The birds eye view is a film technique that is used to showcase a scene from an elevated perspective, typically from above. This style of filming provides a unique and broad view of the setting and allows the audience to see the entire landscape and all its details. It is a useful tool for storytelling as it provides a sense of scale and can convey the size and scope of the location, making it an important tool for filmmakers to have in their toolkit.

History of Birds Eye View Film Technique

The first recorded use of the birds eye view film technique was in the late 1800s, with the advent of aerial photography. This was achieved through the use of balloons and later, airplanes, which allowed filmmakers to capture breathtaking footage of cities and landscapes. In the early days of film, this technique was mainly used for documentaries, but it has since become a staple of many different film genres, including action, drama, and even comedy.

Benefits of Birds Eye View Film Technique

One of the main benefits of the birds eye view film technique is its ability to provide a sense of scale and scope. This style of filming allows the audience to see the entire landscape, including the buildings, roads, and other features, making it an important tool for establishing a sense of place. In addition, it can also be used to highlight the relationship between different elements in a scene, such as characters and their surroundings.

Another benefit of birds eye view film technique is its ability to add a sense of drama and tension to a scene. By filming from above, filmmakers can create a sense of detachment, as the characters are viewed from a distance and seem small in comparison to the larger setting. This can be particularly useful in action scenes, as it allows the audience to see the scope of the action and the relative positions of the characters.

aerial photograph of Boston taken by Jame Wallace Black from an air balloon in 1860
In 1860, photographer James Wallace Black and his balloon navigator Samuel Archer King took the first aerial photo in the US. They took 8 shots from a tethered balloon called “The Queen of the Air” over Boston, Massachusetts on October 13, 1860. However, due to the difficulty in handling the wet collodion plates and the movement of the balloon, only one image was successful. This image taken at an altitude of 1200 feet remains the earliest surviving aerial photo. This photo is known to have been preceded by aerial photographs taken by French photographer Gaspar Félix Tournachon two years earlier. Tournachon’s photographs no longer exist however.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the birds eye view film technique is an important tool for filmmakers to have in their toolkit. It provides a unique perspective and allows for a sense of scale and scope, adding a sense of drama and tension to scenes. Whether used in documentaries, dramas, or action movies, the birds eye view film technique is a versatile and effective tool for storytelling.

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