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Inside out

Inside out

Although it can be a bit cliched, positioning your camera inside an object – such as a refrigerator, cupboard, shelf or bag stuffed with cash – is a great way to create depth in your shot. It creates a natural frame-within-a-frame and draws your viewer’s eye to the subject.

Examples of the inside out shot

The television series Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul use this technique frequently. Throughout Breaking Bad, the camera was positioned inside a tumble dryer, frying pan, refrigerator and bag full of cash. Vince Gilligan and his collaborators continued the trend of using this shot in Better Call Saul, shoving the camera inside letter boxes and, during one episode, from within a toilet.

This style of shot has become a trademark Quentin Tarantino who frequently positions the camera inside the trunk of a car. The so-called ‘trunk shot’ appears in Death Proof, Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Volume 1 and Kill Bill Volume 2.

Director Robert Zemeckis uses this type of shot in Flight, when a pilot struggling with alcoholism played by Denzel Washington arrives in a hotel room to discover a refrigerator full of alcohol.

The ever decreasing size of cameras means that you can position cameras in all manner of interesting places to create inside out shots.