September 12, 2017 at 1:22PM


Camera Movement: What Motivates You?

A little while back, I wrote a short paper for no one other than myself detailing both the kinds of movements possible with a camera, as well as several examples of their motivation. I found it to be a great exercise in putting a lock on concrete examples to finally flesh out the commonly used phrase "use the camera movement to tell a story". But even so, I find the best kind of learning and expansion of understanding comes from discussing ideas with others.

So, what examples/ideas do all of you have when it comes to your motivated camera movements? How did you come to think of those ideas? Was it a result of performing test shots, something you realized the day you were actually shooting, or something else? Have you ever chosen to cut down on your camera movements the day of a shoot because you realized there was something better to be captured by having a lack of movement? Let's talk about it!


Amazing post! Motivation question always is very acute, but also strongly motivated people can get success.

September 15, 2017 at 12:01AM

Joseph Campbell
Academic writer

Paraphrasing one of my professors back in Prague, but "The camera should always have movement, unless it shouldn't."
My logic is that we don't see the world through our eyes without any movement. Even when we are sitting, our breathing moves out head's perspective slightly back and forth. When we are interested in something, we move in closer to get a better look, afraid we pull away. These are all motivations to guide camera movement in film, or to lock shots down for emotional impact. There are no rules to how a camera should move, it can be to emphasize a situation, or specific thing, or it can be for the spectacle of the movement itself. It's all a creative tool to make visual decisions with.

I personally like to always have some subtle movement in the stuff I shoot. Whether it's a slow zoom, slight dolly movement, or big fast tracking shots.

October 4, 2017 at 11:45AM, Edited October 4, 11:45AM

Dan Hoene

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