What is a Push In Shot in Film? Definition and Examples

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A push-in is a camera movement in which the camera moves closer to the subject instead of fx a zoom-in, in which the camera stays in the same position. It is often used to draw the audience’s attention to a particular detail, character, or object. It can create a sense of intimacy, emphasize a moment of realization, or heighten tension.

A push-in can be used for several purposes:

  • To direct the viewers’ attention toward and highlight an important narrative element.
  • Make the audience feel more connected to a subject
  • Build suspense
  • Underline an emotional response

Speed and Gear

A push-in can be done with a handheld camera, a Steadicam, a dolly (dolly in), a boom, a crane, or a drone.

A push-in can be fast but is commonly done very subtly, sneakingly sucking us into the scene.

Here’s a great video from DPCinemaTalk discussing the use of push-in shots in the film, including some nice examples.

Summing Up

A push-in shot involves the camera moving closer to the subject. It is often used to draw the audience’s attention to a particular detail or to emphasize a significant moment. Several types of gear, such as a camera dolly, can be used to create it.

It can create a sense of intimacy, tension, or focus. For example, the camera might slowly push in on a character’s face in a dramatic scene to highlight their emotional reaction.

Author

  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a indie filmmaker, videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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