WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
"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 gives the impression that the subject is spinning.

This was a particularly common shot in music videos during the 1980s.

Orbital Kiss is a common subtrope. The Orbital Shot is often used in Bullet Time. See also Dizzy Cam, which is an Orbital Shot done with a handheld camera at a distressing speed.

Not to be confused with Kill Sat, which is an entirely different kind of orbital shot.

Examples of Orbital Shot include:

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.


  • In Bad Boys 2, 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.
  • 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 "You wanna know how I got these scars?"
  • In the just-begging-for-a-Riff Trax 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.

Live Action TV

  • 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 Carnivale 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 Myth Busters 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.


  • Rick Astley's Lights Out music video makes EXTENSIVE use of the orbital shot, with mind-dizzying action lasting for almost the entire video.

Video Games

  • 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 did 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.

Western Animation

  • In the finale of Danny Phantom, Danny and Sam get one during a romantic moment.
  • 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.
  • In Shrek, during a fight, as a Shout-Out to The Matrix.
  • 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.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.