In film, the overhead shot is a creative angle from which to shoot that provides the audience with a different and unusual perspective on a scene. Want to try it out? Here are some of the best ways to use an overhead shot in your filming.
Make the Subject Look Small
Shooting from a high angle above the subject is one way to make the subject look small. The angle can be used to make the subject appear physically small—for example, when emphasizing the small stature of a young child. It can also cause a character to appear weak or powerless in a particular scene or situation, communicating this visually to the audience.
As a POV Shot
On the flip side, an overhead shot can be taken from the perspective of a character positioned above another. This communicates a character’s physical height, power, or authority to the audience. It does this by making other characters and objects appear small in comparison.
Capture Vertical Action
Most scenes take place horizontally, but in certain scenes—such as fight scenes in an action film—the action may be vertical. Overhead shots help you to capture this action and emphasize the upward or downward motion of characters or objects.
Show a Scene From Above
One commonly used type of overhead shot is the aerial shot, sometimes referred to as God’s eye view or a bird’s eye view. This shot captures the entirety of a scene from above, allowing the audience to see the whole scope of the setting and its characters from above. This type of overhead shot can be a bit jarring, but it also makes the audience pay special attention to a scene and can be used to highlight something symbolic about it.
Now that you know the best ways to use an overhead shot, be sure you’re also shooting your overhead video effectively. An effectively set up and well-taken overhead shot will be far more appealing than a novice one. When used correctly, overhead shots in your filming will improve your filming, making it more dynamic and visually interesting.