Cameras and cinematography are crucial tools within cinema. Camera angles and effects help construct the scene and overall, the story of the film. Camera and cinematography use various styles in order to grasp what is really happening within the chosen scene and determine the look and feel of the film.
Different camera angles and styles are used for effect in order to depict certain characters in certain ways, to heighten the feel of the scene, or simply to progress the story. No matter what the camera is used for, it is always used for a certain reason. Camera angles that are used for portraying characters, whether they be protagonists or antagonists, help the audience determine they’re overall characteristics and personality. Higher angles are used to depict the character as bigger, stronger and taller. While lower angles illustrate them as smaller, weaker and shorter.
Shots like the birds eye view shows the scene from directly overhead giving it a very strange and unnatural feel. It is often used to make people appear insignificant and allow the audience to feel godlike. Hitchcock often used this sort of shot.
Oblique camera angles, often used in horror movies, are shots in which the camera is tilted to suggest imbalance, transition or instability. This determines the atmosphere of the scene or film. This technique is used as a first person angle allowing the audience to connect with the scene as they see what the character sees. Hand held cameras are used very similar as they provide a very gritty realism to the scene and allow the audience to feel as though they are part of it rather than viewing it from an attached frozen position.
Ariel shots are useful cinematography scenes in which a helicopter flies over a scene. This is often used at the beginning of a film and helps establish the setting and the movement.
These angles and techniques help define the use of cameras and cinematography within film.