Compiled by Thembi Zikalala

Developing basic knowledge of camera angles and shot types will improve your skill and you understand shot-lists well and observe how the Camera creates a greater intimacy between actors and audience.

Here’s 5 Camera Shots Actors should know::

1. Two Shot :

Knuckle City (2019) Bongile Mantsai | Yellowbone Entertainment

  • This shot shows the two heads facing each other in profile to the camera. In a “full two shot,” the two characters are shown from head to toe.
  • This shot is used to establish the relationship between two characters to an action shot with two actors in frame.

2. Over The Shoulder Shot |

Synecdoche, New York | Philip Seymour Hoffman

  • Over the shoulder shots can really influence how the audience interprets a scene. The OTS offers the viewer a new point of view to make the scene more dynamic or provide another character’s perspective on a scene.
  • Create intimacy between two characters in a conversation on an emotional level.

3. Medium Close Shot

Blood Psalms (2020) Thando Thabethe | Yellowbone Entertainment

  • This shot shows the character from the shoulders/chest area up to the top of the head.
  • This shot is tighter than a medium shot, but slightly wider than a close up shot

4. Close Up Shot

Get Out (2017) Daniel Kaluuya | Jordan Peele

  • This shot is an actor’s most important moment on camera. The close-up shot is usually framed from above the shoulders and keeps only the actor’s face in full frame, capturing the smallest facial variations. It’s up to the actor’s skill and focus to shape the story and execute this shot at best.

5. Extreme Close Up Shot:

iNumber iNumber | 2013 Sdumo Mtshali | Donovan Marsh

  • This shot focuses on a small part of the actor’s face or body, like a twitching eye or the licking of lips in order to convey intense and intimate emotions.

5. Wide or Long Shot:

Sew the Winter to My Skin (2018) Ezra Mbagenza | Jahmil X.T. Qubeka.

  • This shot shows the entire object or person and their relation to what surrounds them. Usually confused for an establishing shot, but the camera doesn’t move much and it’s more focused on the characters with their surroundings.

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