How to Add Levels to Your Digital Film
This angle involves filming from directly above your actors. This is not easy to do unless you have access to a crane or a drone camera, or unless you film from a bridge.
Bird’s-eye angles can look strange and are not often used in films, but when they are, they are normally used to show scale and the area of a scene. Using bird’s-eye angles can make subjects look small and insignificant, like ants. They are often used in battle scenes to show the vast number of people in the battle or in desert scenes to show the vast open space around a character. Avoid using bird’s-eye angles unless you think it really enhances your film.
This angle involves positioning the camera higher than the actors or subjects and looking down on them — although not from a vantage as high as the bird’s-eye view. To do this, you’ll need a tripod that extends higher than your subjects or you may have to find a higher point to shoot from.
High-angle shots are often used in films to make the character or subject in the shot look weaker, more vulnerable, or less important. It can be used in a scene where the character should appear smaller than the other characters, such as if a character is being bullied and you want to make him or her look less powerful. You can also use it in a scene where you want to show your character being scared or lost.
This angle involves the camera being placed at the level of the character’s or subject’s eye. To achieve this, a tripod can be used, but if you’re tall enough, you can hold the camera at eye level.
Eye-level shots are often used in films because they are neutral, which means they don’t really suggest any particular meaning. For this reason, they are used in news reports and informational films. If you don’t want to make your character look more or less important, or if you don’t want to make a character look scared or scary, then eye-level is the angle to use.
This involves placing the camera lower than the subject or character, and looking up at them. You can place the camera on a tripod, or hold it in your hand, depending on your purposes. The camera should be lower than the subject. You could even rest the camera on the ground, pointing upwards, depending how dramatic you want your shot to look.
The low-angle shot is also known as the superhero shot because it can make a character look more powerful or more important to your audience. Aiming the camera up at your character makes your shot more dramatic. If you want a character to look more important or stronger than another character — such as when a character is bullying someone, an adult is talking to a child, or a superhero is saving someone — then the low-angle is the shot to use.
Point-of-view (POV) shots
This is where the camera acts as the character so the audience sees what the character sees. To do this, you may want to ask your actor to hold the camera or simply ask your camera operator to move as the character would. Point-of-view shots are best filmed handheld because the movement adds realism to the shot.
Point-of-view shots are not used often, but when they are, they can add suspense and energy to the shot, such as in chase scenes to make the audience feel as if they are in the chase. They are also used in horror scenes to add suspense and make a scene more scary.
This is where the camera is purposely tilted to one side making the shot look off balance. You can create this effect by simply tilting the camera to one side. If you are using a tripod you may have to lower one of the legs to create this effect.
The Dutch-tilt angle is also known as the canted angle, and it’s used in a scene to make the shot look more dramatic and to purposely disturb the audience and make them feel uncomfortable. If you want to add a bit of madness to a character or make a scene feel uneasy, then the Dutch tilt is the angle to use. This technique should not be overused or used for no reason because it can distract your audience and could have the wrong effect on your scene.