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Low angle

Low angle

Low angle shots are often used to convey a sense of power.

In Drive (2011), director Nicholas Winding Refn uses a low angle shot of The Drive (Ryan Gosling) holding a hammer after threatening a ganster.

In Serenity (2005), Joss Whedon shoots Jayne (Adam Baldwin) from a low angle when he delivers the line, “Let’s be bad guys.”

Low angle shots can also be used to make buildings and other locations seem imposing or intimidating. Something to keep in mind if you’re creating a haunted house film.

Of course, low angle shots don’t always create a sense of power and dominance. As Bordwell and Thompson point out, films would lose much of their “uniqueness and richness” if filmmakers stuck hard and fast to these rules of framing like this.

Nevertheless, if you need to convey a sense of power and dominance, try out a low angle shot and see how it works in your scene!