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All forms of TV, animation, and film are compilations of different camera angles edited together to form a cohesive viewing experience. But did you know that filmmakers use very particular angles in certain scenes to convey specific emotions to the audience? 

Dutch Angle

A Dutch angle is a shot where the camera is tilted slightly to make the entire scene seem lopsided. Typically, it is used in moments of suspense to show the audience that something is not quite right with the subject. Moreover, this angle is commonly used in horror movies or thrillers to convey a character’s uneasiness or an environment’s eeriness.

Dutch Angle – Jaws (1975)

Extreme Close-ups

Extreme close-ups are camera angles where the person or subject fills the entire frame. Generally, they are used by filmmakers to add emphasis to the subject. These shots force the audience to focus on key details. However, some filmmakers might even use this technique to distract the audience from something eerie happening in the background. Additionally, directors may cut between two extreme close-up shots to convey tension building between two subjects, with each shot getting closer and closer every time.

Extreme Close Up – Get Out (2017)

High Angle

High angles are camera shots where the camera looks down on the character or subject from an elevated place. Cinematographers execute these angles by placing the camera higher than the subject and then pointing it down onto them. High angles can make the subject look smaller and vulnerable. A common example of a high angle in films is when a vulnerable character is approached by the taller, bigger, antagonist looking down on them.

High Angle – The Incredibles (2004)

Low Angle

A low angle shot is the opposite of a high angle. The camera is positioned below eye-level and points upwards towards the subject or character. Low angles make the subject look larger and therefore makes the subject look more powerful and sometimes even threatening. For example, in Citizen Kane, the production team actually tore apart the floor to get the lowest angle possible to make the character look powerful.

Low Angle – Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Over-the-Shoulder

Over-the-shoulder shots are camera angles where the back of a character is used to frame part of the subject. This angle is usually used in scenes to show the confrontation of one character with another. This camera technique helps to bring the audience into the scene almost like they are there.

Over-the-Shoulder – No Country for Old Men (2007)

It’s important to note that all the meanings of the angles can be arbitrary and are used based on the individual filmmakers’ preferences. The beauty of filmmaking is that there aren’t hard and fast rules that you have to follow when it comes to using camera angles. You can mix and match different camera angles to create new meanings and evoke other types of emotion with your audience. 

Want to learn more about video? Visit explainly.com.

Common Camera Angles and What They Mean

All forms of TV, animation, and film are compilations of different camera angles edited together to form a cohesive viewing experience. But did you know that filmmakers use very particular angles in certain scenes to convey specific emotions to the audience?  Dutch Angle A Dutch angle is a shot where the camera is tilted slightly to make the entire scene seem lopsided. Typically, it is used in moments of suspense to show the audience that something is not quite right with the subject. Moreover, this angle is commonly used in horror movies or thrillers to convey a character’s uneasiness or an environment's eeriness. Dutch Angle - Jaws (1975) Extreme Close-ups Extreme close-ups are camera angles where the person or subject fills the entire frame. Generally, they are used by filmmakers to add emphasis to the subject. These shots force the audience to focus on key details. However, some filmmakers might even use this technique to distract the audience from something eerie happening in the background. Additionally, directors may cut between two extreme close-up shots to convey tension building between two subjects, with each shot getting closer and closer every time. Extreme Close Up - Get Out (2017) High Angle High angles are camera shots where the camera looks down on the character or subject from an elevated place. Cinematographers execute these angles by placing the camera higher than the subject and then pointing it down onto them. High angles can make the subject look smaller and vulnerable. A common example of a high angle in films is when a vulnerable character is approached by the taller, bigger, antagonist looking down on them. High Angle - The Incredibles (2004) Low Angle A low angle shot is the opposite of a high angle. The camera is positioned below eye-level and points upwards towards the subject or character. Low angles make the subject look larger and therefore makes the subject look more powerful and sometimes even threatening. For example, in Citizen Kane, the production team actually tore apart the floor to get the lowest angle possible to make the character look powerful. Low Angle - Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Over-the-Shoulder Over-the-shoulder shots are camera angles where the back of a character is used to frame part of the subject. This angle is usually used in scenes to show the confrontation of one character with another. This camera technique helps to bring the audience into the scene almost like they are there. Over-the-Shoulder - No Country for Old Men (2007) It’s important to note that all the meanings of the angles can be arbitrary and are used based on the individual filmmakers' preferences. The beauty of filmmaking is that there aren’t hard and fast rules that you have to follow when it comes to using camera angles. You can mix and match different camera angles to create new meanings and evoke other types of emotion with your audience.  Want to learn more about video? Visit explainly.com.

Technical Terminology in Video Production

Animators, editors, and film experts of all kinds use a vast vocabulary of terms during video production. Whether you’re brand new to the video world or a seasoned expert in need of a refresher, the following terminology is a must-know! Frame Rate The frame rate refers to the number of frames per second (fps) that a camera captures or that a video displays. While 24 fps is typical, 25, 29.97, 30, and 60 fps are all also common for different purposes. Higher frame rates result in larger file sizes and are not always necessary. However, depending on your video's purpose, it can provide more crisp, appealing movement. Color Correction vs. Color Grade Color correction is the vital process of adjusting the colors and tones of a video in order to remove off-color casts, brighten light objects, and to darken dark objects. After color correction, color grading is the adjustment of a video’s colors in order to achieve a specific aesthetic effect. Audio Mix / Audio Production During the final stages of production, the team mixes a video's individual audio tracks to balance dialogue, music, sound effects, room tone, and more. Rudimentary audio mixing can be done within some basic softwares, but fine tuning can be achieved in post-production softwares such as Adobe Audition & Adobe Premiere, or Logic Pro. Resolution Professionals use resolution as a term to describe the length and width of pixels. High resolution looks better but results in larger files. Compression lowers resolution slightly, but it’s usually negligible between 4k and 1080p. Even 720p is good enough for most phone screens! Compression Beautiful high res video often means large files! To avoid taking up storage space, and to post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more, use compression. Compressing videos can minimize file sizes while preserving key qualities by removing unnecessary, redundant, or non-functional data from your video file. While it does take a bit of time to reduce the amount of data in a video file, compression is usually recommended for online uploads because of the time and storage it’ll save you later. Bitrate (Mbps / Kbps) The amount of data used per second in a video defines the bitrate or data rate. Bitrate affects the way fast-moving objects look, and can also contribute to overly large file sizes. We stick to 10 to 16 Megabits-per-second VBR/CBR as a high-quality bitrate for most HD videos. Rendering & Exporting Exporting a video means combining all clips, images, sounds, and effects into one final file. This final file can be in formats like .mov or .mp4. Although, professionals also sometimes refer to exporting as rendering; a render typically describes the real-time view within the editing software. This gives you an idea of what your export will look like. Most computers cannot view high-quality renders in real-time. This is why high processing power is essential for a video production studio. Codec & Container All video files are made up of two parts: the codec and the container. Codecs are different specific algorithms that compress and decompress all data contained in a video file. This is necessary because most videos contain elements that are too large to result in a playable final video. Different codecs used in softwares like Adobe Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, Adobe After Effects, iMovie, or QuickTime will determine which media players can play back a video. Here are a few common codecs and which file formats they work with: X264 compresses H.264 standard HD videos FFmpeg works with formats including MPEG-2 DVD and MPEG-4 files DivX works will certain MPEG-4 files Different codecs result in different video qualities and different containers, such as MP4, MOV, and AVI file types. ProRes 422 can be great for high-res archival purposes. Although, you can’t go wrong with H.264 for most types of online videos! File Types Video file types and formats - made up of the codec and the container - define the type of computer file that a video is stored as. Different file formats have different purposes, so it’s important to choose the correct type for different projects. MP4 (MPEG-4 Part 14) is the most common video format, preferred by Apple, YouTube, and many social networks and devices. However, it has a slightly lower definition than other file formats. MOV (QuickTime Movie) files generally have higher quality output, which unfortunately comes with larger file sizes. MOV files are ideal for high quality viewing in QuickTime, on TV, or on YouTube. AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is one of the oldest video file formats used today. Fun Fact: it was created in 1992 for Windows operating systems! While AVI files are large, they provide some of the highest-quality playbacks. Plus, they work with nearly every Mac, Windows, and Linux web browser. Other formats like WMV, AVCHD, FLV, F4V, SWF, MKV, WEBM, HTML5, and MPEG-2, all have purposes for different devices and viewing platforms, such as DVDs, website embeds, and streaming services. Ready to learn even more? Reach out to the Explainly team with questions anytime at www.explainly.com/contact-explainly!

Customer Service in Video Production

Customer service is extremely important when clients are vetting which agency they want to partner with. At Explainly, we provide all of our clients with ‘white glove’ customer service. Meaning that we work in tandem with them to become an extension of their team, whether it be marketing or internal communications. All our project managers are equipped with the tools to provide seamless project management service to every client, even down to tailoring our communication styles to meet our clients’ preferences.

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