Coverage

Coverage is the term used by people in the movie industry for the variety of shots of a scene taken to give options later for editing.  Here are some of considerations:

Shot size:

Master (establishing shot)
Medium (two shot, when there is dialogue)
Close Up (single)

Graphic vectors (the orientation of static elements in the frame):

High/low horizon line
Above below eye level camera
Tilting horizon (dutched camera)

Motion vectors (the direction of motion):

1. primary motion (the motion of things in front of the camera)

2. secondary motion (the motion of the camera itself)
• pan (left right/right left)
• tilt (up/down)
• dolly
• zoom
• push in
• ground level camera accelerating motion
• aerial view
• p.o.v.

3. tertiary motion (the motion created by editing)
• long take
• fast-paced editing
• gradually shortening or lengthening shots to increase/decrease tension
• parallel editing/cross cutting
• montage (kuleshov effect)

Two approaches to coverage:

Christopher Doyle

The DOP on most of Wang Kar-wai’s films, Christopher Doyle is an iconoclast extraordinaire.
He has also shot for Gus Van Sant and M. Night Shyamalan.  This interview will give you a sense of the guy.  As will this piece from the BBC:

Anthony Dod Mantle

If you’ve seen Danny Boyle’s films 28 Days Later, Slum Dog Millionaire or 127 hours you know Dod Mantle’s work.  It gave credibility to some of the Dogme films including Thomas Vinerberg’s Festen and Harmony Korine’s Julien Donkey-Boy. He is one of those DOPs who seem to thrive in adverse conditions and whose creativity really shows when resources are limited.

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