IMDb Polls

Poll: Important Cinema Camera Movements

The cinematographer decides how to frame the shots and takes care when selecting the most appropriate camera moves. The effect that each move has can vary significantly in how it makes the viewer feel. It takes something to turn a few actors and a movie set into something cinematic, evocative and occasionally iconic.

Here are some of the most important camera movements. Which camera movement do you find most influential in cinema?

After voting, Discuss the poll here.

Read the article used for creating the poll here

Make Your Choice

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    Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (1965)

    Aerial Shot - An exterior shot filmed from the air.
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    Sissy Spacek and William Katt in Carrie (1976)

    Arc Shot - A shot in which the subject is circled by the camera.
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    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

    Bridging Shot - A shot that denotes a shift in time or place, like a line moving across an animated map.
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    Maria Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

    Close Up - A shot that keeps only the face full in the frame.
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    John Wayne in The Searchers (1956)

    Medium Shot - The shot that utilises the most common framing in movies, shows less than a long shot, more than a close-up.
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    Peter O'Toole stars as T.E. Lawrence

    Long Shot - A shot that depicts an entire character or object from head to foot.
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    Lee Van Cleef in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

    Cowboy Shot - A shot framed from mid thigh up, so called because of its recurrent use in Westerns.
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    Agnes Moorehead, George Coulouris, and Harry Shannon in Citizen Kane (1941)

    Deep Focus - A shot that keeps the foreground, middle ground and background ALL in sharp focus.
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    Roy Scheider and Lorraine Gary in Jaws (1975)

    Dolly Zoom - A shot that sees the camera track forward toward a subject while simultaneously zooming out creating a woozy, vertiginous effect.
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    Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive, and Ernest Thesiger in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

    Dutch Tilt - A shot where the camera is tilted on its side to create a kooky angle. Often used to suggest disorientation.
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    The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    Establishing Shot - A shot, at the head of the scene, that clearly shows the locale the action is set in.
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    Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Amy Robinson in Mean Streets (1973)

    Handheld Shot - A shot in which the camera operator holds the camera during motion to create a jerky, immediate feel.
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    Carrie Fisher, David Prowse, Harry Fielder, and Ron Conrad in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

    Low Angle Shot - A shot looking up at a character or subject often making them look bigger in the frame.
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    Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    High Angle Shot - A shot looking down on a character or subject often isolating them in the frame.
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    Diane Keaton in Manhattan (1979)

    Locked-Down Shot - A shot where the camera is fixed in one position while the action continues off-screen. It says life is messy and can not be contained by a camera.
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    Tom Hanks and John F. Kennedy in Forrest Gump (1994)

    Library Shot - A pre-existing shot of a location that is pulled from a library. Aka a "stock shot".
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    Planet of the Apes (1968)

    Matte Shot - A shot that incorporates foreground action with a background, traditionally painted onto glass, now created in a computer.
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    Independence Day (1996)

    Money Shot - A shot that is expensive to shoot but deemed worth it for its potential to wow, startle and generate interest.
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    Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in The Godfather (1972)

    Over-The-Shoulder Shot - A shot where the camera is positioned behind one subject's shoulder, usually during a conversation. It implies a connection between the speakers as opposed to the single shot that suggests distance.
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    John Travolta in Blow Out (1981)

    Pan - A shot where the camera moves continuously right to left or left to right. An abbreviation of "panning".
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    Brian Andrews in Halloween (1978)

    POV shot - A shot that depicts the point of view of a character so that we see exactly what they see.
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    Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh in Touch of Evil (1958)

    The Sequence Shot - A long shot that covers a scene in its entirety in one continuous sweep without editing.
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    Russian Ark (2002)

    Steadicam Shot - A shot from a hydraulically balanced camera that allows for a smooth, fluid movement.
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    Nashville (1975)

    Tilt - A shot where the camera moves continuously Up to Down or Down To Up. A vertical panning shot.
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    Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976)

    Top Shot - A shot looking directly down on a scene rather than at an angle. Also known as a Birds-Eye-View shot.
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    Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory (1957)

    Tracking Shot - A shot that follows a subject be it from behind or alongside or in front of the subject.
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    William H. Macy and Henry Gibson in Magnolia (1999)

    Two-Shot - A medium shot that depicts two people in the frame. Used primarily when you want to establish links between characters or people who are beside rather than facing each other.
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    Nick Frost and Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz (2007)

    Whip Pan - A shot that is the same as a pan but is so fast that picture blurs beyond recognition. Usually accompanied by a whoosh sound.
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    The Conversation (1974)

    Zoom - A shot deploying a lens with a variable focal length that allows the cinematographer to change the distance between camera and object without physically moving the camera.
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    Vivien Leigh, Marvin Davis, Trevor Bardette, Ann Bupp, Gino Corrado, Lester Dorr, Leona McDowell, Emerson Treacy, Dan White, Phyllis Woodward, Spencer Quinn, Richard Clucas, Louisa Robert, Susan Falligant, Jeanette Noeson, Dawn Dodd, Dolores Dean, Lola Milliorn, and Stephanie Toler in Gone with the Wind (1939)

    Crane Shot - A shot where the camera is placed on a crane or jib and moved up or down. Think a vertical tracking shot.

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