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Pans

The dolly shot moves along with the action in a scene, but the pan shot follows the action from a fixed position—the camera moves rotationally on the horizontal axis. Turn your head from left to right, and you've just seen what a pan shot looks like. Camera pans are great for establishing shots, either with a full shot or close-up. This use of a pan is sometimes called reframing a shot. Simply put, reframing a shot can be thought of as a "slight pan." For example, two characters on the street are having a dialogue, then a cut-away shot to above the characters from an eyewitness standpoint introduces a new character. When the shot cuts away, a slight pan can be used to reframe the shot so that the eyewitness's face enters the frame. Directors typically use pan shots to view a panorama, such as a landscape or large room, that does not fit into a single static shot. It's also a great way to follow characters as they move. Figure 9 shows a large scene with two shots representing the starting and ending points of a pan shot.

Figure 9 Figure 9 A long street viewed from an angle has a fixed camera that moves from left to right. This example shows the beginning and ending frames of a pan shot.

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