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The best shots in a movie are the ones that connect the cinema to the story and communicate the plot. Whether that’s using a tripod, a stabiliser, or even simply handheld. This is what motivated camera moves are all about and today we’re going to talk about a move we call “coming to a halt”. Welcome to the film look. Give your action scenes extra impact with rocket stock’s muzzle flash and gunsmoke VFX library “Ricochet”. This high calibre pack features over 450 stunning elements. We put a link in the description. Today we are using a page from the book “Master Shots” by Christopher Kenworthy. in particular this chapter on revelations and discoveries page 112 titled moving on if you want to step up your game and connect your shots directly to your story This is the book for you. We haven’t been paid to speak about this book We just think it’s a great resource that every filmmaker should have access to. We’ve put a link if you want to buy this in the description below. Let’s set the scene. EXT. BACK ALLEY – DAY Jimmy nine fingers is being pursued by the police for stealing priceless necklaces from the jeweller’s. He’s finally made a break from the fuzz and runs into a back alley… only to be stopped by Detective Rusty Johnson. There are a few things that aid the effectiveness of this shot, and it all links to the character and story motivation. Firstly you have the character: they are trying to escape a situation. This is why they are running. then they collide with an obstacle – this is why they stop. The shot type changes during the move. The motivation for this is to convey the best possible story at that particular cinematic moment We begin with a wide shot then land in a closeup. The actor’s performance at the beginning of this shot is almost entirely physical. They are running and we understand they’re being chased. By the time they’ve stopped the performance is in the actor’s facial expression This is why we are landing so close at the end of the move The performance is now all in the details. The movement of the shot is complemented in two ways Firstly the character is moving at great speed – the camera matches this speed and closes in. the actor and camera land on their marks at the same time which gives us a sense of fast movement coming to a rapid halt It’s almost like the camera is the one stopping the character which serves as motivation for the camera move itself If we remove the camera movement and instead use static camera The effect of rapid movement coming to a halt is lost but we do retain the effect of the camera becoming an obstacle This type of shot would be very effective if the character knows they have failed to reach their target in time Such as in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indy knows he will never find Marion in the crowd if we have a static character* coupled with a moving camera which stops, the rapid change in speed is lost and feels more like the camera move emphasizes the character’s slow but strong reaction to something this type of shot is also known as the Spielberg face. We’ve added a link to a video on Vimeo in the description below if you want to check it out. It’s definitely worth watching. having three versions of this move is a powerful thing you can make the choice to add or subtract emphasis on certain parts of this move and tailor it to suit your film the tools you use to achieve this will give you slightly different results. If you use a stabiliser for instance, in our case this is a handheld gimbal, You’ll get something which looks more clean-cut and hollywood-esque If you go handheld the story beats will be the same but the move will contribute a more brutal approach which would lend well to a war scene or Documentary style of film you can use this technique for a bunch of different scenarios A boy needs to get home before his mother gets back from the supermarket only to discover when he reaches the house that the car is already on the drive or the protagonist and his love interest are escaping a glass-walled facility but get stopped by a robot killing machine from the future Kenworthy goes into more details such as shot height and more blocking details If cinematography and direction is your passion, it’s definitely worth picking up a copy of master shots And why don’t you vote with your thumbs if you liked or disliked this video. Hit that orange lens cap to subscribe and remember to achieve it one shot at a time Cya!

16 thoughts on “Coming to a Halt | Motivated Camera Moves | The Film Look

  1. You guys always put so much thought and effort into your videos. Great production value and really useful information. It's only a matter of time before you have a million subscribers! Thanks for the great content

  2. Hi guys, big fan of what you do. I wanted to ask an unrelated question, maybe you could help me. The Web didn't give me many results.
    Here it goes: I currently use Yongnuo 900 and 1200 LED lights but I also have an older Hakutatz Softbox that has 9 CFL 45W inside. I really want to "upgrade" this light and use it more often so I was thinking of buying 9 Bonlux 40W LED bulbs that reviewers say are great for video (including DSLR Video Shooter's channel), however people that use them to "upgrade" their softbox only have softboxes with 1 light, I'll be using 9. So, on paper, everything checks out, I'll be swapping 9x45W with 9x40W so no problems there, but will there be other problems I wonder, maybe overheating, that's why I'm asking online anywhere that I can. I hope this question doesn't bother people. Keep up the good work!

  3. Combined with the character movement, it really does feel like a movie. I have this book, now going to dive into it more

  4. I actually preferred the hand-held shot, the micro-jitters in the gimbal shot ruined it for me. Good video, need a bit more work on your gimbal technique.

  5. Another good book about cinematography is The Filmmakers Eye, I'm reading it at the moment and so far its brilliant. Link to get it here:

  6. Awesome tips! Do you plan the shots before shooting them, or do you just shoot many different shots from one scene so you have a lot of possibilities in post?

  7. Oh Jimmy NineFingers, will you ever learn?

    Excellent episode; gonna seek out a copy of that book. That Raiders of the Lost Ark photo time-lapse moment was fantatsic too – never seen that done before

  8. This is really useful thank you – Also I just realised I already have that book on my bookshelf, I must pull it out and read it again to refresh my memory! – Eliza

  9. Great tips guys! I just bought the book. You're welcome. lol I actually can't wait to learn some new stuff, looks really good. And if it's good, Ima get Vol 2 and 3.

  10. I like these camera movement videos, it's the fundamentals of filmmaking. Every shot, every angle, every camera movement should have purpose. That is way more "cinematic" than anything else in storytelling.

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