Long shot comprises the entire body.
Like medium long shot, long shot also reveals body movement efficiently.
While you can still recognize the person in a long shot, you will also have a good idea about the background and environment in which he exists. To some degree, a long shot is more focused on the atmosphere, the relation between character and the environment.
Very often, the first shot of a scene is a long shot, so that the audience can understand the geography to the scene, position of character in the scene, spatial relations between characters, and so forth. Such a shot is usually called an “establishing shot” because it establishes the scene right at the beginning.
Extreme long shot
Also known as “wide shot”.
In an extreme long shot, the subject is too small to be recognized. In this situation, the environment itself is often the emphasis. Long shot tells you the location, the natural characteristic of the scene, the atmosphere, and much more about where the story will take place.
Many film/video starts with an extreme long shot to set a general tone for the whole film/video or maybe provide a background for program title.
It’s my habit to find a good angle and shoot a wide shot for every location. It should be your first thing when you arrive at the site.
Maybe not very creative or unique, but generally you can’t go wrong with an extreme long shot as the first shot of your video.
Before you get enough experience, you’d better not to start with a close up, although that could be very impressive and emotionally efficient.
Medium long shot
A medium long shot is composed from slightly above or below the knee.
In a medium long shot, you can still see the character’s facial expression. But what medium long shot describes best is body language and movement. A good amount of shots in typical action film are medium long shots.
Never align the bottom line of a shot with the knee. Do you feel the pain when I say, “cut the knee”?
If the character is walking in a shot, keep enough room on the side of the frame towards which the character is moving.
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