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Filmmaking Basics: Choosing the Framing of your Shot PART 1


  • Filmmaking Basics: Choosing the Framing of your Shot PART 1

    Framing is a very important aspect of filmmaking. It helps a filmmaker relay the ideas and images of his or her story story to their audience. Without proper framing, a story can become unclear and distract or mislead the audience. Framing refers to the edges of the image that are composed in a shot. This image is referenced through a camera's viewfinder, LCD display, monitor, and event the final product shown on the Internet or Television.
    Below I have listed the 6 general types of framing used in film.


    Although there are dozens of creative and unique was to frame a shot, the film industry has a general list of framing types. These standard frames, or shots, help a director communicate his or her vision to their cast and crew. The figures below indicate the general standard of framing used in the film industry and a brief description of their use in filmmaking.

    Wide Shot (WIDE)
    A wide shot is generally used as an establishing shot at the beginning of a scene. It brings the audience into the scene and helps them establish where the characters are in relation to one another and the surrounding environment.

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    Medium Wide Shot (MEDWide)
    Also referred to as a 'Cowboy shot', a medium wide shot allows the audience to see any movements by the characters, important background subjects, and other characters that might enter into the scene.

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    Medium Shot (Med)
    Medium shots are most popular in comedy films because it allows the audience a good perspective of the scene, including surrounding characters, body movements, and facial expressions.

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    Medium Close-Up (MedCU)
    A medium close-up provides a view of the character's expressions without getting too intimate. This shot also allows for shooting over the shoulder of another character when engaged in dialogue.

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    Close-Up (CU)
    A close-up shot is a dramatic shot that is used to focus the audiences attention on a character's expression(s). The framing can be very intimate and is also used to help the audience focus on what the character is saying, rather than what's going on around them.

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    Extreme Close-Up (ECU)
    An extreme close-up shows extreme details and is generally used as an artistic shot. ECU's are rarely used for coverage in dialogue situations, but can often be used when framing an insert shot.

    Having an idea of framing will help you create an effective shot list. Framing is just one of many tools and techniques a filmmaker must know when producing a movie. In the age of technology, these tools and techniques can be obtained online rather than attending a traditional film school. The Online Film School Boot Camp is just one example of an online educational resource available to young filmmakers. This online film school provides the fundamentals of filmmaking necessary to produce independent films with little to no budget and can be completed in a fraction of the time it takes to attend a traditional film school.

    I hope this article was helpful and I look forward to seeing your projects. Take care and good filming.

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy commented
      Editing a comment
      Great info for the beginner! Thanks for taking the time to write this!

    • Charles
      Charles commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Trent!
    Posting comments is disabled.



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