There are eight shot sizes commonly used in film and video production:
- Extreme Wide Shot (or Establishing Shot)
- Wide Shot
- Medium Wide Shot
- Mid Shot (or Medium Shot)
- Medium Close Up
- Close Up
- Big Close Up
- Extreme Close Up
EXTREME WIDE SHOT (EWS) – or Establishing Shot
The view is so far from the ‘subject’ that they aren’t visible in the shot. Most often used as an establishing shot to show the setting of the scene.
WIDE SHOT (WS)
The subject is now visible, but the focus is still on placing them in their environment. It is a good shot to show larger than human-scale action.
MEDIUM WIDE SHOT (MWS)
Includes the whole subject within their environment. Typically a ‘Head-to-toe’ framing.
MID SHOT (MS) – Or Medium Shot
Shows some part of the subject in more detail whilst still giving an impression of the whole subject. Framing typically is from head to mid section of the subject.
MEDIUM CLOSE-UP (MCU)
This is a good shot for conversations as it still shows a subject within their environment. The shot is half-way between a Mid Shot and Close-up.
A certain feature or part of the subject takes up the whole frame.
BIG CLOSE-UP (BCU)
Focusses tightly on a subject. Useful for showing nuances of emotion.
EXTREME CLOSE-UP (ECU)
Focusses very closely on a certain part of the subject to show extreme detail.
COMBINATION: MULTIPLE SHOT TYPES
Have a look at this famous scene from Good Will Hunting. How many shot sizes can you count and which shot sizes are used?