View Full Version : Shots and Emotions

02-28-2013, 09:01 AM
Hello everyone. I am writing my short script out and I am just having so much fun do so. Every night I get some starbucks, I hope on the forum at star bucks, I read topics like the last one Director added I think it was Writing Tips and Tricks and I get motivated and I write. I write for about two hours at a time. I have come to a little bump in the road though....

Because I want to direct this, I want to add the shots list as I write. My problem is;

How do you choose your shots that are dealing with emotional moments, or intense moments? Like what angle? And how do I achieve the greatest effect in getting the audience to feel that emotion as well.

Nick Soares
02-28-2013, 09:18 AM
Wow Paul, Its so exciting to see how much you have grown in your knowledge, just from the questions you are asking I see you have learned so much here, and that always gets me pumped up!

Ok, so great question. And honestly to get the best answer you should watch some of the best examples of these shots would be to watch some movies that give great examples of shots that deal with emotion.

There are so many, the key here is to watch studio films and now instead of watching as a viewer, you need to watch as a filmmaker. Every shot and angle look and listen. Look at the shots, be it a Crane shot, a dolly shot, steady cam, and listen to the sounds during those shots. These were invented to make the camera invisible to the viewer, but now that you know to focus on them you will learn so much.

That is my opinion anyway :)

If you want some examples now, I can do that as well. Just let me know

02-28-2013, 07:49 PM
Thank you Nick. So if you will,

Lets say I have an intense moment where the lead actress realizes that her boyfriend was the kill all along. That would be a good time to have a "dolly in?" right? Like from a wide shot, to a close up.

Nick Soares
02-28-2013, 08:43 PM
Hey Paul, that is exactly right! Something that you might also want to look into is a "steven speilberg" :)

Dolly in Zoom out - This kind of shot was first performed by Steven Speilberg in the move "JAWS"

That shot would be great for something like that, add some strings to the audio and BAM, you got yourself a great shot!!!

Hope that helps

02-28-2013, 09:14 PM
Damnnnnnn Nick, If I could give you a vertual huge I would.. You just got me past my writers block... Please you FMF!

Vance Baryn
02-28-2013, 09:17 PM
Hitchcock used that technique in "Vertigo" 17 years before "Jaws." Not to contradict the illustrious forum owner or anything ;-)

Nick Soares
02-28-2013, 09:24 PM
I stand corrected. Ok, so do the "Vertigo" shot :o

Dolly in zoom out, or zoom in dolly out - All depends on the feel you are trying to achieve!

Thanks Vance for the INFO!

03-01-2013, 08:45 AM
I didn't even know that was how that shot was done, sweet. Hey Paul, Im with you man. I don't have work today so I will be making a margerita soon and will dim my lights and write write write!

03-01-2013, 09:03 AM
Okay, Paul, I'm just going to thank you for posting this because of what I learned from reading it. Though I'm less in the mood to write than to watch Jaws now. Heh.

03-02-2013, 02:08 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses, it got me over the bump in the road!

03-02-2013, 09:56 PM
1.you could use a curved dolly shot but they would need to be setting start with the camera on one character they start talking and the camera starts to move around to the other you could mess with speed of the movement or even use the camera passing the back of the head as a wipe
2. put one higher than the other then to the same level then have one move closer ( id have the lens size get wider and wider with each cut to tension)
3.have them both in frame but only the one that will hear the news center frame then push in slowly
4. use the old level change
5. use a profile shot focus on one the pull focus to the other

03-04-2013, 03:10 PM
Nick's right on with his watch-the-movies advice.

Watch, watch, watch--but not as a casual viewer. Watch with a critical eye--what worked and what didn't? Usually, in a Hollywood production it almost all works.

By watching short amateur films, you can see how many techniques fail--then you ask yourself why...and learn from that.

Tons of short films on youtube...some really good, some downright silly.

Kurt Hathaway
VikingDream7 Productions
Video Production & Editing


03-04-2013, 06:16 PM
Great ideas guys! Thanks for the info. Tonight I shall watch "THE MATRIX"

03-05-2013, 04:29 PM
Nick can you do a video on this?

Nick Soares
03-06-2013, 05:00 PM
Nick can you do a video on this?

Sure Paul, I will add this to the list of videos to do

03-06-2013, 06:53 PM
I actually used that same dolly shot in Tied in Knots, I even included it in the trailer. It's called a rolling dolly shot with a focus pull. However, it is not easy to achieve. You need your cinematographer, your grip pushing the dolly in a steady, even motion, then you need your focus puller who really knows his shit. It took us three takes to get it right. If you can achieve it, it's an awesome block. And by the way, it requires at least 15' of dolly track for it to really capture the effect. HEre it is. If you don't want to watch the entire trailer it happens at 2:18 in: "Tied in Knots" Movie Trailer Winner "Best Comedy" 2010 Mojave Film Festival - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_azNvbhoQs&feature=share&list=PLOsRoBdyy2u2nUH3XYEWKJMm44j_uxceF)

Regarding your question. When you say emotional, that covers a large area, but I took it to mean a tender, or touching moment. Then you went on to add "like when the woman realizes her boyfriend is the actual killer". That is a "piano on the head" moment.

Here's what you can do, and I just discovered this recently (although I'm sure it's been done a thousand times). Set your camera on a dolly with no track, on a fairly level surface, preferably concrete floor. Have the actor stand stark still. Then, from 15' or 20 feet away, just run the camera up to the actor until you have their face framed. You will get this shaky, jittery movement that, done right, really looks good.

Alternatively, if you're editing with Final Cut Pro, there is a filter called "Echo" where you can get close to that same effect. Only, you stand still, the actor stands still, and you just zoom in tight.

Nick Soares
03-06-2013, 08:07 PM
Testing the "Start at this point" feature on youtube (Never done it before so I thought I would try :)



03-06-2013, 09:07 PM
Nick, of course it didn't work, but you fell right into my evil trap by placing another link to my video, thereby giving me an extra YouTube hit.