In cinema, every shot tells a story. Are your shots telling the right story? In this guide, we’re going to look at the wide shot. What they are and how to use them to tell effective stories.
There are many ways to tell your story. And one of the most powerful is through visuals.
It’s hard to believe that we can still be so moved by something as simple as a camera shot, but it’s true!
The way in which an audience views and interprets a scene has more power than you might think!
What Is a Wide Shot?
A wide shot is a type of camera setup that films the widest possible view.
A wide shot can be used to show an entire scene or just one person in their environment. Wide shots are typically filmed from at least 3-4 feet away.
Wide shots are often used for establishing shots and background scenes in movies to give viewers a sense of where they are before cutting to closer angles on people’s faces and bodies.
For years, filmmakers have utilized wide shots as a way to tell stories.
But what are they?
There is no one correct way to shoot a wide shot; instead, it’s up to directors and cinematographers to choose which type of shot will best convey their vision for the film.
A scene may be filmed with multiple camera angles so that it can later be edited in post-production to create different effects such as cutting from one person’s reaction to another character’s speech.
Wide shots are particularly effective for this purpose. Without further ado, let’s jump in!
Wide Shot Intro
If you’re anything like me, editing a video is one of the most tedious aspects of filmmaking.
You spend hours with your camera shooting footage and then even more editing it together to make sure every shot is perfect before uploading it for the world to see.
It’s easy to get lost in all that work and not realize just how much goes into each frame.
Wide shots are meant to catch the entire scene, which is important for establishing the setting and mood.
Wide shots are frequently used in the film to create a sense of space, scope, and perspective.
The term wide shot is often used in filmmaking to describe a scene that includes the entirety of the action. It’s also sometimes called “establishing shot” and it can be used in movies, TV shows, or even theater productions.
The purpose of this type of opening scene is to show a lot without showing everything all at once.
What Does A Wide Shot Do?
A wide shot can be used by directors as a way of letting their audience know that they’re on a grand adventure or that there’s something off-kilter about this particular scene.
Wide shots are used extensively in sports broadcasting because they provide context about where players are on the field during play and other important details.
Wide shots are typically used for establishing shots, and can also be used when we want to show how large something is.
This type of shot will often include other people and objects in it as well, so there’s plenty going on in this type of picture.
It also makes dialogue more audible by eliminating close-ups and other distracting elements that would otherwise compete with speech.
When To Use A Wide Shot
The main use of this camera angle is to establish where the scene takes place and what characters are involved in it.
Wide shots are used to establish where the characters are in relation to each other, and can also be used for establishing shots.
Wide shots are often used when filming outdoors or in an area with a lot of room to move around.
If you want your audience to see what’s going on from every angle possible, then using this type of shot will make sure they do just that!
Establishing Wide Shots
A wide shot can be accomplished in various ways, such as by using a zoom lens set at an extreme focal length (e.g., 400 mm), moving large objects to occupy the foreground, or physically moving the camera back from a close-up position.
A good example of a wide shot would be from “No Country For Old Men.”
The opening scene starts with a long panning shot that shows the entire town before focusing on Tommy Lee Jones’s character. This establishing shot lets us know where we are as well as introduces our main character who will then have to deal with what lives there.
The Poetry Of Wide Shots
A camera is a powerful tool. Its ability to capture the world in one single image has made it an essential part of our daily lives.
But what happens when you take that power and use it in your own life?
What if instead of capturing other people’s moments, you captured your own?
The average person will take around 10,000 photos in their lifetime. This is a staggering number of memories captured and stored on devices – some may be filled with happy moments, while others are more painful to look at.
What does the future hold for all these images? Who gets to decide what memories are worth keeping?
The art of the wide shot is one of the hardest to master. The camera must be steady and still, and while it captures a large portion of space in its frame, it does not focus on any particular subject or idea.
It is an all-encompassing view that reveals everything but nothing at once.
What Is An Extreme Wide Shot?
An extreme wide shot is a camera angle that provides the viewer with a sense of being immersed in the scene. The camera can be close to the ground, or high up from above.
When used for narrative purposes, these shots are often used to show characters’ reactions and emotions, as well as provide insight into their surroundings.
This type of shot is typically framed so that it feels like viewers are looking through someone’s eyes instead of watching them from afar.
It is a type of camera angle in which the subject fills most or all of the screen, and there are no other subjects visible. The purpose of this type of shot is to show a large scope and to provide context for what’s happening.
For example, if you were filming someone’s backyard, you may want to use an extreme wide shot so that the viewer can see their entire house as well as all of their property.
When To Use An Extreme Wide Shot?
Extreme wide shots are a great way to capture the essence of an event.
For example, one could use an extreme wide shot when filming a wedding ceremony and want to capture all of the guests in attendance or when shooting a concert to show off the entire venue. Extreme wide shots can be used for any occasion!
This can be useful for establishing shots to show a location or setting, or it may also be used as a close-up when there are many people involved in the scene.
An Extreme Close-Up tends to focus more on one person’s face and is usually angled upwards from below their chin so as to make them appear taller than they are in reality.
These shots are often used as establishing shots or for showing grand scenes.
You may have seen them in films like “The Lion King” where its opening scene starts with just Scar and Mufasa on the cliffside overlooking their kingdom.
What Is An Establishing Shot?
An establishing shot is a long-distance panoramic view that usually starts high up and moves down to show the setting of the scene.
When used as a transitional device in film and television, it can be used to show changes in time and place between scenes.
Establishing shots are usually wider than other types of shots and can last up to 20 seconds.
The purpose of an establishing shot is to provide context for what follows in the film, such as providing an overview of a room where the story will take place, showing how large or small it is relative to its surroundings or giving clues about the geographical location by showing specific features like mountains or bodies of water.
Establishing shots can be used when introducing new characters to set up their background story or as a transition between scenes.