Top Ten Most Notable Filming Techniques of Steven Spielberg

BKAllmighty
This list compiles the most commonly used filming techniques used by the father of blockbuster filmmaking, Mr. Steven Spielberg. If you are adding a new entry please add a brief description of what the term means in the respective comment box.

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1Sideways tracking shotsV1 Comment
2Tracking shots

A tracking shot is when a camera follows a person or an object physically moving with the subject. This can be done using tracks, handheld, ropes, a Steady-cam, etc... Spielberg does this a lot! And it's never without reason. These shots can add a lot of dramatic tension to a scene. - BKAllmighty

3Silhouettes against a bright backlight

As many have said, Spielberg almost has a "fetish" for spotlights, beams of light, and backlights. Well, he sort of does. - BKAllmighty

Watch "Jurassic Park" again, count how many times where you see that spotlight.

4Over-the-Shoulder shots

Ever notice it when, in a Spielberg movie, you're looking directly at a character as if standing right behind the shoulder of another character? Well, with Spielberg, you're usually viewing a less-than-savory character over the shoulder of a protagonist with a wide lens. This presents the protagonist as larger and more dominant over the other character. - BKAllmighty

5Wide lens shots

These shots allow us to not only see the important happenings taking place in the foreground, but also show us the entire environment around or behind them. This technique is common in the filmmaking industry but Spielberg really likes to push the boundaries with these shots, I think you'll find. - BKAllmighty

6Framing characters through up-close foreground objects

This shot gives the audience a sense that they're viewing the events on-screen through a peep hole or key hole as if its something we're not really meant to see or necessarily expected to know about. It can also simply represent a moment of intimacy with the character(s) on screen. - BKAllmighty

7Claustrophobic over-the-shoulder shots

Picture the example given for regular over-the-shoulder shots, but with the over-the-shoulder figure taking up most of the shot, with barely any room left for the other actor to fit. This shot is most often used to emphasize the importance of that exact moment and, in particular, the reaction of the actor whose face is visible. - BKAllmighty

8Mirror reflections to close ups

Spielberg has made frequent use of this unique little technique (that sentence sounded funny). The shot will usually start with a shot of a character seen through a reflection of a mirror or window. The character will then typically step out of view of the reflective surface and then suddenly appear in an extremely close face shot. It's essentially a more dramatic entrance. - BKAllmighty

9Match cuts

These transitions are very fun to watch. As the name implies, in a match cut an object (and its placement on the screen) in the second shot matches an object's movements in the first shot. Giving it a unique flow, of sorts. Heck, it sure beats using a straight cut. - BKAllmighty

10Characters approaching the camera for close-ups

There's no technical name for this technique, but Spielberg does it a lot, and he does it well. - BKAllmighty

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List StatsUpdated 26 Sep 2016

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1 year, 92 days old

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1. Tracking shots
2. Sideways tracking shots
3. Wide lens shots
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1. Sideways tracking shots
2. Tracking shots
3. Over-the-Shoulder shots
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