Shot Types –The Language of Cinema

When shooting a scene, you'll typically favor getting multiple shots. This process is referred to as getting coverage. Just as a single photo can say so much, combining multiple angles together can tell the story better (letting you show interesting details or emotions). This process is important because it allows for more flexibility in editing. You can choose to condense, action, cover mistakes, or even direct the viewer's attention with a variety of shot types. These shots have a language of their own. Knowing the most common shot types lets crew members talk to each other.

Wide Shot (WS) – A wide shot (also called an establishing shot) is useful to show the entire subject. With a person, this usually means seeing from the top of their heads to the bottom of their feet.