Bill Nichlos identifies six modes of documentary films: poetic, expository, participatory, observational, reflexive and performative.

Cinematography/videography is an art of thinking in picture, writing in movement and filmmaking.  Camera is the main medium that takes first place in filmmaking.

In my classes, when I talk about a film/video production, the main purpose is the images and camera position in mechanical and mental way, and my first impression is how the film is recorded and the minds – director and cameraperson – behind that medium.

In this way I see the visible camera character in any films and not the words.

The character of a camera has two interdependent parts:

Mechanical position: The camera movements like panning, tilting, craning, tracking, Steadicam etc.

Mental position: The Framing and aspect ratio: Close shot, long shot, Medium Shot, Panavision, wide screen etc.

Camera angle: Low angle shot, high angle shot, fish’s eye view, bird’s and worm’s eye view etc.


Both parts give a visible personality of camera:

Passive personality:

Camera has a neutrals view like Science and Natural documentaries, newsreel (without any manipulation), educative, informative and history films.


Active personality:

Camera is dynamic and active in different ways:  judgmental, participant, attached, responsible, dedicated, intimate, interactive, curious, etc.


Try to be your own camera. Visualize your thoughts and move your body as a camera moves. With each movement, you would be able to understand the feeling how a camera observes its environment. But there is a big problem with our eyes! Our eyes are not able to make any medium and close shot.

To solve this natural weakness we can create a virtual world by closing our eyes. In this was we are able to fantasize whatever we wish to see.

Those virtual imaginations are the most important ability of a camera.


The camera is the conscious mind. The recorded/filmed pictures – motion pictures – are the rough productions without any sensation regarding to the whole story. The editing is the subconscious mind. It means, “The Editing” is the spirit of the whole film.


Film/video editing is nothing else but “the rhythmical relation between the shots”.

Normally you can find rhythm just anywhere:

– in sport fields/gymnasium, basketball, table tennis, football…

– In nature: raindrops, wind, sea waves, earthquake, smokes in the air…

– Human body movements, clapping hands, mouth movements – while eating or speaking, eyes…

I can name billion of those kind of examples.


Rhythm is “Timed movement through space”.


Film /video Editing, strongly shapes viewers’ experiences, even if they are not aware of it. Editing contributes a great deal to a film’s organization and its effect on spectators.

Editing together any two shots permits the interaction, through similarity and difference, of the purely pictorial qualities of those two shots. (David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson)

The four aspects of mise-en-scene (lighting, setting, costume and the behavior of the figures in space and time) and most cinematographic qualities (photography, framing, and camera mobility) all furnish potential graphic elements. Thus every shot provides possibilities for purely graphic editing, and every cut creates some sort of graphical relationship between two shots (David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson).