M3 Film Techniques

22 Jan

Directors use a whole range of film techniques to help the tell a story and to convey meaning (probably more than you realise!). Think that extreme close-up is there just because the actor has pretty eyes? Think again.  Try completing the following activity:

Use the following websites to learn about a variety of different film techniques including framing shots and camera angles:



Lighting: http://www.izzyvideo.com/video-lighting-techniques/


  1. Choose a favorite film. Collect screenshots of the film that demonstrate the following film techniques. Don’t forget to include the purpose or effect of the shot:

Eg. This wide shot from Pan’s Labyrinth is designed to emphasise Ophelia in her environment. She sits on the edge of the bath tub reading a book while golden light pours in from the window directly on to her. Using the wide shot allows the viewer to recognise the significance of the light as symbolic of Ophelia finding her way in the book.

  1. Extreme Wide Shot – examine the purpose of one of the wide shots.
  2. Very Wide Shot
  3. Wide Shot
  4. Mid Shot
  5. Medium Close up
  6. Close up – examine the purpose
  7. Extreme Close up – examine the purpose
  8. Low Angle – examine the purpose of either high or low angle
  9. High Angle
  10. Dutch Tilt – examine the purpose
  11. Point of View Shot – examine the purpose
  12. Cutaway shot
  13. Soft or Harsh lighting

Image: ‘First snow (in flickr blog)‘ Example of a close-up


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