The way a video or film is shot can really affect a viewer’s experience and the overall story. When a DOP or director uses a point-of-view (POV) perspective, the audience sees things through the eyes of a character or object. This technique is also called subjective camera or first-person camera and it gives you the ability to embody the scene.
POV gives you the ability to see life through a character’s unique perspective. For example, if the character is drunk, what you’re seeing may look fuzzy and your view off-kilter. Now you’re immersed in their experience. If a character is very tall or very short, they could see the world differently and a shot reflecting their angle of vision helps you related to their experience.
A subjective POV shows an interior or personal perspective. A sub-genre of this kind of shot is the trunk shot. This is a low-angle reveal is meant to amp up tension and is used literally when a trunk is opened on a subject. Quentin Tarantino is famous for using these shots in movies like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. By contrast, an objective shot is the exterior or observer’s POV; a fly on the wall perspective.
Fear and Suspense
A POV shot is an excellent angle for building suspense or generating fear. Think of the horror film where you see through the eyes of a killer as they pursue a victim. Even better, remember the scene from Jaws where you see what the shark sees. The shark swims below the water’s surface with a buffet of legs dangling above.
POV can literally put you in the driver’s seat during an action shot. If you’ve watched POV video of someone on a roller-coaster, then you know what we mean. Your stomach drops as the car hurtles down the track and flies through loops. It’s a very effective way to feel what the character feels.
It’s hard enough to relate to what it’s like to be another person. Trying to imagine life as another species is even harder. When scientists strap a camera to an animal they’re studying, they get a lot of information on what that animal is doing in their day-to-day life. It’s also pretty cool to see what your dog sees. This GoPro compilation is a thrill ride courtesy of the wild kingdom.
We Cover Every Angle
Shooting POV is really a fiction technique, but it can also be used in corporate video production. The perspective could show a typical day at your company as seen through the eyes of an employee or your product as it moves down the assembly line. Whether we’re shooting POV or using another approach, we know how to use video in a way that gets attention. Call us today for a free quote.