This detailed video essay analyzes brilliant instances of camera movement.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a camera movement is worth three thousand. In fact, so much information and emotion can be communicated through camera movement that many top directors prefer to let their cameras, rather than their characters, speak the film’s most important lines.
As all great directors and cinematographers know, the camera has agency. It can whisper, yell, stalk, cope, abandon, and decide to hide information or to reveal it. It can even wander through scenes, becoming a character unto itself.
A new video essay by CineFix breaks down dozens of brilliant uses of camera movement in contemporary and classic cinema, revealing their motivations and intended effects. From Star Trek to Soy Cuba to Reservoir Dogs, CineFix shows that, when the invisible artifice of the moving camera is suddenly unveiled, important information can be embedded within the movement.
Below, we break down Cinefix’s five examples of camera movement types.