Here are some common terms that may come up in conversation when planning a video. In this blog, we have focused on terms for the framing of shots. Next in the series will be camera angles and in the final blog, we will focus on camera movement.
As you’ve probably noticed, video shots don’t just vary in size, they also vary in position and angle. Your production team aren’t just choosing a random shot because they like it. The frame and angle of a shot can give the video a different mood and feeling. Emotions are expressed through the shots.
We’ll start with framing – the framing of a shot refers to what is seen in the shot. A wide frame can fit a lot of action in it whereas a narrow frame shows less and will, therefore, be more focused on a particular person, place or action.
Extreme Long Shot
This is also referred to as an ‘Establishing Shot’. This kind of shot is often used to establish or set a scene. It is usually quite wide and may be of a landscape or building. It introduces the setting of the scene. For a corporate video, this may be the exterior of the office and will probably be the opening shot of the video.
This is a slightly tighter frame than the extreme long shot. It generally shows the image as approximately ‘life-size, i.e. you will see a full body of a person, not just a small portion of them. Plenty of background detail is still visible, just less than in the extreme long shot.
This contains a figure from the knees or waist up. It is used for dialogue scenes and in talking head interviews. A ‘Two Shot’, ‘Three Shot’ and an ‘Over the Shoulder Shot’ are all variations of this kind of shot.
Source: BH PhotoVideo
A medium shot containing two figures.
Source: Internet Film School
A medium shot containing three figures.
Over the Shoulder Shot
A medium shot where the camera is positioned behind one figure, just revealing part of their back and part of another figure facing the screen. This is often used for dialogue/conversation shots.
This will show very little background and will focus on one part of a figure - possibly a face. This is an intimate shot and expresses a lot of emotion. We are drawn to the figure's expression (if it’s a face). This shot may be used amongst medium shots in a talking head interview. When the interviewee is making an important point, a close-up shot may be used to emphasise it.
This is a more extreme version of the close-up. It would be more commonly used in cinema and music videos than corporate videos. These shots magnify beyond what the human eye would experience in reality. Examples are only showing an eye or mouth of a figure. This shot is used to dramatise a scene and would be too extreme for most corporate videos.
This stands for ‘Point of View’. This is when the camera is positioned so that it reflects what a character's eyes would see. It is used to bring the viewer into the story and make them feel what that character is experiencing. The character is not visible in the shot.
Most videos will use a mixture of different frames, instead of focusing on one type. The majority of shots will probably be a medium shot as this is not too extreme either way.
Watch this space for more blogs explaining video jargon. The next in the series is camera angles.