Let’s go crazy

Also known as the Dutch Tilt, this is mainly a cinematic technique involving the tilting of the camera from anywhere between 5 to 90 degrees. Its use can have a powerful effect both visually and emotionally on the viewer and is often used for dramatic effect to initiate feelings of disorientation, unease or madness etc.

Widely used in German Expressionist Art it quickly made its way into German film of the early twentieth century, hence the name “Dutch”, which is a corruption of the word for German: “Deutsch”.

YouTube: The Cabinet of-Dr Caligari

Traditionally this type of shot has always come with a rather large label reading: “WARNING, use with caution”, but on this occasion we will be throwing all caution to the wind and experimenting around with it.

So, don’t forget to turn off the automatic level in the view finder, and go and have some fun with it.

Some examples illustrating the technique

Tips for when on location

  • Its use can heighten feelings of detachment, fear, uneasiness, of psychological distress and tension.
  • Be careful, you can’t just throw a Dutch angle in whenever you feel like it, there has to be a reason for it, it must serve the story you are trying to tell.
  • Choose your subject carefully.

© Andrew James Kirkwood – 2017

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