontigre
3 weeks ago

Thanks boss. I gotta check out Miklos Jancso.

AdamEm
3 weeks ago
AdamEm 3 weeks ago

I think any time the camera moves, it should serve the story, and what you want the audience to feel. You can move the camera to make it flashy, that's certainly a valid choice, but that becomes more about aesthetics and 'wowing' an audience, rather than drawing them in.

The way David Fincher moves his camera is an interesting one. It's always motivated by behaviour.

AdamEm
3 weeks ago

This is an interview with an experienced British DOP that a bit on camera movement I really liked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAKjTi6CD14»

vbailey
3 weeks ago

Thankyou for sharing this helpful interview Adam and thankyou Roger so much for this amazing resource. I'm about to direct for the first time, my own short script. I have zero technical knowledge (having moved from in front to behind the camera!) but I rthink the big takeaway from this is undrestanding why it is I don't like certain ways of filming. Getting to know the shot choices that will allow flow and dynamic to support the story, or at the very least be able to verbalise to my (thankfully, very experienced) DP what it is I'm trying to achieve and handing over creative freedom to him. I have my first meeting to look at the shot list tomorrow and have found lots of inspiration and most of all permission to follow my instinct to shoot in order to tell the story not just record it. Thankyou!

vbailey
3 weeks ago

The other big takeaway would be checking for typos \O/

Roger Deakins
3 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 3 weeks ago

I would start with 'The Round-up' if you are new to Jansco.

Vanniyan
3 weeks ago

Yes i am new. I have to watch it.

Vincent Vega
5 days ago
Vincent Vega 5 days ago

Agree with all the above ...

Note, however, I read that Robert Altman asked his D.P. (Andrew Dunn) in "Gosford Park" to keep the camera moving in every scene (even if ever so slightly).  In other words, not all the camera movement was story motivated.  Robert Altman liked bending and sometimes breaking rules (he also was one of the pioneers of overlapping group dialogue [people talking over one another]). 

It's an interesting film to re-watch knowing that the camera never stops moving.  I think he did it to make his film distinctive and more dynamic than most period pieces which consist of mainly static compositions.  

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