c. Optical effects are mechanical methods done in the laboratory to re-
establish action and make transitions between sequences. The most common opticals
are fade-in and fade-out, wipes, dissolves, and swish pans.
The swish pan is a
panning shot in which the camera moves so fast that the action is blurred and
These effects can be made with a television editing system when
shooting TV tape.
These techniques are all part of filming a production. That is, you control
all the action. You must first understand what makes a good film. Once you have
mastered the techniques, then you will find it rather simple to make good films or
Using camera angles and techniques. By combining three different techniques-
-changing camera angles, varying subject distance, and changing camera height--you
reach the ultimate in getting the most interest and variation from the basic
sequence. This is not to say that you must use all the variations at all times.
Each separate scene will vary as to shooting possibilities, and it is impossible to
make definite rules, or if they were made, they would be impossible to follow.
Rely on your judgement, and eventually your experience, to make decisions on camera
angles and techniques.
a. Camera angles.
Although the subject of camera angles is different from
that of the basic sequence breakdown, the two are very closely tied together. Look
again at Figure 2-1 and examine the soldier field-stripping a rifle.
three scenes had been shot a little differently, the quality of the sequence could
have been greatly improved.
A simple way to build interest at this point is to
change the camera angle between each of the scenes.
When you bring the camera
closer for each scene, change its angle at the same time, as shown in Figure 2-2.
(1) Very often mechanical features of the terrain force you to make a
change in your camera angle. Using Figure 2-1 as an example, it is possible that
an object such as a cabinet might be in the way, causing you to shoot from the rear
of the table instead of the side.
(2) When changing camera angles, be careful that you do not suddenly
reverse or change the camera position to an excessive degree between any two
If the reversal or change is too abrupt, the scene may look as if an
entirely different subject is used. By the time viewers realize what has happened,
they may have lost the plot.
A good rule to follow is never change angles more
than 45 degrees between shots.