"Look, can we stop talking like this? I'm getting very dizzy."In this inverse of the Round Table Shot, there is only one subject around whom the camera circles (usually on a dolly track), so as to provide a rotating view from all sides. Sometimes used to give the impression that the subject is spinning. This was a particularly common shot in music videos during the 1980s. Sometimes after a blurred orbit the setting might be altered to simulate a sudden change. See also Dizzy Cam, which is an Orbital Shot done with a handheld camera at a distressing speed. Orbital Kiss is a common subtrope. The Orbital Shot is often used in Bullet Time. Not to be confused with Kill Sat or Orbital Bombardment, both an entirely different kind of orbital shot.
— Seto Kaiba, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
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Anime & Manga
- In the final episode of Steel Angel Kurumi 2, the animators' virtual camera does an Orbital Shot around Nako as she performs in the cello competition.
- This happens in Death Note, during a personal confrontation between L and Light.
- The ninja teams in the second opening of Naruto.
- There is one in Ouran High School Host Club around Renge, when she accuses the members of the male club of not being good enough.
- In the opening of the second season of K-On!, there is an orbital shot around the whole band as they're playing in the music room.
- This is seen in the first episode of Fate/Zero, as Kirei is told about the Holy Grail War.
- Episode 1 of Kotoura-san uses this camera trick during the Downer Beginning when Haruka's elementary classmates chant "Monster! Monster! Monster!" towards her after they figured out she has Telepathy. It is done very effectively since that moment forever and clearly establishes her sense of loneliness and betrayal even though she was being Innocently Insensitive.
- Sailor Moon Crystal has a fairly elaborate and protracted one in its Transformation Sequence, where the spinning is paired with dizzying zooms and zoom-outs that give a three-dimensional view of the sparkly, prismatic CGI void the heroine transforms in.
- The Bleach anime's opening credits sequence ends on one of these of Ichigo.
- The anime adaptation of 3-gatsu no Lion employs this when Rei let's out a Cathartic Scream in an empty park after Yasui takes out his frustration over his loss onto Rei.
Films — Animation
- The Lion King: When Scar is interrogating Simba in front of his pride over his "responsibility" for Mufasa's death.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Happens when the Queen drinks her potion and begins to transform into an old hag.
- Used forebodingly in Watership Down, when Hazel's group are inside Cowslip's warren. They're bunched up in the middle of a large chamber with multiple entrances, and the perspective rotates around the room, looking at them through each entrance in turn. It's creepy, because two or three resident rabbits crouch anxiously inside each tunnel, out of the newcomers' view, and are eavesdropping on their conversation.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Sunset Shimmer gets one of these during her transformation at the end of the movie.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games: In a nice bit of animation, the "camera" does a rotation around Human Twilight for a part of her solo song, "What More Is Out There". The "Blooper Reel" released shortly after the movie then parodies it, by showing Twilight tripping during the rotating shot.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree: Again with Sunset Shimmer, during her solo song "Embrace the Magic", the camera rotate around her while she's on the pier, showing off the background of the camp and lake in the process.
- Very much overused in Norm of the North. The camera will frequently orbit around the characters, often with little rhyme nor reason. Case in point.
Films — Live-Action
- In Bad Boys II, when the villain calls the heroes to inform them that he holds the lead girl (who happens to be one hero's sister and the other's girlfriend) hostage, the camera does a dramatic Orbital Shot as one of them delivers the punchline "Shit just got real!"
- Sent up in Hot Fuzz, where the camera spins around the protagonists as they deliver these immortal lines:
Angel: You're a doctor. Deal with it.
Danny: Yeah, motherfucker.
- Parodied in Superhero Movie: Dragonfly and the Hourglass confront each other while the camera spins around...making both of them rather dizzy.
- Famously, The Matrix during Bullet Time.
- Homaged in Shaolin Soccer, when Sing confronts the bullies with a soccer ball while the coach watches.
- Used during Pita's kidnapping in Man On Fire.
- In the Twilight film, this happens whenever Bella and Edward stand beside each other, to denote the seriousness of their conversation. It got really annoying, really fast.
- Done to excess in the final rendition of 'This Is Me' in Camp Rock when Shane and Mitchie meet on the middle of a catwalk-esque podium to sing.
- The forced Mind Meld between Spock and Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
- The Joker and Rachel in The Dark Knight in his second "You wanna know how I got these scars?" scene where he crashes Harvey Dent's fundraiser.
- The Dark Knight Rises:
- Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle get a lot of overlapping close-up orbital shots during the scene where they are dancing together.
- During Batman's first fight with Bane, there is an orbital shot of Bane after Batman tries killing the lights.
- In the just-begging-for-a-RiffTrax horror film Darkhunters, there is a scene where a demon is holding Carol Miller by her jacket and pulling her up to his face, and while they talk the camera is constantly panning around them. It's not a continuous shot but a series of half-orbits around the two of them, zoomed in close to their faces. Watch it here starting at 51:50. It lasts nearly three minutes, so have a bucket handy... Dizziness exacerbated by forcing you to read subtitles during the whole thing!
- A fairly brilliant one in Murder in the First, orbiting a cell set in the middle of a room. Thanks to flyaway walls, the camera appears to move in and out of the cell.
- Abused a lot in House of the Dead, during the big zombie fight scene.
- A long one at the climax of Talk Radio.
- This happens every time Nash has a Eureka Moment in A Beautiful Mind.
- Done in Public Enemies during the start of the second bank robbery. The camera starts level with their gloved hands. Then it swivels around Pete Pierpont as they enter.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, after Cap escapes the S.H.I.E.L.D. holding area in Manhattan, he ends up in Times Square. The spinning camera nicely represents his bewilderment at the sights and sounds of the modern world. "Times Square Orbital Shot" could be a trope on its own.
- In The Avengers, during Nick Fury's famous quote — "I recognize the council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've elected to ignore it." — the camera is orbiting around him and the holographic screens showing the council.
- A Pearl in the Forest has a variant on this. Sednem escapes from her village after she is raped. As she breaks down in hysterics in the forest, the forest spins around her, a shot that was presumably captured by placing the actress and the camera together on a rotating platform.
- The opening scene of Reservoir Dogs at the diner, where the protagonists are having a random conversation while the camera spins around the table.
- The extended cut of King Kong (2005) includes an Orbital Shot of a sailor being Eaten Alive by the piranhadon.
- Judgment at Nuremberg: Director Stanley Kramer was nervous about his long courtroom examination scenes coming across as boring on the screen. So he filled the movie with swooping, circling camera movement in and around the characters. The most extreme example of this, and the most famous shot in the movie, is the scene where the camera does a complete 360-degree orbit around Col. Lawson during his opening statement.
- In 12, a Russian remake of 12 Angry Men, the first vote of the jury is captured in a 3 1/2-minute tracking shot that makes a full circle around the jurors. Just when the camera completes its circle and it like it seems the jury will be done in five minutes, the camera zooms in on the Rogue Juror casting his lone Not Guilty vote.
- Primer: Seen when Aaron realizes Abe wants to make a bigger box.
- Frequently used on Lost when "the whispers" are heard, including a shot of Sayid first hearing the whispers in "Solitary."
- The final scene of the Battlestar Galactica episode "Pegasus".
- Happens in the last episode of Carnivŕle while Ben is healing people, spliced with the scene of the ferris wheel spinning.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Lie to Me", when Ford is inviting Buffy to come into his trap.
- Occasionally used on MythBusters to intro a special guest (such as the Navy pilot who took Adam up for the sonic boom vs glass tests).
- Used on the 2009 version of V in episode 5 when Anna talks to someone.
- Glee loves this technique, especially during solos.
- Used during several episodes in the Korean Series You Are Beautiful, such as Taekyung and Minam kissing.
- Used in the CBBC series Moondial, the first time Minty travels into the past.
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Naked Time", the camera circles Spock as he loses control and begins to sob. Leonard Nimoy actually suggested this, as he thought it would be more powerful than a regular shot.
- Almost Once per Episode in Star Trek: The Next Generation, especially in the first season. When the Enterprise D is about to engage its warp drive, the virtual camera will start at either the port or starboard bow, track a full circle around the ship, and end at the stern on the same side before the engines engage.
- Rick Astley's Lights Out music video makes EXTENSIVE use of the orbital shot, with mind-dizzying action lasting for almost the entire video.
- Lindsey Stirling uses this in her The Lord of the Rings medley. She stands in the wind on a hill by the sea, and the shot goes around and above/below her.
- Phil Collins' music video for "Strangers Like Me" from Disney's Tarzan makes extensive use of this, at least in the live-action segments.
- Used in one of the later conversations with Jack in Mass Effect 2, when the camera rotates around her as she tells Shepard about her boyfriend's sacrifice and the effect it had on her.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode uses this once, when Ness pulls a Big Damn Heroes moment and destroys Pokey's statue.
- Happens when you idle in Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Morrowind.
- MegaTokyo does this in five panels, in the middle of a fight in a crowded nightclub. It's about as confusing as you'd expect, and it's entirely possible to miss the fact that it's the camera that's rotating, not Kimiko.
- In Phantom Planet, the finale of Danny Phantom, Danny and Sam get one during a romantic moment.
- Attempted by Bloo in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends as he was making a movie about... something.
- Used in the The Legend of Korra episode "The Revelation" when Korra and Mako are fighting some chi-blockers.
- Mike, Lu & Og: In "Nobody's Nose", when the natives surround Mike while proclaiming her to be the "nose" of the First Day of Spring festival.
- The Simpsons:
- "Mother Simpson": When Mona sees Joe Namith's wavy hair and opens up to the wild 1960s culture. During this moment, the house background turns into psychedelic, colorful graphics.
- "All About Lisa": When Lisa gets applause from the audience at Krusty's show and feels the sensation of popularity for the first time.
- In an episode of Catscratch, the brothers visit Scotland to prove that Gordon is from the Highland Quid clan like he always says he is. When Gordon learns that he may not be from the clan, there's an orbital shot as the words "not from the Highland Quid clan" echo in the background and Gordon has a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Occurs in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Fuzzy Logic" when Fuzzy does a Big "NO!" after seeing the squirrel holding up his banjo.
- Pearl gets a very dramatic and aesthetically pleasing one in the Steven Universe episode "Mr. Greg".
- "Verwitterte Melodie" (1943) includes what was a very sophisticated shot for animation of the era, in which the camera does a full 360-degree turn around a record player that a bee finds forgotten in a meadow.