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Epic Tracking Shot
aka: Dramatic Landfall Shot

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An Epic Tracking Shot is the use of camera movement that defies typical expectations, with unusual complexity, length or "impossible" movement. For example, the camera could go from a city skyline into an apartment, and then through a keyhole into the bathroom. What usually makes this so "epic" is that the complexity of the shot is such that it would be impossible to do without the use of some sort of visual trickery. This doesn't mean that there has to be overt visual effects stitching it all together, only that the production aspect becomes more complicated. Often the effect is "cheated" through the use of a Match Cut or a Whip Pan.

Many directors use this as a Signature Style, and is also quite popular to use as the opening or ending shot. It is also one of the big signs that a television episode has received a Big Budget Beef-Up. There are multiple variations, including:

  • Phasing through objects like windows, walls and floors.
  • Shifting between wide tracking shots and close up handheld.
  • Passing through metaphysical items like a tv screen or electrical wiring.

Compare The Oner and Leave the Camera Running, which is more about how LONG the take is rather than the movement of the camera.

Astronomic Zoom is a subtrope of this. Sister trope of Object-Tracking Shot.


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     Fan Works 
  • One of these starts The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, going from complete darkness to a bird on a branch to following a butterfly to focusing on some deer to swooping up the side of a mesa to end on our heroes, sleeping up there but beginning to stir.

    Film - Animated  
  • In The Adventures of Tintin (2011), there is the the chase scene in Bagghar, from the point where Snowy jumps into the car, to the point where Tintin catches the falcon by the dock, all done as a single shot, over two and a half minutes long. And it's an action scene following multiple characters across an entire city.
  • A not overly epic but still nice-looking one occurs in BIONICLE: Mask of Light, as the cam starts out at a waterfall, flies up to and across the Kini-Nui temple, then over the bridge to the Amaja-Nui sandpit where Gali's meditating. Perhaps to make it seem more grandiose, the temple has been re-imagined as resting atop a smaller mountain peak, and the surrounding elevated jungle replaced with mountains, a river deep down, and the waterfall.
  • The closing shot of Fantasia, a languid shot through a Gothic-looking forest at dawn. It was so hard to pull off that it wasn't finished until hours before the world premiere.
  • Finding Nemo has a fast-paced one showing Gil's plan to escape the fish tank. Noted on the DVD Commentary because such shots are rarely used at Pixar; they prefer to stick to normal camera moves for the sake of relatability.
  • At the beginning of The Lion King 1 , there was a tracking shot that backs very far away from Pride Rock, finally stopping at a field in the middle of nowhere which soon reveals itself as a meerkat colony.
    Timon: Please remain seated while the camera's in motion.
  • Penguins of Madagascar has a scene in which the penguins break out of a cargo plane in midflight, break into a passenger plane, then break out and board a second plane only to break out of that one, and finally take a bouncy castle from the falling cargo and inflate it to break their fall, all done in one uninterrupted shot.
  • Pinocchio has a shot of the village waking up in the morning, starting with the church bell and going down the streets to Geppetto's door. All the more impressive considering it was done in 1940.
  • In The Polar Express a very long tracking shot follows the girl's ticket after the boy loses it from the train until it returns to the train.
  • The Powerpuff Girls Movie gives us a really long shot that lasts about half a minute, zooming back from Mojo mutating his monkey army with Chemical X, out through the window of his observatory, across the Townsville skyline, through the window of the girls' bedroom, and ending on the girls sleeping in bed.
  • The Rescuers Down Under opens with the camera flying for miles at high speed from a ladybug on a blade of grass to Cody's bedroom.
  • Summer Wars features multiple complex tracking shots while in its virtual reality landscape of OZ, aided by seamlessly blending 2D and 3D animation. The longest of these sequences is the introduction of OZ itself, which takes the viewer from the login screen to the farthest reaches of OZ in the span of several nearly unbroken continuous tracking shots.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler has several. One which defies perspective has a zoom which goes through another character's eye; another zooms out from a character's mouth to a "God's eye view" of the areas around the huge city he's in.
  • TMNT: This occurs during the scene where Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, April, Casey, and Splinter fight their way through Kariai and her Foot ninjas to break into Winters' building to save Leonardo.
  • A particularly impressive shot was used for Treasure Planet. You see a crescent moon in the sky and when the characters talk of going to the spaceport the camera then zooms towards the moon and as it gets bigger you see more details and eventually notice that it isn't a moon, but the spaceport itself shaped like a crescent moon.
  • In Turning Red, when 4*Town starts singing "Nobody but U" in the climax, the shot starts looking up from below them, spirals upward, zooms in on Robaire, zooms out to catch the ritual circle starting to activate, then follows the activation sequence until it reaches Mei and her relatives. According to the director's commentary that was originally three shots that were combined.
  • Twice Upon a Time opens with a helicopter shot through the Murkworks. It starts above the factories spewing smoke and steam, underneath a bridge with a train passing by, then finally into Synonamess Botch's castle with Botch's vultures flying around through the entire shot. This was all done using stop-motion paper cutouts.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Michael Bay is fond of doing a "showdown" tracking shot where two enemies are hiding behind barriers, both ready to jump out at each other, and the camera starts behind one of them and does a high speed move while rotating 180 degrees. Sometimes going through walls.
    • Quite common in Transformers (2007) and following the Allspark to Earth at the beginning of the film.
  • Orson Welles
    • Citizen Kane. Both the tracking shot into El Rancho, and the tracking up the ladder during Susan's opera performance - and yes, it used a visual effect (miniature ladder).
  • A hallmark of Martin Scorsese's career.
    • In GoodFellas, Henry and his girlfriend entering the back of the Copabana Club. Watch it here
    • Hugo starts out with an Epic Tracking Shot leading from a 1931 Paris cityscape, into and through the crowded train station, and finally into the overhead clock where the boy lead is revealed.
    • Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore has an impressive tracking shot which starts out with Alice and Flo in the diner, leads them through some twisty passageways out of the diner, then follows them into an outdoor toilet.
  • The film Atonement has an extensive one depicting the Dunkirk evacuation.
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): The entire film is shot and edited to look like a single, uninterrupted take (it isn't, however).
  • Boogie Nights has a very impressive tracking shot that pans through a party scene and eventually winds up underwater, referencing a similar scene in I Am Cuba.
  • Braveheart opens with a camera flight over costal water after which the rough Scottish mountain landscape comes into view.
  • Used very memorably in Children of Men during the climactic action sequence, though the shot in question was revealed to have been digitally stitched together.
  • The shot in Contact of young Ellie running up the stairs to fetch medication for her father who has collapsed.
  • Godard was a big fan of the long tracking shot. It's evident in his early work. In Contempt, there's an early shot of the characters walking outside the studio space talking with the American producer that lasts for some 6 minutes - but most famously in his late 1960's film Weekend (1967) which opens with a stunning tracking shot of the protagonists driving around traffic which lasts for more than 10 minutes.
  • The Cranes Are Flying: When the scene starts, we are on a bus filming the female lead with a hand-held camera. Suddenly the bus stops and we follow the girl off the bus into a large crowd, and as we follow her as she makes her way though the crowd, frantically trying to get through, the camera follows her right to the edge of a parade of tanks, and as she tries to get across, the camera suddenly, totally expectingly, rises, as if on a crane, and shoots the parade as it approaches towards us below, and the girl runs off through the tanks to the horizon.
  • One of the tracking shots in Das Boot required special effects to produce. It pans across a submarine factory/pen, passing by at least three subs. However, only one model sub was actually built for this scene.
  • David Fincher loves doing this, like the garbage can in Fight Club or running the camera through the entire house (including going through walls and through the handle of a coffee pot) in Panic Room.
  • Forrest Gump
    • The film starts with a Object-Tracking Shot of a feather in the middle of the sky. The camera follows it as it passes through a park, lands on a man's shoulder, goes above a car and under a second one then finally the feather falls right on the main character's shoes. He then picks it up and puts it in a book.
    • In the end, the feather starts from between Gump's shoes, flies into the sky (while still showing the main character for a while) and the feather starts dancing in the air before it turns and hit the camera.
  • The Green Hornet has the villain send out his henchman to pass along his orders to kill the titular hero to all the hoodlums under his thumb. Rather than track each person who receives the call, the camera divides into more cameras to follow every single hoodlum as they are mobilized, up until all the views end in the deaths of a dozen criminals mistaken for the Green Hornet.
  • Harry Potter films:
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban had a couple of shots that went through the numerous, moving, Death Trap-esque clock gears, through the closed window and into the courtyard.
    • The second film has a shot which starts with a distant shot of Hogwarts and zooms in through the roof of the greenhouse, revealing Professor Sprout starting the Herbology class.
  • Used to dizzying effect in the 1964 Communist propaganda film I Am Cuba. Tracking shots zoom all around a number of set-pieces, including a decadent pool party (dipping beneath the water at one point) and among rooftop rebel bases. The shots span such a distance that they required the camera to be handed from operator to operator to navigate the terrain.
  • From the James Bond movies:
    • You Only Live Twice has one during the scene where James Bond is attacked at the Kobe dock.
    • The opening minutes Spectre were effectively a single take, though the DVD featurette on the subject acknowledges some "sleight of hand" in this. Becomes epic when the camera view appears to segue from being ground-level crane-based to hand-held to rooftop crane-based without a cut.
  • John Wick: All of the combat scenes are one really long take.
  • Kill Bill Vol. 1 has a spectacular example of this which can be viewed here.
  • A classic example is seen at the start of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers (2012):
      • During the Battle of New York, this shot starts with Black Widow on the back of a Chitauri on a flying sled, controlling him. Iron Man flies by her and he blasts a couple of aliens on the ground. He lands next to and fights alongside Captain America, then flies up the side of a building where Hawkeye is on the roof fighting off aliens. Hawkeye shoots an arrow and the camera follows it as it hits a Chitauri sled. It falls and a leviathan passes by where the Hulk and Thor are on it fighting aliens. The Hulk stabs the leviathan with a big piece of debris, and Thor hammers it in. This brings the leviathan crashing into Grand Central Station. Then Mood Whiplash sets in when The Hulk punches Thor off the Leviathan's corpse.
      • There's also the scene in the Helicarrier where the camera circles the Avengers arguing before moving on to Loki's scepter and then flipping upside down to have the scepter in the foreground and the Avengers inverted in the background.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: When Loki and Valkyrie walk up to the Grandmaster, the camera dives into their reflection on the floor up to revealing the Grandmaster. Taika Waititi himself called the shot, that was developed by a storyboard artist, "one of the greatest shots in the history of cinema".
  • Subverted in Mel Brooks's 1977 film High Anxiety. In one scene, the camera attempts to zoom "through a window" looking at a dinner party, only to break the window, complete with an awkward pause and confused onlook from the dinner guests.
  • Men in Black ends with an epic tracking shot by starting with an overhead of J and L, then pulling away to see the Earth, continuing on past the solar system and the galaxy to show that our galaxy is simply a marble in a giant alien's hand, much like the MacGuffin of the film.
  • The final shot of Minority Report, starts with a simple pull back from two of the precogs sitting in a room in a house, back through the house, out through the (closed) window, and away from the house and up.
  • In the first Mission: Impossible movie, there's an epic helicopter shot that pulls up to the Chunnel Train, then through a window into a compartment. There's a similar shot in The Birdcage, starting actoss the ocean, up to Miami Beach, then uninterrupted into Robin William's club.
  • 1917 is carefully stitched together to give the whole film the illusion of one of these. A straight example within the film is the final trench run, which necessitated moving the camera between cranes, a truck, and several riggers dressed as soldiers to film the whole sequence as one take - the take as finished has a few unscripted moments that make it rougher and more believable, caught on the camera's single-minded eye.
  • Point Break (1991) has Keanu Reeves introduced to his new workplace by way of a lengthy meandering dialogue-heavy tracking shot.
  • The Trope Maker / Trope Codifier for Astronomic Zoom, short film Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames (1977). It starts with a picnic blanket in a park and pulls out, marking every time the distance has increased to a power of ten, until our entire galaxy is just a dot in space. Then, we zoom all the way in again and keep going until we get down to the structure of an atom.
  • The opening shot of Psycho was meant to be one with the camera panning through the city until it entered the hotel room Marion was having her affair in, but it was impossible to do with the technology of the time. Gus Van Sant's shot-for-shot remake actually does it.
  • The end of Resident Evil (2002) has a particularly good one involving Alice pulling out a shotgun from a police car and cocking it determinedly, and then pulling slowly out revealing a completely devastated Raccoon City.
  • In Robert Altman's The Player, the opening tracking shot, which even has two film execs giving a Shout Out to Touch of Evil.
  • The film Russian Ark, which is all one single tracking shot, showing the museum's splendor.
  • 1932 film Rain includes several tracking shots that were highly unusual for the early talkie era. The scene where Sgt. O'Hara suggests that Sadie go to Australia and wait for him there runs seven minutes without a cut, following Sadie and O'Hara as they walk around the patio of the boarding house. The camera even spins to find Sadie back in her room after she runs inside in a panic.
  • The Argentine film El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in their Eyes) has a tracking shot that starts with an above view of a football (soccer) stadium during a match, then dives into the crowd to focus first on the policemen trying to spot a murder suspect among the fans, then on the suspect as he is seen by the police, and finally on a dizzying chase scene through the stairs and toilets of the stadium.
  • The introduction to the crew in Serenity takes the form of a huge Oner that follows Mal through the ship, past each crew member in turn. There's another later in the film, when preparing to Hold the Line against the Reavers in Mr. Universe's complex. According to the commentary, both shots were intended to give a sense of the space the action was shortly to take place in.
  • Shaun of the Dead has Shaun walking from home to the convenience store down the street, interacting with half a dozen people along with way.
  • Snake Eyes opens with a twenty minute tracking shot as Rick makes his way through the boxing arena.
  • Star Trek: First Contact began almost inside Captain Picards eye, then progressively pulled back to show how massive the Borg complex was. A later moment in the movie begins with a view of the Enterprise, then travels underneath the saucer section to focus on a couple of people emerging in space suits to walk across the hull. It gives a real sense of size to the ship.
  • The silent film Sunrise, and its director F.W. Murnau, were largely responsible for introducing this trope to Hollywood. Murnau had already been doing this earlier in the 20s, back in Germany. The Last Laugh opens with an Epic Tracking Shot out an elevator, through a hotel lobby, and out a door, accomplished by putting a camera in a wheelchair.
  • The title sequence of Superman Returns is one long tracking shot from Krypton to Earth. And it is gorgeous.
  • The remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), after the hitchhiker commits suicide: the camera starts on everyone's shocked reaction, then pulls back through the bullet wound, out the back of her head and the shattered rear windshield.
  • The ending of Time Bandits has the camera pulling away from Kevin's house, up out into space, ending with a shot of the time hole map.
  • The Time Machine (2002) had one. First, while Alexander Hartdegen is travelling forward, there's a brief section where the camera slowly tracks back from him, out through the conservatory window, makes a slow arc around the conservatory, then back in. This is while the machine is in motion, and we see the seasons change, ivy creeping up the outside of the glass, then freezing under snow, and then continuing to creep. The second part, after he loses his locket with his girlfriend's photo in it, the camera again, starting from his face, tracks backwards, up through the conservatory, into the sky. It continues up through the atmosphere, out into space, and finally the camera settles behind the moon. Meanwhile, we see tower blocks being built, followed by skyscrapers, a biplane flying by, then an early jet, then a modern airliner, then a satellite, a bigger sattelite, the International Space Station, and finally a futuristic shuttle flying to the first lunar colony.
  • Also The Oner, action movie Tom Yum Goong /The Protector/ Warrior King features a four-minute one-shot elaborate fight sequence that reportedly took eight days to get right in which Tony Jaa fights his way up a building.
  • One scene in the original Total Recall (1990) has several villains walking around inside an abandoned alien base. At the end the camera pulls back (via special effects) to reveal the incredible size of the base.
  • War of the Worlds (2005) includes an impressive tracking shot which is actually easy to miss as one. During one scene the camera shot begins from outside the car in which the main group of characters are traveling, goes into the car through an open window, shows the inside of the car, then out through another window on the opposite side for another exterior shot, all in one single take.
  • Wings, which was made in 1927 and won the first ever Best Picture Oscar in 1928, introduces scenes set in the Folies Bergere with the camera coming down from the ceiling, tracking across four separate tables (at which characters enact a quick scene) before finally revealing the lead character (who is getting very drunk) and finishing on a close-up of more champagne being poured. The mechanics of the shot involved a complicated rig for its time, crew members pulling out the tables as soon as it was out of camera view and timing the movement of the extras precisely.
  • The live action film version of Wolf Girl and Black Prince has one early on as the main female character leaves a cafe table with her friend, leaves the cafe itself, walks down a busy street following the main male character (while trying not to be noticed), approaches him, distracts him, takes a bunch of photos, and then the two girls run away before stopping to see if the photos were any good. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Working Girl begins with a 360-degree pan around the head of the Statue of Liberty, followed by a slow zoom in on the Staten Island ferry. It ends with a shot looking into the window of Tess's new office, then slowly pulls out to reveal the Manhattan skyline (though there's one obvious discontinuity in the shot).
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Young And Innocent reveals that the real murderer has an eye twitch, then does a slow, dramatic tracking shot from the lobby ceiling of the hotel, through the dancer-filled ballroom, and up to a close-up of the eyes of the blackface orchestra drummer. No points guessing what his eye does. (Although when you consider that the actor had a big, heavy camera rushing toward him, needing to stop just inches from his face, maybe the eye twitch didn't involve much acting.) Hitchcock's Notorious similarly used a shot over a party in a large mansion, with the camera swooping in from a balcony, coming over the crowd, and finally closing in on a tight shot of a key in a person's hand.

  • There's a literary example in John Sladek's novel Roderick, where the title character (a robot boy) lets his newly-repaired eye do a long pan over a street scene, revealing all of the muggers, petty thieves, drug dealers, whores and other vices that his human 'mother' fails to notice.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The opening of the 50's documentary TV show, The Twentieth Century, included a pan shot from the ground up to about 60 miles where you could see the curvature of the earth. No camera tricks, however. The camera was mounted on a captured V2 rocket when it was launched in 1946.
  • One of the intros to Babylon 5 shows a person in a spacesuit welding in space. The camera then pulls back to show the enormous titular station next to which the person is just a dot.
  • Battlestar Galactica, the final shot of season 3 has the camera move back from the Fleet, until we see its location in the galaxy, and then zoom in rapidly on another part of the galaxy, revealing Earth for the first time. Pretty impressive stuff, that.
  • Breaking Bad had a very long (20 seconds, to specify) shot from the perspective of the pink teddy bear falling from a plane after the ABQ crash and heading straight for Walter White's pool.
  • Better Call Saul has several epic tracking shots throughout its run, including a 4 minute long continuous shot in the Season 2 Episode 8 intro.
  • Daredevil (2015) combines this with The Oner in the Season 3 episode "Blindsided". It features an 11 minute long continuous shot through various rooms and corridors of a maximum security prison, with Matt fighting off a bunch of inmates and corrupt guards, a confrontation with a mob boss, then another fight through a riot and a daring escape into a waiting taxi. Production had to be stopped for a full day to allow the cast and crew to rehearse it, without digital stitching, and with Charlie Cox performing the majority of the fight.
  • Doctor Who
    • The opening shot of the story The Trial of a Time Lord as the camera swoops around the Time Lords' space station. It's really incredible for the budget of a mid-'80s British TV show, and the model is remarkably believable given how close the camera gets.
    • The opening shot of the 2005 reboot tracked in from Earth's orbit down into 2005-London, and into Rose's bedroom.
  • Firefly uses the "sink through the ceiling or ground" variation in the episode "Objects in Space" for both River listening in underneath the rest of the crew and Jubal Early listening in on top of their ship.
  • The Game of Thrones episode "The Watchers on the Wall" has a very impressive one reminiscent of The Avengers above, going past several of the major figures in the siege on Castle Black.
  • The opening credits of the old 60s show Hawaii Five-O feature an epic zoom-in from the city of Honolulu to Jack Lord, standing on the roof of a building.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze pulls this out occasionally. Whenever Gentaro starts his catchphrase, it'll soon zoom out to a view of Earth along with the sun, moon and other planets then zooms in back on Gentaro finishing it. It also grows and evolves each time, until it eventually zooms out on the entire universe. In The Movie, where he borrows Meteor's power, it shows two universes, each one colored to represent the two Riders. In Heisei Generations FINAL, during which a villain tries to forcibly merge the Ex-Aid and Build universes, Gentaro's tracking shot shows the two Earths side-by-side.
  • The Longest Day in Chang'an: The opening scene is two minutes long, only one shot, and moves all over the city.
  • Novoland: Eagle Flag: The shot as Ji Ye and Yu Ran lead Asule through the battle. It's a minute long and follows the protagonists as well as the fighting around them.
  • Patriot has a great one where the camera follows John as he exits a subway and travels on foot to a grocery store while narration in the form of a folk song explains what he's thinking and doing. Arriving at the grocery store, he tries to steal a pistol, but gets ambushed by the store clerk, who is himself ambushed by John's friends. The camera then follows the group as they leave and walk nonchalantly all the way back to the subway as the folk song reveals that John is pretty sure several of them have been shot.
  • Player uses this several times. In episode four it's used as Ha-ri and A-ryeong break into a room full of money.
  • There are three from the first episode ("Sherlock S1 E1 "A Study in Pink"") of Series/Sherlock that stand out enough to be discussed during the commentary.
    • In one, a camera follows Sherlock and John down the steps of 221 Baker Street, rotates around them as they interact with Mrs. Hudson, rotates around them again as they go through the narrow entrance corridor, follows them out the door into the street, then flies up into the air as the pair drive off in a taxi. It was pulled off with a wipe, right as John walks across the field of vision, everyone freezes until the camera is put on a crane and action is resumed.
    • Another shot involved the camera mounted on a pole going up the center of a flight of stairs, then through a hole in the floor.
    • The third was involved when there was supposed to be two identical buildings side by side, and the shot went from a room in one of them, through a window, then into another room through a window of the second building. Since the film crew were unable to find a pair of suitable buildings, one of them was CGI, which meant the shot was made by going out, turning around, and going back in the same window, then manipulating it later in editing.
  • Smallville uses these on occasion. One shows Clark leaving Smallville by Super Speed, then the camera pulls back to see the entire Earth, and then zooms in to South America where Clark is arriving.
  • In the season five opener of Stargate Atlantis, the camera zooms out from the team's location and pulls back through the solar system until it turns around, zooms through another solar system, and finally stops as we see an enemy ship orbiting another planet.
  • Star Trek series would often end with a shot of someone looking out a window to have the shot pan out to show the rest of the ship or station they were on.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation they would visually "cheat" the image by pulling out only part way, then cut to the approximate area of the ship. In later series as CG became more cost effective, they would do it uninterrupted.
      ** In the series finale of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the camera pans away from Kira and Jake looking out a window all the way out until the station is out of sight before the credits roll.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise features a couple of insane tracking shots, notably in the third and fourth seasons. One shot follows Enterprise through a massive fray of starships firing on one another while it tries to catch up with and disable the Xindi superweapon before it can jump to Earth and destroy the planet. Another follows Enterprise and Columbia at high warp as the latter ship races to rescue the former, concluding with the camera phasing through Columbia's bridge bulkhead and zooming in on Captain Hernandez's determined Kubrick Stare.
  • Warehouse 13 uses the eye catcher variation using a handful of stock footage bits of moving quickly around the warehouse only to merge the stock footage with original footage as it goes into a specific area.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The opening theme to Fraggle Rock starts with a continuous shot that phases through a window, then follows Gobo through the tunnel.

    Video Games 
  • Apex Legends's sixth season's trailer is almost entirely a long reversed tracking shot, starting with ice falling off of a rocket at World's Edge, before quickly moving to the Dome where an extended teamfight is happening, panning across the chaos going on and eventually following a bullet fired by Rampart's minigun.
  • The intro movie of The Curse of Monkey Island plays with this: The camera zooms towards the titular Monkey Island... then swerves to zoom in on a drifting bumper car with our hero.
  • The Daedalus Encounter does this when Casey's remote probe launches to inspect the titular alien ship that the Artemis crashed into. The probe slowly pans around the outside of its hull, showing the Artemis' damage and several features of the alien ship, set to a pounding rock theme. Ari and Zack decide to EVA with you when your probe spots a breach in the ship's hull.
  • Fallout: New Vegas starts off with one of these, beginning with a framed photo of the Lucky 38 casino hanging on a wall, moving to the trashed Lucky 38 holding it, then to the New Vegas Strip, and continuing onto an NCR sniper, who fires a bullet into a raider's head (that the camera faithfully follows). It continues further back to see Caesar's Legion soldiers moving out towards the Strip. We finally end in the Goodsprings Graveyard, where Benny shoots the Courier.
  • Final Fantasy VII opens with a tracking shot that starts with Aerith staring into a Mako radiator in an alleyway, follows her out onto the streets of Sector 8, pulls back through the skyline of Sector 8, sweeps past the Shinra HQ building in the center of Midgar itself to reveal the entirety of the city, then slowly zooms in past the other side of the Shinra building back down to ground level in Sector 1 where the train carrying Cloud, Barret and the rest of AVALANCHE is just pulling into terminal outside of Reactor 01. The iconic scene has been redone several times since then, first as a PlayStation 3 technical demo made by SquareEnix to show off both the power of the PS3 itself and what their new Crystal Tools engine was capable of. And again for the Final Fantasy VII Remake for PlayStation 4.
    • The game features a second, even more epic tracking shot of the inaugural (and only) shot fired from the Sister Ray after the Mako Cannon from Junon is installed at Midgar. The shot tracks from the butt of the cannon along its barrel (a mini Epic Tracking Shot in itself), then around the plate of Midgar as the seven surviving Mako Reactors fire up in sequence to charge up the cannon.
  • The Journeyman Project begins with a zoom-out shot of the airborne city of Caldoria, followed by an explosion effect cutting to the player character's apartment.
  • The Modern Warfare games like doing this in the cutscenes between missions, going from a satellite view of an entire country and then zooming in progressively to show entire battlefields full of high-tech armies, just to establish the scale. Often the camera zooms in (often from orbit!) to show your squad, and further down to first-person view to begin the mission.
  • The opening cutscene of Primal is a tracking shot starting from a great distance, traveling high above a bridge over a river, past a gargoyle high on a building ledge, continuing forward and down to a back-alley with a junkie lying in it.
  • The opening of Sonic Advance 2 turns this into a fun landfall shot that whips up to the sky to reveal the logo. The landfall itself is towards a roller coaster that isn't featured anywhere else in the game.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1' Action Prologue ends with a tracking shot that zooms out from the battle in Sword Valley, passing through Eryth Sea and Makna Forest (that are in the Bionis' head and back respectively), and finally ends with with a complete shot of both Bionis and Mechonis, the titans who form the game's world.

    Web Animation 
  • Each episode of Red vs. Blue Reconstruction opened with a tracking shot of some kind. Probably the most noteable was when the camera pans over Standoff and unltimately flies through an open window into a base where the characters are standing and the scene begins with no transition. Granted, due to the game engine's flying camera it's not a hard shot to pull off in the game, but it would be in real life.
  • Goldrush, a fan made Team Fortress 2 video.
    CosmoDrazi: Apologies to those who may experience motion sickness due to the roller coaster camera.

  • Gunnerkrigg Court: The first page of "Sky Watcher and the Angel" starts zoomed in on Sky Watcher's antenna, and zooms out to show the entire city skyline.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time starts its intro with a band tuning up while the camera zooms in over several landscapes of the Land of Ooo, passing nearly every character featured on the show to end in Finn and Jake's treehouse and show their epic fistbump.
  • City Hunters opens the first episode with the "camera" in the clouds, then turns downwards, zooming around the skyscrapers until it ends at a window washer.
  • The episode of Futurama "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On TV" has a shot of the Planet Express Ship taking off from New New York, flying around the Earth and landing in LA. All within the space of a few seconds.
  • ReBoot. It was actually quite common for an episode to begin with a view of Mainframe, then with a series of twists, turns and dizzying angles it focused in on the spot they needed to be in order to begin the story.
  • A Couch Gag from The Simpsons features a Shout-Out to Powers of Ten, where the "camera" pulling back to reveal the planet, then the galaxy, then the universe... only to reveal atoms, then cells, then we realise that the universe was within Homer all along.
  • The first episode of Vampirina begins with one continuous and uninterrupted shot of the camera following Vee and Demi flying through the Scare B&B playing tag.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dramatic Landfall Shot


Kaiji 2: The Ultimate Gambler

In one single camera shot, the scene transitions from the rich villain towards the poor hero.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / EpicTrackingShot

Media sources: