When you’re planning to use a full shot in your movie, it helps to be aware of your environment. If you’re shooting a full shot for a scene set the morning after a wild party, you’ll want to be sure that the space around your characters has been dressed with props and set decoration to look messy and damaged.
“You’re going to want to have your actor come in and stand in front of the camera so you can get a sense of their eye level and adjust the focal length to fit them,” recommends professional cinematographer Paulius Kontijevas. Depending on how tall your actor is, you may need to move your camera farther away from the actor to get their head and toes in the frame. If you haven’t got the space to move back, have your director of photography switch to a wider camera lens.
“Decide what you want to see and what you don’t want to see,” Kontijevas adds. “Ask yourself if you want to see more of the ceiling or more of the floor, and then zoom in and adjust your camera angle accordingly.”
While camera setups like the high-angle shot or the Dutch angle use the positioning of the camera to give the audience details about a character, the full shot gives the actor the space to convey that information on their own through a stellar performance.