July 8, 2018
If you’re new to filmmaking, here are some basic camera techniques that you’ll want to work on.
In the early days of cinema, around the late 1880s, the camera was a stationary storyteller. The technology at the time relegated it to capturing scenes played out right in front of it (usually in a wide shot) because the tripod allowed for zero movement. However, in 1903, director Edwin S. Porter and cinematographer Blair Smith were one of the first filmmakers to incorporate a pan into a film (The Great Train Robbery), and since then, cinematic technology has continued to reach new heights, giving directors and DPs more and more ways of harnessing the power of the moving camera.
So, what’s the deal with this history lesson? Well, it’s simple. Today, we have gimbals and ball heads and friggin’ miniature RC quadcopters that can shoot aerials of an entire city, so we often take simple camera movements for granted, like the pan, tilt, dolly, and boom. In this video, Fandor’s Jacob T. Swinney goes over these four different camera moves in hopes of explaining their significant contribution to storytelling.