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Cinematography Terminology


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#1 Robin Raskol

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:56 AM

Hi all. I've been self-teaching myself cinematography for the past few years. My question in this thread pertains to what the "accepted" terminology is for certain angles/shots.

 

In terms of framing and the position of the camera in relation to the actor on the X-axis, what are the accepted terms for the camera being placed:

 

- Directly behind the actor.

- Directly in front of.

- Directly profile (this I'm assuming is called merely called "profile")

- An uneven position. For instance, directly behind the talent, but 30 degrees skewed to the right. Or directly profile, but 20 degrees skewed to the left. This is the one I'm most fuzzy on. What do I call this when trying to communicate with other DOPs? 

 

Thanks in advance!


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 12:11 PM

There are no "official" terms for this stuff, it's more a matter of just being clear, so saying "dead frontal angle on the actor" or "flat on to the actor", etc. works fine, same goes for describing being flat on to the back of the actor, etc.  "Profile" works fine for me to describe that right-angle direction.  If it is two actors facing each other, then sometimes the term is a "50/50 2-shot".

 

You might say "3/4" to describe an angle that is neither front, back, or profile, as in "3/4 front" or "3/4 back" angle on the actor, but you could also just say you want to be at an angle with the camera, favoring the front or the back.


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#3 Robin Raskol

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 12:12 PM

Perfect response, thanks much!


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#4 Carl Looper

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 02:40 PM

If working with a sexist crew, while photographing an attractive woman, I'd avoid saying something like "I'm going to do this one from behind".

 

As I discovered the other day.

 

C


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