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Glossary

FILMMAKING TERMS


Term: Tracking Shot

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A tracking shot is any shot in which the camera films while being smoothly moved around. In most cases, the camera is mounted on a dolly that glides on tracks (hence the name). However, a dolly or any other kind of mobile support allowing for smooth movement may also move on wheels. Tracking shots can be achieved using a great variety of different devices such as a crane, Steadicam, or a well-supported handheld camera (i.e. a handheld camera on a wheelchair). The verbs to track and to dolly are often used synonymously.

A tracking shot usually moves with a character (or an object), but if the camera follows a subject over a lengthy period of time, this kind of shot is then called a following shot.

With regard to possible tracking movements, there is a great variety available to cinematographers. However, the most common are:

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