What is a high angle shot in filmmaking?

Show the characters in your videos at their most vulnerable. Learn what a high angle shot is and how it can amplify the drama in films.

Even if you’ve only ever watched videos and movies, you probably still know that there are many different types of shots used in filmmaking. But when you start making videos yourself, you’ll need to know how different shots affect the viewer’s perception. Let’s explore the high angle shot, what it is, and how it makes the viewer feel.

What is a high angle shot?

A high angle shot is a filming technique where the camera looks down at the subject from above. When you see someone or something from a higher perspective, it makes the subject seem smaller. The high angle shot informs the viewer that the subject feels vulnerable or is of lower status than something or someone around them. It can also imply imminent danger and tension.

Alternatively, high angle shots can establish a scene and present the scale of things. For example, this kind of a shot can show the size of a crowd or the great distance a character must travel.

What films use high angle shots?

For examples of high angle shots, you don’t need to look further than films by Alfred Hitchcock. He used the technique to great effect in practically all his films. In Psycho, when Norman Bates kills investigator Arbogast, Hitchcock uses a high angle shot to show how powerless Arbogast is.

Throughout The Lord of the Rings trilogy, we get several high angle views of the movies’ epic battles. Here, seeing the vast armies clashing lets the viewer appreciate the immense scale of the conflict.

You should use high angle shots sparingly to retain their impact, though. With Adobe Premiere Pro, you can easily trim and arrange your shots so that each camera angle works to its full potential. Discover even more video editing tips that can up your filmmaking game.

Explore everything you can do with Premiere Pro to create stunning videos today.