The Language of Video and Film Production

Woman talking about her idea

The Language of Video and Film Production

Common Terms Used in Video and Film Production

With the end of financial year, the team here at VMP have been run off our feet with last-minute shoots! When you’re working hard and fast it’s important to have good communication within your team. This brought up the topic of shot classification.

Our team has worked together many many times.  Communicating and setting up shots has become easy as we know each other’s styles and preferences well. But in case you work with an unfamiliar team or a new shooter, here are the basic shot classifications that you’ll need to know. Luckily, us media type like to keep things basic and all the names are pretty simple.

EWS (Extreme Wide Shot)

Often used as an establishing or landscape shot, an EWS is such a wide shot that any subject probably isn’t even visible.

VWS (Very Wide Shot)

Another shot that is often used as an establishing shot is the VSW, this is slightly closer than the EWS and a subject would be visible (barely), but the emphasis is still the environment.

WS (Wide Shot)

Also known as a long, or full shot, a WS shows a subject in full frame.

MS (Mid Shot)

An MS shows part of your subject in more detail, whilst still giving an impression of the whole.

MCU (Medium Close Up)

Halfway between an MS and a CU, this is a common shot for interviews. Some professionals believe in cutting at the chakra points of the body for the most appealing shots.

CU (Close Up)

A CU is used for capturing emotion or a certain feature or part of the subject. This takes up the whole frame.

ECU (Extreme Close Up)

The ECU cuts right in on the subject and shows extreme detail. Think shady eyes shot.

Cut-In

A Cut-in shows some other parts of the subject in detail. You’ll see this kind of shot a lot when you watch an interview with the subjects face blacked out.

Insert Close Up

Inserts are used to bring attention to an object of significance. Say, for example, you have a character in a previous shot looking towards their right and the sound of a phone ringing, the next shot could be a single close-up of a mobile on the bed. This would also be known as an insert.

CA (Cutaway)

A shot of something other than the subject, used to liven up the video or help establish a story.

Two-Shot

You guessed it, a shot of two people, framed similarly, usually to an MS.

(OSS) Over-the-Shoulder Shot

Yep, again, exactly what it sounds like. Looking from behind a person at the subject.

Noddy Shot

See what we mean about simple? A noddy shot usually refers to a shot of the interviewer listening and reacting (or nodding) to the subject. ACA loves this kind of shot.

Point-of-View Shot (POV)

Okay, this is getting too easy now. A POV shows a view from the subject’s perspective.

Weather Shot

This is similar to an ECU, just kidding, the subject is the weather, typically a wide shot.

So that’s a lot of shots, let’s recap on the most important ones with a tiny bit more detail.

WIDE

The WIDE shot is almost always used as your master or establishing shot to guide your action.  This can give your audience information to where your subject is or are located within an area.

Man in office explaining film production terms

MEDIUM

The MEDIUM shot is closer than a wide shot, an exact line is blurry but in most cases, it’s from the waist up. Medium shots allow us to see more detail such as a character’s identity, clothing, their facial expressions and gestures. It’s more involved and perfect for both action and dialog shots which makes it the most popular shot.

Man in office explaining film production terms

CLOSE-UP

The CLOSE-UP is an even more involved shot. Usually highlighting expression or bring attention to an object. CU’s aren’t great for action.

Man in office explaining film production termsKeep these three types of shots in mind, and your shot communication will be fine. Make sure to use a variety so there’s some flexibility and interest when you go to edit.

VMP is a Brisbane video production house which specialises in many forms of media production.  Our services range from television commercials to promotional videos, corporate videos, online video production, e-learning projects and more. Delivering quality screen productions for over 19 years, VMP is one of Brisbane’s leading video and film production companies. We are your one-stop shop for corporate video production Brisbane. For more information, a quote or just a chat about how we could deliver your message in a more compelling fashion, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Also, quick shout out to our beautiful model Mark. Stay classy you magnificent beast.

Mon, 03/08/2015 – 12:28pm

CONTACT US AT VMP

VMP is a Brisbane video production house which specialises in many forms of media production.  Our services range from television commercials to promotional videos, corporate videos, online video production, e-learning projects and more (see our recent projects). Delivering quality screen productions for over 20 years, VMP is one of Brisbane’s leading video and film production companies. We are your one-stop shop for corporate video production in Brisbane. For more information, quote or just a chat about how we can deliver your message more effectively, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 07 3324 0900 or send us your enquiries.