Shots classified by usage

Instructional Video Production 4(1+3)

Lesson 06: Types of Shots

Shots classified by usage

Directors, camerapersons, and editors also classify shots as master shot, point-of-view (POV) shot, over-the-shoulder (OTS) shot, and cut-ins and cut-aways.

Master shot The master shot is normally the long shot in which the entire scene is played out. Closer shots in other angles may be shot later and ed­ited into the master shot. The master shot is usually an objective shot, usu­ally shot from the point of view of an imaginary viewer outside the scene.

Point-of-view shot The POV shot is from the viewpoint of one of the per­formers in a scene. It is also called a subjective shot.

Pan/tilt To follow action. To include or ex­clude subjects. To show spatial relationships. To shift attention. To build or clear suspense. To show panoramic views.


Dolly/track in To exclude some objects. To focus attention on part of action. To shift emphasis on an object or part of action. To create subjective movements. Increase emotional tension within the frame. To decrease field of view. To get closer to objects.

Dolly/track out To increase field of view. To go farther away from objects. To include more objects. To create subjective move­ments. Decrease tension.

Truck/crab right/left To follow moving subjects across the screen. To reveal context. To create subjective movements. To emphasize depth of field.

Arc left/right To provide fresh point of view. Exclude or include background or fore-ground. To reframe a shot. To provide subject's position vis-a-vis the set/Location. To avoid transitions and maintain continuity.

Zoom in/out To adjust framing by remov­ing or including certain objects. To get a big­ger view of far away objects or get a wider shot when the normal Lens cannot provide the desired field of view. Increase or decrease depth of field. To increase flexibility in terms of production. To produce distorted images or otherwise.

Ped up/down To show the relationship be­tween foreground and background. Ped up helps in seeing foreground and overall action even while decreasing the significance of the primary subject. Ped down helps see primary subjects in the foreground and Lends signifi­cance to them. Ped up and ped down to­gether provide fresh view points.

Over-the-shoulder shot The OTS may use­fully link two or more participants in a con­versation; the camera looks at someone over the shoulder of the camera-near per­son (Fig. 1.14). This is also a subjective shot.

Cut-ins and cut-aways Directors and edi­tors are fond of camerapersons who shoot a lot of cut-ins and cut-aways. These shots come in handy while editing a programme and may be inserted into the programme to

Fig. 1 . 14 Over-the-shoulder shot speed up the editing, compress time, or to
cover a hiatus in the action During a rou­tine interview, shots of the interviewer or of the interviewee's hands, of objects around the room are examples of cut-ins, whereas cutting to shots of objects that the interviewee is referring to outside the geographical area of the interview (for example, shots of trains, platforms, etc. edited into an interview with a railway minister) are called cut-aways. In a documentary interview, the subject talks about how the construction of a bridge has helped the village in more than one way, and we see a long shot of the bridge, people crossing the bridge, farmers taking potatoes across the bridge, etc. All the shots that the editor cuts to during such an interview are cut-aways.

Say you want to shoot a cooking show and the actual cooking time is about 30 minutes. You may not, however, want to show the dish being cooked for 30 minutes. This is how you could edit the shoot. In the first shot show the vessel on the stove flame. In the next shot show the boiling of vegetables. Now cut in to an ECU of the flame. This cut-in suggests that the dish has been cooked. Next cut to a close-up of the dish in the vessel. This edited scene of cooking the dish hardly takes about 10 seconds! Cut-ins and cut-aways also serve to telescope action, that is, they help in collapsing ac­tual time to appropriate screen time. Let us take another example. Say you are editing an interview with a scientist in a garden. You cut-away from the scientist to shots of his laboratory. The shots of the laboratory inserted into the interview constitute cut-aways. Later you cut to an MLS of the scientist looking into a microscope. You then cut-in with close shots of the scientist's hands and his eyes peering into the microscope. The cut-away turns to look at a related subject or a separate action. The cut-in cuts into the main action by taking a close-up. In common parlance it is called an insert shot.

Last modified: Saturday, 21 April 2012, 1:10 PM