Back Parallax

In this post we’ll talk about simple, but extremely effective camera move. As you can see in the video above, the camera is pivoting around the actor. This results in heavy back parallax (background is moving really fast).

This effect is further enhanced by using telephoto lens. The longer the focal length, the faster the background will move.

This move becomes extremely effective, when the director knows why to use it. One of the great opportunities for using this camera move is when we want to symbolize character’s train of thoughts. This usually happens when the character:

  • reveals new information
  • realizes/discovers something
  • becomes confused

P.S. This camera move became one of the signatures in Michael Bay’s movies. (The other one is teal and orange look. Click here to read more about this color grading “virus” and here for a tutorial by Stu Maschwitz, where he explains how to achieve this look.)

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