The Low Angle Shot [Best Camera Angles in Film] #lowangleshot


If you’ve seen our videos
about high-angle shots, you know that a high-angle makes
characters appear weak or vulnerable. Everything stops. In this video, we’re going to look
at the opposite of the high-angle. The Low-Angle Shot. A low-angle shot is a shot where the camera
points up at something. It can be subtle like this. Or extreme like this. Low-angle shots have
three primary functions. They can make a
hero seem powerful. And they can make a
hero seem vulnerable. Although,
this is generally true. Low-angle shots can
sometimes combine elements of both types of low-angle
represented in the same shot. So let’s take a closer look at low-angle shots and figure out how we can use them
to improve our visual storytelling. German expressionist`s films
of the late 1910s and 1920s consistently employed
the use of low-angles. Here’s an example
from “Nosferatu.” The prototypical
vampire film from 1922. Murnau chose this low-angle to make the vampire appear
more menacing in the frame. Now, check this out from Fritz
Lang’s “Metropolis” from 1927. We get a low-angle shot that gives us a real visceral
sense of the massive scale of the Subterranean City. Since the German expressionists filmmakers have used low-angle shots to
depict frightening or intimidating things. Like in this scene from
Orson Welles “Touch of Evil.” But the thing that makes characters
frightening or intimidating is their power. And it wasn’t long
before filmmakers realize that the low-angle shot can
depict a good kind of power too. Check out this legendary shot that introduces John Wayne’s
character in John Ford’s “Stagecoach.” With a camera just
below eye level our movie`s hero seems
particularly heroic and grand. For the last ninety years or so, movie heroes have been
given the same treatment. And these low-angle hero shots don’t need to be very extreme. As long as the cameras,
just a bit below their eye. The effect works. Filmmakers who know
their film grammar, they might combine
it with things like camera movement for a
more pronounced heroic effect. Like in this moment from
Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” But some filmmakers have used low-angle shots to achieve
a very different effect. Let’s take a look at this famous
scene from “Citizen Kane.” Here, we have Charles Foster Kane
played by Orson Welles on the left. He is just been
defeated in an election that he was certain, he’d win. “- Better go home.
Get some sleep. – You too.” To Welles the low-angle
shot was so important here and had to be so extreme. He actually built the set
with removable floorboards. So the camera could get
tucked into the floor. And he knew that if he’d
shot up at his actors, there’d be nowhere to hide the
microphones above their heads. So he built the
ceiling out of canvas which is acoustically
transparent, and put the
microphones above it. Welles understood that this scene isn’t
about Kane strength. It’s about his weakness. “It`s the way they wanted. The people made that choice.” And to show him boxed in with the floor visible in some
of the shots in the ceiling visible and low in others were given not the sense
of boundless heroism, but the sense of
confinement of entrapment. At this point,
you’ve probably picked up on schizophrenic nature
of low-angle shots. We’ve got low-angle shots that make a hero seem powerful, and low-angle shots that
make a hero seem vulnerable. But check out this moment
from the third film in Peter Jackson’s “Lord
of the Rings” series. Here,
we have both types of low-angle represented in the same frame. The slight low-angle here
depicts both Frodo’s heroism and his vulnerability. Remember that the low-angle
shot is more versatile than you might have thought. They can achieve a very broad
range of emotional tones. Now that you’ve got a good
grip on low-angle shots. It’s time to put them to use. Give low-angle shot some
love in your shot list. So if you’d like to
give StudioBinder a try it’s free to use and make shot listing
actually fun and collaborative. And share the results
with us in the comments. We’d love to see what
you can come up with. When you’re ready to expand your
cinematic knowledge a little more check out our other videos. We’ve got great stuff on our
channel to hone your craft. If you like this video,
make sure you subscribe and click the bell icon that you stay
in the loop as new videos are released. Keep your cameras rolling
and until next time. Break a lens. [Music]

Comments 25

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *