Shot Types - Video Basics

by Allen Kingsbury & Jarret Brown

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In video, we give names to several of the ways we can put frames around our subjects. In this example you see a Wide or Establishing Shot. Here the subjects are shown in their context. Note the placement of the subjects on the one third lines of the frame.

Establishing shot or wide shot (WS)
This shot establishes the location. An establishing shot shows the environment or context of a scene. The wide shot will show the entire body of the subject.

Medium shot (MS)
This is an example of a medium shot. A medium shot is usually framed from head to torso.

Close Up (CU)
And this is a Close Up which shows the most detail. A close up is usually framed from the head down to the shoulders.

Extreme close up (ECU)
An extreme close up is even closer. A good example would be just showing the eyes of a person.

These shots below are cut together to tell a story.

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