Point-of-view shot

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A point-of-view shot (English, for example. Setting with a particular point of view , acronym POV-shot ) is in the film theory , a setting which viewers a look through the eyes of a character allows the plot shown.

The corresponding German term is subjective camera or subjective attitude , or subjects for short .


A subjective setting is often one of two consecutive shots: One shot shows a figure looking somewhere, usually at a point outside the picture. The other shot (the actual POV shot) shows what the figure is looking at, filmed from the figure's position.

The order in which these settings are cut is not mandatory. This means that on the one hand it is possible to show the POV shot first and only then to make it recognizable as such, namely when the person looking is shown in the following shot. Or you can first show the person looking and then the POV shot.


POV shots are illusory , i.e. That is, the viewer feels involved in the action. Often, POV shots are technically alienated: blurring signals, for example, the gaze of a person wearing glasses without glasses. The subjectification of the POV shot is often contradictingly combined with an objectification through technical devices, such as the view through telescopes or night vision devices . Both increase the impression of authenticity .

Sometimes POV shots are made clear by moving, apparently unprofessional camera work (handheld camera, steadicam ).

Exemplary films

The Florentine hat

The 1939 film Der Florentiner Hut by Wolfgang Liebeneiner contains a number of technical refinements. In a long sequence at the beginning, the viewer experiences the scene from the point of view of the character Theo Farina, without seeing himself. Heinz Rühmann can only be recognized in this role later . This required a moving camera, which was not available when Eugène Labiche first made this film .

The lady in the lake

The 1947 film Die Dame im See (orig. The Lady in the Lake ) is the first film to use the POV shot throughout the film. The director Robert Montgomery presents the plot exclusively from the point of view of the main character Philip Marlowe . The cameraman was Paul Vogel . The main actor (also Montgomery) can only be recognized when he steps in front of a mirror (or similar reflective surface). The production company MGM advertised showing the most revolutionary film since the introduction of the sound film , the audience and the main character would solve the mystery of the crime together.

Smack My Bitch Up

Smack My Bitch Up is the video by Jonas Åkerlund for the 13th single release by the British big beat group The Prodigy . Themusic video,which has won two MTV Video Music Awards , uses a subjective camera perspective to show an excessive night trip by a person who initially remains undetected. At the beginning she is in the bathroom and then gets dressed while she is already drinking alcoholic beverages and cocaine . The protagonist then goes to the London nightlife, where he becomes conspicuous through aggressive behavior towards women and DJs. In the meantime, he vomited several times and consumed heroin. Through the use of visual distortions, the progressive effects of the drugs ingested become visible. Then he goes to a strip club, where he approaches one of the dancers who are engaged there and takes them into a car that has just been stolen. He drives her to his apartment, where he has sex with her. At the end of the video, the subjective camera shows a look in a mirror, from which it can be seen that the person perceived as male from the outset is a woman.

Enter the Void

Enter the Void is a French feature film from 2009 that is told entirely from the perspective of the protagonist Oscar. The point-of-view setting runs consistently through the entire film and is only interrupted by a few very impressive drug trips, which are represented by animated visuals . According to the director himself, the idea for the film came while he was watching the film The Lady in the Lake under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms .


Hardcore is a Russian-American action film from 2015 that was filmed entirely from the perspective of the main actor. The director Ilja Naischuller had already useda similar techniquein his music video Bad Motherfucker by his band Biting Elbows in 2013.

Horror movie

In some films, especially horror films , a POV shot is used as a continuous narrative perspective . Through the action, the viewer learns from whose perspective the shot is taken (mostly that of the murderer or that of the monster), but an overview is not given in order to create a feeling of insecurity and being at the mercy. A very famous POV shot is that of "Evil" in " Dance of the Devils ".

Porn movie

The POV-Shot is often used from the perspective of a male actor in porn films ; sometimes the direction of entire scenes and films is determined by this stylistic device . The porn actor Peter North distributes his own film series under the title "POV". In Japanese pornography this genre is called Hamedori ( Japaneseメ 撮 り). Other well-known series of porn movies are POV Jugg Fuckers , POV Pervert and POV Sluts .

Television series

Among other things, the TV series CSI: On the trail of the perpetrators uses the stylistic device in various episodes, for example in I've Got a Pain in My Sawdust! (Season 8, Episode 1).

Individual evidence

  1. Lady in the Lake in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DPF_pWIy3w


  • Steven D. Katz: Film directing shot by shot. Visualization from concept to screen. Michigan 1991, pp. 267ff.
  • Edward Branigan: Point of View in the Cinema: A Theory of Narration and Subjectivity in Classical Film. Amsterdam 1984.