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It’s typically used to establish the setting of the particular scene – so similar to the establishing shot, but focused more on characters and actors and the contextual relationship with their surroundings.
ICONIC EXAMPLE: When Jim Stark (James Dean) and Plato (Sal Mineo) first meet in jail and Jim offers Plato his jacket (with Judy (Natalie Wood) strategically in the background). Often confused with the establishing shot, this too, identifies key signifiers like who is in the shot and where it’s taking place.
ICONIC EXAMPLE: Opening scene of Alex De Large (Malcom Mc Dowell) in (1971).
This shot is traditionally used in films and focuses on a small part of the actor’s face or body, like a twitching eye or the licking of lips in order to convey intense and intimate emotions.
This is a medium shot that shows two characters within the frame.
Pretty straight-forward but can be pivotal in establishing relationships between the characters. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) shooting Marvin in (1994). This shot normally frames the subject from the top of their head to their feet whilst capturing their environment.
ICONIC EXAMPLE: When Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and Delbert Grady (Philip Stone) converse in the bathroom in (1980).
As it eliminates any surrounding elements that may be relevant to the scene’s narrative, it’s really up to the actor’s skill and focus to shape the story.Also referred to as a ‘semi-close shot’ or ‘mid-shot’, this generally shoots the actor(s) from the waist up and is typically used in dialogue scenes.It aims to capture subtle facial expressions combined with their body language or surrounding environment that may be necessary to provide context.However, as it’s a tough shot to get right, actors really need to be on their A-game when filming and a little patience goes a long way.ICONIC EXAMPLE: The moment Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) realizes his worst fears have come true when first seeing Jaws. This is where the camera is positioned behind a subject’s shoulder and is usually used for filming conversations between two actors.
Basically the direct opposite of the low angle, it aims to portray the subject as submissive, inferior or weak in some way.