Camera movement is cinematic. Period. Of course, it has to add to the story, scene, moment, dialogue and emotion. The timing has to be impeccable. The framing has to feel right. Yes! there are rules, but we all know we can break them once we know them. The danger in breaking them before knowing them is that we might throw those movements randomly without reason. Resulting to an undisciplined cinematography. While you can justify the shot with it looking cool, you can’t defend it when it doesn’t add to story.
Steven Spielberg, like Hitchcock, understands what I’m talking about. In fact, they teach us how to do it well in just one scene and one shot.
What if there was no camera movement. Can we let the eyes of the subject and perhaps whatever is in and out of frame do the movement for us? Can we still add tension or comedy? Of course, we can.
As you can see, I’m a big fan of what Tony Zhou has done in his film analysis. The beauty of this study is that cinematography, like lighting, is more about how well you use it as opposed to the argument that you need the latest and greatest to make a movie. All this can be done with an iPhone, if you wanted to.