5 Standard Filmmaking Shots Every Cinematographer Must Know

1. Establishing Shot

The establishing shot is typically the first shot an audience ever sees, and sets up any new scenes in a film too. It literally establishes the context and space of a scene. The establishing shot is often an extreme wide shot of a city or building. This not only gives the audience a sense of location, but they also realize what time the scene takes place.

Establishing shots can also be used to set up a concept, such as a squadron of flying helicopters representing war. They also showcase relationships between characters, like a patient and doctor, or a teacher and students. The establishing shot does not rely on narrative. The shot alone should tell the audience everything they need to know.

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