June 20, 2015

camera movement blog

This week we’re looking at creative ways to use a slider, jib and tripod. 



One of the toughest aspects of cinematography to understand is camera movement. But it’s a vital part of filmmaking – we’d be crazy not to use motion in our motion pictures.  Take a look at these examples of camera movement in action.



Spielberg knows how to use camera movement to tell stories.  And where better to learn from than his long takes, where the camera has to move from close up, to wide, to reverse without cutting.  And if you can get Tony Zhou to explain things over the top, well…

Here’s the clip from Double Indemnity that I took inspiration from. Barbara Stanwyck really nails this scene I think – the way she enquires about accident insurance policy – just wondering if that’s something he covers. We can tell from her body language that she’s definitely up to something. She subtly dominates the scene, always asking the questions. This is reflected in her movement, she’s the active character while he sits, hypnotised by her anklet.

This powerful scene from Pixar’s “Up” features a slide from left to right, transitioning from one time to another, from one location to another. Note that it comes at an absolutely pivotal moment in the scene. It also syncs up with the change in music, shift in colour, plus we lose the soft filter on the ‘lens’. Something about the camera sliding from one shot to the next sums up how quickly everything changed – from painting a babies room to crying in a grey hospital. Completely visual storytelling here – take notes:

I could literally write an essay about the use of movement in this clip from Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The slow dolly-in when a character’s world is turned upside down (Palaeontologist meets dinosaur, Lawyer see’s huge money opportunity). Tilting up from the feet to the head of the dinosaur to show it’s scale (they could have used a wider lens, but it’s more effective this way). Panning from left to right, and then cutting back to left for another pan as if doing a double take – exactly how the characters feel. So good.


cinematography storytelling


PART 1: Looking at the deeper meaning behind cinematography choices, starting with framing and composition.



lighting cinematiographyblog


PART 2: Going through lots of lighting setups, focusing on the way that we can use lighting to tell a story.


lenses blog


PART 3: How can we use lenses creatively? This week we’re looking at depth of field, focal length, field of view and aesthetics.




visual storytelling


VISUAL STORYTELLING: Looking at the ways we can tell a story visually, rather than always relying on dialogue to explain things.




sachtleraceSachtler Ace Tripod sachtleraceSachtler Ace Tripod
sliderKonova K5 100cm Slider sliderKonova K5 100cm Slider
glidegear jibGlidegear Jib glidegear jibGlidegear Jib



A photo posted by Simon Cade (@cadevisuals) on





Simon Cade

Filmmaker, and host of DSLRguide. Since I was making my first film age 11, I have always been fascinated by the way films are produced, and the effect it can have on the audience.

  • Ricardo

    I can’t watch the Up sequence without getting emotional. It’s brilliant.