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Overshot

Overshot

An overshot is often used to convey absolute powerlessness.

In Thor (2011), director Kenneth Branagh uses an overshot of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) when he’s seriously wounded by The Destroyer, an immense iron golem unleashed upon earth by his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). The first overshot shows a wounded Thor hitting the ground. When she realises how serious his injuries are, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) steps away and Branagh lingers on a the close up overshot of Thor.

In The Shawshank Redemption, when Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) reaches his lowest ebb and is nearly beaten to death by fellow prisoners, director Frank Darabont cuts to an overshot of the men savagely beating Dufresne with their fists.

In addition to creating a sense of absolute powerlessness, this camera angle can also seem very novel, providing the audience with a glimpse of something from an angle that they’re not used to. Low budget cranes and drones can be used to achieve these types of unusual shots.