Shot Size

The size of a shot is an important part of visual storytelling, and a variety are used to different ends. Shot size is defined as how much of the scene is included in the picture. Broadly speaking, there are three categories of shot sizes: long, medium, and close, with subcategories included.

Getting Started

To determine the number, types, and frequency of differing shot types, filmmakers need to have a clear idea of what story they want to tell and how they want to tell it. This requires having a solid script worked out first, and either during or just after the scriptwriting phase, the shot sizes are determined.

Confused? Lego Rocker will reveal all.

Moving Between Shot Sizes

When changing shot size, it’s usual to move the camera to a different position around the subject. This makes the edit more subtle. If one shot is from directly in front, the second should be at an angle or from the side. Moving within the same frame, you may get a jump cut where the camera seems to ‘jump’ forwards or backwards. 

A masterclass in shot size from Sergio Leone.

An establishing wide from Road to Perdition (2002)

An extreme close-up from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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