Skip main navigation

Camera movement

Read about camera movement as one of the most powerful aspects of camera to reveal information to the audience. Download resources for use in class.
Scene of children filming in the park with a tablet
© Into Film

When working with your students to create a multi-shot film, they will begin to use different shot types, camera angles and movements.

You learned all about camera shots in Step 1.13, and in this and the following steps we’ll take a look at camera movement and positioning in preparation for creating different types of multi-shot films.

Camera movement is one of the most useful tools in a filmmaker’s armoury. It can be used to reveal information to the audience, or move closer to the subject, providing clearer visual information.

There are a variety of ways of moving the camera:

Handheld

Handheld Camera. The camera is held by a moving camera operator. This can result in shaky footage.

Tracking

Tracking Camera. The camera moves backwards, forwards or sideways along a track which is also known as dolly or truck.

Panning

Panning Camera. The camera moves left or right from a fixed point on a horizontal plane which is similar to a person turning their head to look left or right

Tilt

Tilt Camera. The camera moves from a fixed point on a vertical plane in a similar way to a person raising their head to look up or down.

Steadicam

Steadicam. The camera, steadied by weights, is attached to a camera operator to produce a smoother shot than handheld.

Crane

Crane Camera. The camera is attached to a crane or jib to capture sweeping or extreme high angle shots

Please download the Camera Movements worksheet to help you with your work.

In the next step, we will look at camera angles and then we’ll test your knowledge by seeing how many shots, movements and angles you can recognise in the clip in Step 2.13.

© Into Film
This article is from the free online

Filmmaking and Animation Online and in the Classroom

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education