Your Favorite Camera Shot


What is your favorite camera shot and why?
my two are the ariel view and the over-the-shoulder

  1. ariel shot just because i think it looks cool, even though you realy can not use it to much. i like how it can be used to give the viewer a overwhelming sense of awe.
    2.over-the-shoulder because of the intimacy that it can introduce the viwer to .and if done well it works really well.

link to basic camera moves and a brief description



Favourite shots haha… sooo many…

The Hitchcock : Moving backwards while zooming forwards, creating a warped perspective. Symbolising somebody suddenly feeling like everything they thought they knew is changing.

The Fincher : Having a still camera shot, with the focus depth at about 2 metres out, and having the entire scene 10 metres or more out. Then the actor walks into to the 2 metre marker. Creating a slow entry where the person is slowly becoming detailed.

The Tarantino : Whenever a person opens a briefcase/car boot/toilet/whatever, the camera looks from the inside of whatever it is, up at the person.

The Tarantino 2 : Long shots on one person, while someone off camera is talking.

The Scorsese : Long tracking shots. Goodfellas most notably. The shot when Ray Liotta enters the nightclub through the rear entrance… pure gold.

The Kubrick : Extreme close ups of people.


Those are some good examples , will def. have to keep those in mind and take a better look at how the shots are setup.thanks for the post. i like Tarantino’s style of film making, but not sure about the storylines.looks like im going to have to look at some vintage Hitchcock now.


funny, i like Tarantinos scripts but dislike his directing.

I know it will sound dumb, but my advice would be to watch movies and pay attention to their setups rather than just reading what they all are in a book.

To quote the aforementioned Quentin Tarantino:

"When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘no, I went to films’ "


The shots i mentioned aren’t actually called those things, but myself and a regular co-writer/director friend of mine always refer to them by the people who made the shots their own.

If anything, i hope it inspires you to create your own shots rather than always using what you know works


I like any kind of dolly shot, particularly when they are done on people standing still eg. a wide shot of a person dollying in to a closeup or vice versa. Done in slow motion, the dolly moving towards or a away from an event or person can really be quite dramatic.

The only example I can think of right now is in Field of Dreams when the Doc is about to disappear into the corn and Shoeless joe yells “Hey Rookie”. The Doc stops walking and turns slowly toward the camera as it dolly’s in close.

One of my favourite camera shots in a film was in Fight Club. That film really did destroy alot of concepts about how to shoot with a camera. The shot of Ed norton in the kitchen sitting down as Brad Pit Walks towards and behind the camera. instead of doing a cut or panning right, the camera simply pans up and turns upside down to reveal Brad walking away in a shot that is completely upside down. It’s quite a bold camera shot because it risks breaking the audiences attention as their window to another world is litterally turned on it’s head, but the shot empasized the dual inverted nature of Ed nortons character (for me it did anyway :smiley: )


yes that was good advice though about looking at the films. i have started actually “looking” at the films instead of just viewing will def. inspire me to , as i am learning to storyboard i have been trying to push the limits of what works and trying to figure out what shots actually work and what doesnt and not just use safe shots. thanks


that is one of my fav. films and yes i remember that shot, that was a good was really favorite shot at the end was when they pull out and have a birds eye view of the people coming to the field and seeing all the cars and lights.


These are my favorite camera shots:

The Tim Burton: Only a director with a fine eye for artistic expression can pull side profiles as good as this.

The De Palma: It’s the camera shots that make the film memorable, not so much about the actor but rather the camera angles that compliments their performance.

[left]The [color=sandybrown]Myrick and [/color]Sanchez: These guys know how to scare people with creative design and camera cuts.[/left]


I like the jib-boom (is that what they’re called?) shots, where the camera smoothly tracks from shoulder level to maybe thirty or forty feet in the air. Really expensive in real life–which is one reason I like CG so much.


Those shots are expensive, but only because the special camera cranes are really pricey. Not as pricey as helecopter shots though, which also look fantastic when done right.


Hand Held:
The messy hand held shots done mostly on the shoulder. It worked brilliantly for Saving Private Ryan and the rest of the war movies that spawned from SPR.

I also like perspective shots. All those shots in Top Gun when the camera is mounted directly on the wing or in the cockpit.


good stuff man, i really like the cinematography , i talk to a couple of ww2 and vietnam vets who that it was the most realistic war film that they have ever seen, so those are some good examlples. i personally like the hand held look also.


Well, many of mine are completely CGI (unsurprisingly!).

One of my favourites would have to be the shot in Return of the King when the Rohhirim charged towards the Easterlings and the Mummakill smashed their tusks into them. Good stuff. :smiley:


My favorite shots are something like:

    Minority Report:

The very last sense where the camera pan from the inside of the house, panning out of the window, then pan upon the sky, backwards. (Not sure what sort of that shoot called, but that’s my first favorite! - always wondering how to shoot like that.)

    Van Helsing:

Fast zooming fly-through(?), the village scenes, followed with the arrow from the ground to sky. It looks really nice, I found.

    Panic Room:
   Low angled shots (of the house or whatever), I find them some sort of  dramatic.
    The Incredible (Anim.):

Fast Ariel shot (?). The sense where the boy ran across the river with the bullets shot into the river and the water spits up vertically. Really nicely done I think.

  There're more of course, just yet to the re-corded right now.


I don’t know if this could count as a “Camera Shot”, and instead could be described more as “Camera Shot Technique”, but I think the camera work in ‘Friday Night Lights’ is definitively one that should be mentioned… especifically, I liked how they constantly and effectively make use of tight DOF, heavily relying on focusing points, first here and then there – I don’t recall (to my knowledge) seeing a movie that relied single-handedly on this sole effect.

What do u guys think?


i really liked these to, more so the Van Helsing shot though. the arial shot is really nice. and the part where the wolf comes out of now where to attack them, it was a good idae to stage it like that . it was more dramatic i think.


i love most of the shots in sofia coppola’s Lost In Translation, especially the shot where we see Scarlett sitting by the window looking at Japan’s skyline…something bout that shot, beautiful


My favorite Camera shot is the bugs-eye view. It can be used to exagerate size and add a dimension of tension to a shot pending on the lighting it also can add a bit of mystery if shot from say beneath a car and something is going on just in front of the camera.


Interesting. I’ve been noticing almost an abuse of the handheld camera technique lately. For example, the kitchen fight scene in The Bourne Supremacy was a disastrous misuse of handheld.

I really noticed it over the weekend. We went to see The Exorcism of Emily Rose (the wife likes a good spooky story) and there was one sequence where the whole thing was done in handheld without any reason at all. The whole jittery camera effect made no sense in the context of the sequence, which was disappointing since the rest of the cinematography was so beautifully done.