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Varying Your Shot Composition: Video 101

Posted By Guest Post On August 18, 2011 @ 3:52 pm In Video Essentials | Comments Disabled

The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School [1]. It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.

A fundamental part of visual storytelling is variety. If your entire video consists of one single shot, it’s going to be hard to keep the audience engaged for the duration of the story. That’s why in most videos and movies there are a variety of shots or compositions that are used to enhance the storytelling. Keeping in mind the tips from our lesson Framing and Composition [2], check out the most common types of these shots below.

To help illustrate these various shots, we have taken still images from two recent Vimeo HQ videos, Vimeo Man [3] and Texas Intern [4]. Let’s dive into these examples!



EWS – Extremely Wide Shot (or Establishing)
Establishing shots are shown towards the beginning or end of a scene, to set the stage and show the full environment. Here we show the exterior of Vimeo HQ, so the audience knows where the story is about to take place.



WS – Wide Shot
Wide shots show the whole subject and their surrounding environment. In this shot, we show Matt at his desk, but also leave it enough room in the shot so that we can see that others are present.



MS – Mid Shot
The Mid Shot gets closer to the main subject, showing more detailed gestures and body language. Here is Matt coming upon Vimeo Man in disbelief.



MCU – Medium Close Up
Medium Close Ups are just a touch closer than Mid Shots, but give greater detail, in this case it’s emphasizing Matt and his obsession with all things Vimeo.



CU – Close Up
Close Ups fill the frame almost entirely with the subject’s face. This emphasizes a character’s facial expressions and helps the audience understand their reactions. Here is a close up shot of the Texan, blowing smoke from his pistol while squinting his eyes.



ECU – Extreme Close Up
Extreme Close Ups are super close to the subject, usually detailing just one part of their face, like the eyes or mouth. In this case, it’s Vimeo Man’s flashy glasses.



Cut-In
Cut-Ins, also known as insert shots, typically show objects or props that a character is manipulating. For example in the shot above we see the Texan’s pistol as he is firing it.



Two-Shot
Two-Shots show two subjects in the frame and their spatial relation to one another. Usually both are positioned to fill up roughly the same amount of space within the frame. Two shots are often used during dialogue scenes like in the shot above where Andrea is explaining Vimeo to Matt.



OTS – Over The Shoulder Shot
Over The Shoulder shots are also used in dialogue scenes to show conversations between two people but with an emphasis on a particular character’s perspective. Here we see Dan and the Texan discussing modes of transportation.

All of these common shot types emphasize different elements of your video. Whether it’s the setting, a facial expression, or an object in an insert shot, they all help to tell the story by focusing the viewers attention. It’s up to you as a video maker to tell your story in a series of shots, so think of what you want to convey and emphasize that with your shot selection. You’ll find that a good dose of shot variety helps keep your audience engaged and watching, and that’s a good thing!

Check back next week to learn tripod tricks or view more lessons at the Vimeo Video School [1].


Article printed from Onlinevideo.net – Online Video Strategies, Platforms, News, and Tips: http://www.onlinevideo.net

URL to article: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/varying-your-shot-composition-video-101/

URLs in this post:

[1] Vimeo Video School: http://vimeo.com/videoschool

[2] Framing and Composition: http://vimeo.com/videoschool/lesson/8/framing-and-composition

[3] Vimeo Man: http://vimeo.com/25717644

[4] Texas Intern: http://vimeo.com/23156561

[5] Keep it in Focus: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/keep-it-in-focus-video-101/

[6] Understanding Jump Cuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/04/understanding-jump-cuts-video-101/

[7] How to Make a Non-Profit Promo: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/03/how-to-make-a-non-profit-promo-video-101/

[8] How to Connect Your Computer and TV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2013/01/how-to-connect-your-computer-and-tv-video-101/

[9] The Many Uses of a Ring Light: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-the-many-uses-of-a-ring-light/

[10] How to Make an Infinity Wall: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/video-101-how-to-make-an-infinity-wall/

[11] How to Make an Animated Title Sequence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/12/how-to-make-an-animated-title-sequence-video-101/

[12] Essential Video Gear for Traveling: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/07/essential-video-gear-for-traveling-video-101/

[13] Learn Final Cut Pro Keyboard Shortcuts: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/04/learn-final-cut-pro-keyboard-shortcuts-video-101/

[14] Get Great Results from Smartphone Video Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2012/03/get-great-results-from-smartphone-video-cameras-video-101/

[15] Light up Your Videos with a Bounce: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/light-up-your-videos-with-a-bounce-video-101/

[16] What Is Motion Design and How Can You Use It? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/12/what-is-motion-design-and-how-can-you-use-it-video-101/

[17] Fast Focus Tips for DSLRs, Video Cameras, Smartphones: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/fast-focus-tips-for-dslrs-video-cameras-smartphones-video-101/

[18] Color Your World with Gels and Light Diffusors: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/color-your-world-with-gels-and-light-diffusors/

[19] Get Some Perspective with POV: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/11/get-some-perspective-with-pov-video-101/

[20] Learn to Create Scary Special Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-create-scary-special-effects-video-101/

[21] Learn to Use Zoom, Moving Camera, & Moving Zoom: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/learn-to-use-zoom-moving-camera-moving-zoom-video-101/

[22] What Is Crop Factor and Why Does it Matter? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/what-is-crop-factor-and-why-does-it-matter-video-101/

[23] Who's Who on the Crew? Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/10/whos-who-on-the-crew-video-101/

[24] Room Tone -- Why You Should Capture the Sound of Silence: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/room-tone-why-you-should-capture-the-sound-of-silence/

[25] How to Create Storyboards: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/09/how-to-create-storyboards-video-101/

[26] The Best Tripod Tricks: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/the-best-tripod-tricks-video-101/

[27] Learn to Create a Tilt-Shift Effect in Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/learn-to-create-a-tilt-shift-effect-in-your-videos-video-101/

[28] Setting the Pace While Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/08/setting-the-pace-while-editing-video-101/

[29] Nighttime Video Shooting with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/nighttime-video-shooting-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[30] Create a Timelapse Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/create-a-timelapse-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[31] Recording Sound for DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/recording-sound-for-dslr-cameras-video-101/

[32] Shooting Video with a DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/shooting-video-with-a-dslr-camera-video-101/

[33] Choose the Right DSLR Accessories: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/07/choose-the-right-dslr-accessories-video-101/

[34] Choosing a DSLR Lens: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/choosing-a-dslr-lens-video-101/

[35] Learn How to Set Up Your DSLR Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/06/learn-how-to-set-up-your-dslr-camera-video-101/

[36] The ABCs of DSLR Cameras: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-abcs-of-dslr-cameras/

[37] The 180-Degree Rule Explained: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/the-180-degree-rule-explained-video-101/

[38] Learn the Difference Between Frame Rate and Shutter Speed: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/learn-the-difference-between-frame-rate-and-shutter-speed/

[39] Getting started with Adobe After Effects: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/05/getting-started-with-adobe-after-effects-video-101/

[40] How to Create a Timelapse Movie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/how-to-create-a-timelapse-movie-video-101/

[41] Preparing Your Gear for a Shoot: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/preparing-your-gear-for-a-shoot-video-101/

[42] Understanding Framing and Composition: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/understanding-framing-and-composition-video-101/

[43] Mastering Three-Point Lighting: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/04/mastering-three-point-lighting-video-101/

[44] How to Color Correct Your Videos: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-color-correct-your-videos/

[45] How to White Balance Your Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/how-to-white-balance-your-camera-video-101/

[46] Learn to Hold Your Camera Like a Pro: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/learn-to-hold-your-camera-like-a-pro/

[47] The ABCs of Tripods: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-abcs-of-tripods-video-101/

[48] The Basics of Image Resolution: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/03/the-basics-of-image-resolution-video-101/

[49] Stop Shaky Camera Syndrome: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/stop-shaky-camera-syndrome-video-101/

[50] Editing with Windows Live Movie Maker: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/02/editing-with-windows-live-movie-maker-video-101/

[51] Editing with Apple iMovie: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/editing-with-apple-imovie-video-101/

[52] The Basics of Video Editing: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/the-basics-of-video-editing-video-101/

[53] How to Shoot Your Video: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-shoot-your-video/

[54] How to Choose a Camera: Video 101: http://www.onlinevideo.net/2011/01/video-101-how-to-choose-a-camera/

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