Filming Techniques

For my horror film trailer i am going to need to use various filming techniques in order to achieve desired effects on the audience. Here i am going to look out and experiment with different filming techniques. These techniques are sorted in alphabetical order.

Aerial Shot

An aerial shot is generally done with a crane or camera attached to a special helicopter, this style of filming would be best suited to view large landscapes. Also this is limited to exterior locations with large open space. This style would not be suitable for my trailer as it is all indoors and it does not seem necessary to film in this way.

Birds Eye Shot

A birds eye shot is a shot looking directly down on the subject. The perspective is very foreshortened, making the subject appear short and squat. It can be used to emphasise the smallness or insignificance of the subjects. These shots are generally used in fight scenes as a way of establishing where the character is. This style could be used, however it is not possible to do as it requires cranes and/or large moveable objects.

Close-up *

A close up shot is where the camera tightly frames a person or object in order to show detail, such as zooming in on a person to better understand their emotions. Close-up shots do not include the broader scene, moving in to a close up from a far zoomed out shot is a common way of filming.

Dutch Angle *

Dutch angle, otherwise known as dutch tilt is quite simply a cinematic filming tecnhique where the camera is tilted to one side so that the horizon is not level. In movies, the dutch tilt is generally used to depict madness, as the camera is not normal it implies further that the subject is not normal.

Follow Shot *

A follow shot is where the subject being filmed is being pursued by the camera, the follow shot can be achieved through various methods, such as using a crane, zooming in, cameraman ‘chasing’ the subject and also techniques such as a camera on a trolley being pushed after the object. I think that this method would be very useful for chase scenes in particular, I think that I will definitely be using this technique.

High angle shot *

A high angle shot is actually very similar to the birds eye shot, however it does not necessarily have to be directly from above. This camera effect gives the object the impression of being vulnerable or powerless which could be a very useful effect for the scenes where someone is being attacked or hiding from the attacker.

Long Shot *

A long shot, otherwise known as wide shot is a camera technique where the the entire object or person is shown in full along with its surroundings. It is essentially giving the audience the whole picture that they would see if they were there. This often involves going quite far away from the subject unless a very wide angle lens is being used. This is because the human eye has a far wider vision than a camera.

Low Angle Shot *

A low angle shot is one where the camera is positioned low on the vertical axis (generally below eyeline) looking up. This effect is often used to give the subject the impression of being powerful or superior. This could be useful when looking at the attacker who has the power over the victims.

Over the shoulder shot *

An over the shoulder shot (also known as OTS) is a shot looking at a scene or person from over someones shoulder, giving the impression of being able to see exactly what the ‘shoulder’ person is seeing. It would be suitable for an attacker searching for his victims, as you could be looking over his/her shoulder and then pan across to give the impression of searching.

Point of View Shot *

A point of view shot, otherwise known as POV is a very popular camera effect which is filmed from the perspective of the character eyes, this is a very powerful effect as it really lets the audience feel that they are the character (also when the audience can feel what the character is thinking they can develop an emotional attachment which makes the footage more special to them). Point of view can be done by holding a camera up to the eye level of the character and moving it as their eyes would move, but another way of doing so is the OTS effect (above). This technique seems like it will be very useful for some more dramatic scenes.

Racking focus *

Racking focus is a very interesting effect whereby the attention of the audience is shifted from the subject to other various objects (often simply focusing from background to foreground or vice versa). I personally really like this effect however i cannot think of a use for it within my trailer, nevertheless i will experiment with it and see.

Reaction Shot *

A reaction shot is a cinematography effect where the shot cuts away from the main scene in order to show the reaction of a character to it. For example if a man1 punched man2, man2’s partner may be focused on to show her reaction man2 being punched. This technique is used to show extra emotion and allow the audience to better feel what is going on in the scene.

Shot Reverse Shot *

The shot reverse shot is a film technique whereby one character is shown off screen (talking perhaps) and then another character is shown facing the opposite way (talking back to them) which gives the effect that they are looking at each other and having a conversation. This effect probably wont be useful for a trailer however i can see it being very useful for actual full scenes. This is perhaps one of the most frequently used effects however it does require large amounts of trimming and editing to make decent.


This is an effect that i am very fond of personally, i find that it looks incredibly if done correctly. Snorricam is where a camera device is rigged up to the body of the actor, either looking at their face or looking away from them. This effect allows the camera to move exactly as the character does, giving a more real effect, so when the character jumps, the camera follows perfectly. This camera effect can provide an unusual sense of vertigo for the audience. I feel that this effect will be very useful for chase scenes.

Tracking Shot *

A tracking shot is a camera effect where the camera is mounted on a camera dolly (essentially a easily moveable trolley). This then allows for ‘fluid’ filming whilst moving, which would be very difficult with a human just holding a camera. Sometimes the trolley is even placed on a rail track, so that it can only move in a specified path. The rail track would be used when wanting to circle an object, as it would be difficult to push a trolley an even circle, so a fixed track would be able to achieve that.

All techniques with * next to them i have experimented with and can be found here:  Experimentation of Film Techniques



  1. Jade Said:

    After viewing this post & your video, It’s clear to see that you carried out a lot of research into different shots and experimented with them to create your own footage, BEFORE attempting your final piece, very good 🙂

  2. adriannpiers Said:

    I think your film, about all the different techniques is good because you haven’t gone to over the top with makeing a film while showing all the different techniques i think you have shown the techniques really well and the video shows them really clearly although in some places the footage is a little dark but over well its really good and I think the really thing will be good now that you have learnt the techniques 🙂

  3. benhammond1 Said:

    I think that this is just generally amazing and can you please continue with such fantastic uploads. You are very pretty.

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