Basics of Film Cinematography for Filmmakers

//Basics of Film Cinematography for Filmmakers

Basics of Film Cinematography

The cinematography is the art of visual storytelling. Set a camera on a tripod and record but the artistry of film cinematography comes in controlling what the viewers watch and how the image is displayed. The film is a visual medium where you can tell what’s going on without hearing any of the dialogue.


In this Arena Surat blog, Today we talk about some basic knowledge of composition, of how different shots work together to compose a clear, cohesive narrative and how to form each shot in a way that it is visually gratifying for the viewer with different camera angles and position, light and color effect, use of lens and movement. Learning these basic film cinematography techniques will help to make your films more thrilling and engaging.


Introduction of Film Cinematography Techniques

There are a lot of things to consider when you are planning every shot. You need to think about the different shots and how they will fit together. How you set up, light and film your shot using cinematography. In order to better grasp the idea on a more professional level, you can also join one of VFX Filmmaking Course in Surat. We have two centres, one is in City Light, Surat and the second centre is on Pal Road, Surat.


1. Different Shot Size

It’s important to use different shot sizes that help you to describe the story in the film. Shot size means how much of the scene is composed in the picture and whether it shows the setting, characters in the setting or details of faces and other things.


Different Types of Shot Sizes

  1. Extreme Long Shot
  2. Long Shot
  3. Medium Long Shot
  4. Mid Shot
  5. Medium Closeup
  6. Closeup
  7. Extreme Closeup

Use a different extreme long shot to set the scene, closer long shots and mid shots to introduce characters and show action and close-ups and extreme close-ups to show the expressions on character’s faces and other necessary details.


Click on below Video: How to Choose Best Shot Size


2. Composition

This affects the feel of the different shot and how well it fits with the ones before and after it. To get a natural look, put all the things over to one side. Put them in the middle or use symmetry to make things look more formal and direct. For a creepy or unsettling feel, place the camera at an angle or make the composition really unbalanced.


Composition: Framing Shots

  • Composition means how you arrange and design the things in the shot.
  • If you compose the shots perfectly than your film will look a lot better.
  • Keep your attention to where things are in the shot, what’s going at the edges of the frame and what’s happening on in the background.


3. Camera Angle and Position

Set the Camera in a different position and angle around the subject. Film from right in front to make the viewers feel really engaged or from the side to show a viewer’s point of view. Change the camera position and angle with each shot.


Filmmaking: Camera Angle and Position

  • Use of Different camera positions and angle that can help to tell the story.
  • Shoot from above or below as well as from eye level.
  • Make sure that your actors are looking in the right direction.
  • Film from different positions around the subject.

Click on below Video: How to Shoot with Multiple Cameras


Set the camera in the upwards direction – a low angle shot – to make a character or objects look more powerful or threatening or use a high angle shot to make them look weaker or smaller. You can even use a Birdseye shot from directly overhead.


4. Light and Color

In the shot, the light affects the mood. Getting the right light effect in your film is much better than editing light effect.


When you are shooting film as separate shots, you need to make sure that the lighting is consistent in a scene. If the lighting style and colour look different in the shots than it may seem as if they were filmed in different locations.


Use of Light in the Film

  • Think about light size, colour and position.
  • Avoid big variations: Make use of reflectors to fill shadows.
  • Set the exposure manually if you are shooting in contrary light.

Click on below Video: Basic Lighting Techniques


5. Using the Lens

Use of deep focus lens so that people can see what’s going on in the foreground and background. If you make use of shallow focus, you can blur the background area, so your subject stands out. During the shot, you can even pull out the focus between different parts of the scene.


Wide Angle: Use a wide angle lens or zoomed-out setting to get close to the action and make perspective seem dramatic.


Telephoto: A telephoto – zoomed in – the shot is better for close-ups of faces and details.


Use of Lens

  • Use different lens or lenses settings to tell your story.
  • Use wide angle camera lenses for handheld shots, cramped spaces and dramatic view.
  • Use longer camera lenses and wide apertures to blur the background portion.
  • Don’t zoom when you are filming.

6. Movement

Keep the camera in one position and pan sideways or turn up or down. Moving the camera looks better, though track into build intensity, track out to expose more of a scene or track sideways to follow the action. Move the camera on a stabilizer or dolly or use it handheld.


Use of Movement

A movement will help to give your film life. Most of the shots should have some different kind of movement in them even if it’s very slight.


You can film anything moving in front of a static camera or move the camera itself.

  • Static Camera
  • Moving Subjects
  • Moving the Camera – Tracking shots and Sequence shots

Click on below Video: Camera Movement Tutorial: How to Create Emotion


If you are stepping into the world of film or you’d like to improve your existing knowledge of film cinematography, then we are sure you will learn a lot while enjoying this course.


This VFX Film Making Course in Surat will get you prepared with the knowledge, expertise and practice that you need to select the right camera settings, different camera shots size, equipment selections and much more.