I am currently translating a book called "#GIRLBOSS" by Sophia Amoruso and there's a phrase I can't clarify its meaning.

"I was proud of my video project, which was a series of pans with Bad Religion's angst-ridden song "Infected" as the soundtrack. Bam, shot of the Nike factory outlet store. Bam, shot of money. Bam, shot of graveyard."

I've scanned each and every meaning of 'pan' to no avail. I think the word is describing the images of Nike, money, graveyard etc in whole, but I can't see the connection between them.

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  • 7
    It's a cinematographic term: try Oxford, but in my experience pan is used for horizontal turns, tilt for vertical turns of the camera. – StoneyB Aug 12 '18 at 11:56
  • 6
    I'm curious, what dictionary does not include this cinematic meaning of "pan"? – GEdgar Aug 12 '18 at 12:40

As I saw GEdgar's comment and agreed with it, I went and got some definitions:

3 . pan
To pivot a movie camera along a horizontal plane in order to follow an object or create a panoramic effect.
To pivot (a movie camera) in a specified direction.
A pivoting movement of a movie camera.

American Heritage Dictionary

(Film) to move (a film camera) or (of a film camera) to be moved so as to follow a moving object or obtain a panoramic effect
n (Film)
a. the act of panning
b. (as modifier): a pan shot.

Collins English Dictionary

transitive verb
: to rotate (a camera, such as a motion-picture camera) so as to keep an object in the picture or secure a panoramic effect

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

1 . with object and adverbial of direction
Swing (a video or film camera) in a horizontal or vertical plane, typically to give a panoramic effect or follow a subject.

1.1 no object, with adverbial of direction (of a camera) be swung in a horizontal or vertical plane.

Oxford Living Dictionaries

Camera panning Wikipedia article

Sorry, I may have lost my train of thought while copying and pasting, what you're looking for is "pan" as a noun, which is how it's used in your example. Note the two "A pivoting movement of a movie camera." and "Act of panning."

  • Thank you so much for your thorough answer. I was looking for it as a 'noun' that I didn't know the meaning was actually a verb. – Халиука Б. Aug 14 '18 at 12:12
  • @ХалиукаБ. Yes, it's a verb, but here it's noun. Just how a "move" can be an act of "moving", a "pan" can be an act of "panning". So the "series of pans" is a series of camera panning movements. It's an easy mistake to make. – Zebrafish Aug 14 '18 at 13:58

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