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How Focal Lengths Make Your Audience Feel

5 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)


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Product Description

If you are an Inner Circle member please contact anne@hurlbutvisuals.com before purchasing for a special discount.

We discuss the following:

• My favorites lenses
• How each focal length feels on a wide shot (video demonstration)
• Break down of the feeling created at 27mm, 50mm, 135mm and 200mm
• Lens language examples from Semi Pro, We Are Marshall, Swing Vote and Drumline (video)

Choosing the correct focal length is something that is barely discussed in much of the cinematic culture. Of course, you can back up and get the same size, but what does that do to the audience, the viewer sitting in the dark room? How does this make him or her feel? This is what this lesson is all about. Choosing the right focal length will help tell your stories and it is done in a way that you, as the director and the DP, want the audience to feel. It is a conscious decision. Not one because it is what you always use for the close up or the wide shot, but how does that lens feel?

Knowing the math and learning how focal length and distance affect an image is important for creating the emotion you’re going for. It’s a powerful tool that will help you step up your game.

2 reviews for How Focal Lengths Make Your Audience Feel

  1. 5 out of 5


    This was an awesome post. Focal length is something I think about a lot. I love hearing your breakdown. I think the reason longer and tighter distances us from the subject is a very interesting and real thing that happens in our brain that tells us we’re punched in on something far. I noticed this looking at buildings not too long ago. Everything in that distant horizon was compressed together. Then I remembered what I’ve read about working distance and how essentially we’re cropping in when we increase focal length. Besides all the things that happen optically, the compression is actually there in short lenses just very distant. When we see subjects on long lenses our minds instinctively see this as punched in despite the size of the subjects on screen. It’s an interesting effect, I think. Thanks again for the post!

    • :

      Thanks so much Sonny. Really appreciate your comments and your activity within the Inner Circle Facebook community.

  2. 5 out of 5


    Great post Shane. I forget how effective strong camera placement is!

    • :

      You’re welcome Alex.

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