Horror Cinematography

5 Cinematography Tips for Horror Filmmakers

Horror is one of the most interesting and Specific genres in the industry which needs unique techniques.

Horror Films are all about lighting, tone, texture, and mood. Unlike other genres that solely depend on acting and character.

A great horror film would also have a great plot and great dialogue delivery but your job as a cinematographer will be beyond that.

These 5 tips for horror filmmakers will effectively help you deliver the best horror film to your audience and will set guidelines for you to follow during shoots.

Let’s get started!

1. Shoot From a Distance

Shoot from a distance
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While many filmmakers are inclined towards close-up shots but doing the exact opposite can give you better results.

The closeup shots may give you an intense look but shooting from a distance will give a better shot.

Imagine a scene wherein an actor is sitting alone in his bedroom, a close-up shot of the actor may show some extra intense emotions.

But imagine a scene where the scene is shot from outside of his room from a good distance. The scene will end up looking more realistic and powerful.

This way you’re showing isolation of the character but also a voyeuristic and unsettling feeling.

Also, shooting through a pane of glass will increase the intensity of the shot.

2. Underexpose in the Scene

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Some cinematographers have drilled in their heads that exposing everything in the scene will only result in the best horror movie.

For a horror movie, underexposing can turn out to be very effective as it will create more space in the frame for a more mysterious shot.

Although you can edit the frame and darken it but the end result won’t be much effective.

Underexpose your scene in a way that it looks organically light and intense.

3. Add Fog

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Almost every horror movie will have a fog or haze scene because it adds so much texture to the shot.

This is one of the oldest yet most effective tricks in horror filmmaking which will never go out of fashion.

There’s no substitute for the hazing scene because the mood and feel fog can bring is unmatchable especially for the horror genre.

Just like underexpose, adding fog will add a mysterious mood to the entire scene.

4. Add Colours in the Scene

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Adding colours can add a lot of horror effects to the scene especially the Red colour. Adding colours can help you deliver the horrifying scene that your audience demand.

So, add colours that look good in your scene and don’t use lights as other photographers use.

But make sure you only add the lights where it’s needed and don’t add unnecessary lights in the scene.

5. Find Unique and Scary Angles

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The most common example of a scary angle is the tilt which is also known as Dutch tilt.

Be creative while choosing the perfect angle for the shot and go with the one that suits the scene perfectly.

There are several other views such as bird’s eye view and low angle shots which can help you create the vibe of a horror film.

It’s a Wrap!

The tips for horror filmmakers will surely help you deliver the best in your shoot and will create a base for all the shots.

But do you wish to explore more in filmmaking and cinematography?

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