Shot, Reverse-Shot Sequence

Instructional Video Production 4(1+3)

Lesson 03: Principles of Visual Grammar

Shot, Reverse-Shot Sequence

This is the basic sequence in a classical narrative construction. For example, shots of two characters engaged in dialogue will favour first one and then the other. The camera will frame one person facing right and the other facing left. Edited together, this gives the illusion of two people facing each other and enables cutting back and forth between the characters that appear to be interacting. The audience ‘read’ the alteration as a link between the characters-whether or not they were actually together when the shots were taken if the eyelines of the two characters match. For example, an interviewer’s questions are often filmed when the interviewee is no longer in the room. In such cases, it should be ensured that their eyes engage with each other, else the effect will be strange and disorienting.


Last modified: Friday, 20 April 2012, 5:50 AM