Have you ever watched an action movie that had some cheesy dialogue, a predictable plot, and not the greatest actors? But still you were drawn into the movie. Your body tensed with the action, and your heart stopped with every close call? How were the filmmakers able to pull you in?Deliberately selecting certain types of shots is just one of the ways producers try to coerce the audience into relating and feeling different emotions during different points of the movie.
Listed below are the terms used to describe the most common types of shots in video making. And while there’s no secret formula for the order of shots or number of different shots, there are some general conventions described below that are used to help audiences feel a certain way, and it’s certainly good to have a mixture of these types of shots within your video pieces.
1. Establishing or Extremely Wide Shot
These are typically wide angle shots usually at the beginning of the scene that show the full environment in order to set the stage so that your viewer knows where the story is taking place. For example, imagine that you’ve just walked into party. The first thing you’d do is to scan the entire room to get your bearings. Similarly, providing an establishing shot allows your audience to take in a quick overview of the scene.
2. Wide Shot or Long Shot
Wide shots provide for a little tighter view of a scene as compared to the establishing/extremely wide shot. However, wide/long shots also show an overall view of the scene. It can show the entirety of the subject and its surrounding environment.
3. Medium Shot
This shot gets in a little closer to the subject and usually portrays the subject from the waist up. If the subject will be gesturing, this is a good shot to use.
4. Close Up
A close up is a tight view of the subject. If the subject were a person, the person’s face would fill the entire frame for a close up.
5. Extreme Close Up
An even tighter shot than the close up. Close up shots show a lot of detail and can create a feeling of intimacy or emotion. These shots should be used sparingly.
6. Two shot
Two subjects are included in the two shot to show their spacial relation to each other. These are often medium or wide shots.
7. Over the shoulder shot
These are shots filmed from behind a person and will show the back of a person’s head. You’ll tend to find these in scenes with a dialogue between two people. For example, in wedding videos you’ll often have the camera behind the groom with a focus on the bride, but you’ll still see the head of the groom in the shot so the viewer knows the bride is speaking to the groom.
8. Cutaway shot
Cutaway shots show anything other than the main subjects. These shots are inserted between the main shots and are used to add further information to the overall scene. For example, if we were making a movie about the bears in the previous two pictures we could do a cutaway shot to strawberries to indicate that they were thinking about strawberries.
1. High angle
With high angles, the camera looks down on the subject. The high angle is commonly used to portray the subject as small and vulnerable.
2. Eye level
We are used to seeing people at eye level in everyday life so this is the most common angle. The eye level angle is the eye level of your subject rather than your own.
3. Low angle
Opposite of the high angle, the low angle has the camera down low and looking up at the subject. Low angles are used to make the subject appear larger and dominant.