Guerrilla Filmmaking 101: Dramatic Angle

ScreenHunter_09 Feb. 21 21.35

Two Riddles Project, dramatic angle

Dramatic Angle,

is a camera composition technique with noticeable and unordinary angles.  Generally, at a high or low angle of an unnatural point-of-view.  Often used for effect, it also implies many messages to the audience, intended by the director or not.

As seen in: The Two Riddles Project (2007)
Most every cut featuring Tim Dorbeshe is warped somehow, reflecting the character’s personality. This angle helps keep attention to the character adding some drama to the dialog. This angle also conveniently avoids capturing furniture on the set.

Dramatic camera angles certainly reflects the personality of the director or cinematographer.  Using it for the sake of using it comes with unexpected consequences.  Are you establishing a style or tone?  Were you implying a voyeur?  The last thing you want is having the audience having visions of your operator holding the camera in his or her hands.

You may ask, “when should I have dramatic angles?”  Back to personal judgements, you may as I do, have aversions to straight and square shots regarded as dull and lack of imagination.  What defines dramatic is the true question.  There are circumstances, a square shot isn’t possible.  You’ll need to avoid your reflection in a mirror or window.  Maybe you’re cramped in a corner or next to furniture.  You have to be creative and get the shot anyway possible. If lucky, you’ll discover the set and the tone are in tandem.  An uncomfortable shoot may capture an uncomfortable mood through the eye of the camera.  Work with it!

Guerrilla filmmaking 101 is a series a posts covering the basics in a quick-footed production.  Every director carries his or her own filmmaking philosophy.



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