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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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Vertical Camera Angles

In our examples thus far, the camera has been on an even plane with the object of interest—our actor’s head. In other words, if his head is 4 feet off the ground then our camera and the taking lens (the lens that is actually recording the image) are also 4 feet off the ground (see Figure 2.22).

The general guideline to follow is that the camera and its lens should be looking at the subject from the same horizontal plane as the subject’s eyes. This generates a neutral angle on action. The camera is positioned to observe the people, actions, or events from the same height as where the people exist or where the action takes place. An audience can better relate to the characters as equals. Once you raise the camera position ...

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