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

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High Angle Shot

Covering any shot of a person or action from a higher vantage point immediately informs the audience of an implied meaning. The grammar of a high angle shot often yields an understanding within the viewer that who they are seeing on screen is smaller, weaker, subservient, diminutive, or is currently in a less powerful or compromised position. Through foreshortening and through “compressing” the character into the floor or ground around them, the camera keeps the subject down and makes him or her physically appear shorter or smaller (Figure 2.24).

If the high angle shot represents a point-of-view shot from another character, then the implied meaning is that the character that is up higher in the film’s world is looking down on ...

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