Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay about the narrative potential of the POV shot.
Movies excel at conveying the sensation of watching and being watched. Photographs and paintings can only give you a snapshot of a given point of view. And video games (despite all the immersive potential of virtual reality) tend to give too much camera control to the player. But film forcefully directs our gaze, flipping fluidly between the perspectives of different subjects.
In a way, all shots are technically point-of-view shots. Even when the camera isn’t assigned to a specific character or device, omniscience is a perspective all its own. As the video essay below suggests, one way of appreciating the narrative potential of the POV shot is by looking at how the technique materializes across different genres.
Implemented correctly, POV shots can let us see what a character sees and feel how they feel. In romantic contexts, this can allow viewers to fall in love alongside protagonists. In dramas, it can help us understand fragile or heightened mental states. Horror films and thrillers frequently use POV to emphasize vulnerability and predatory viewpoints. The possibilities (and the perspectives) are endless.
Watch “The POV Shot — The Art of the Subjective Camera and ‘Point of View Shot’“:
Who made this?
This video about the narrative potential of the POV shot was created by StudioBinder, a production management software creator that also happens to produce wildly informative video essays. They tend to focus on the mechanics of filmmaking itself, from staging to pitches and directorial techniques. You can check out their YouTube account here.
More Videos Like This
- First, here’s more of what to expect from StudioBinder: how filmmakers use camera apertures and what makes them such an essential storytelling tool.
- And here’s another from StudioBinder: a video essay that clarifies the importance of a script breakdown with a look at Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel.
- Here’s StudioBinder’s breakdown of the chiaroscuro lighting effect.
- And here’s the incomparable cinematographer Roger Deakins breaking down how film lighting works.
- If you want to keep riding the StudioBinder cinematography wave, here’s their video essay on how a rack focus shot captures one of Road to Perdition‘s key moments.
- And here’s StudioBinder’s ultimate one-stop guide to how frame rate works.
- The Take (formerly ScreenPrism) has its own video on point of view shots. Here’s their essay on the four best reasons to use an overt POV.