How often should you use establlishing shots

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I've seen a few armature videos and the one thing they seem to
    miss is a establishing shot (ie a wide view shot) so you know where
    the people in the video are located. It's not away clear from the back
    ground where a person is located (at home, in a shop, at work, etc).
    Are there general rules in when and how often you use an establishing
    shot? I should imagine you need a establishing shot at the start of
    every new location.
    If a persoon was to throw a package to another person standing
    near by then what's the best way to record this?
    1 a medium shot of both people side on to the camera.
    2 a over the shoulder shot of the person throwing the package
    3 a over the shoulder shot of the person receiving the package
    4 In two shots, first the person throwing the package and the second
    shot of the other person catching the package.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Jul 17, 2009
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  2. Brian

    David McCall Guest

    Rules are just guidelines. You have to do whatever tells the story best.
    generally you would show the people and their relationship to each other
    and the surrounding scene, then go in for detail.and to follow the action.
    That gets to be pretty pedestrian real quick though. Rules give you
    something to do that generally works when you don't have anything better.

    David McCall, Jul 17, 2009
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  3. Brian

    David McCall Guest

    I'd guess that was the suggestion of the spell checker.

    Armatures are also the framework upon which you
    start a sculpture or a marionette too. It is also used in
    that context in 3D modeling by some 3D animators.

    David McCall, Jul 17, 2009
  4. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks for your replies to my posted question.
    No one seems to make a choice of 1 to 4, is it because others will say
    it was the wrong choice.

    Pre haps if I go more into detail for the shot then someone will reply
    with a choice.
    In this situation it was a short story that takes place in a
    department store where the boss standing near the counter throws a
    ball at a young employee standing about 10 to 15 feet away and the
    boss says "Have your bother sign the ball for me" (his bother is
    famous for sport). The younger employee drops his lunch box to catch
    the ball but then does not fully catch the ball as it and his lunch
    falls to the floor. The boss says "I hope your better at your job then
    what you are in catching a ball" (the employee is new on the job).
    All I'm asking is if you had the decision 1 - 4 as a director or
    cameraman what would you choose?

    PS option 1 may not work as they are a distance from each other and
    there is less impact seen by the audience with him dropping the ball
    and his lunch.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Jul 18, 2009
  5. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I've been studying some soap operas on TV and notice that for
    every new location there is an establishing shot either at the start
    of the new location or a few seconds from the start if there is a
    close up or med shot first such as a med shot of someone laying in bed
    in a hospital. So that must be one of the rules.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Jul 18, 2009
  6. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I thought about it a bit more and maybe it would work if 3 camera
    shots were used.
    Medium front shot of boss about to throw the ball
    Shot behind boss of ball going to young employee as the boss throws it
    Med front shot of young empoyee trying to catch the ball.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Jul 20, 2009
  7. "Brian" wrote ...
    Watch (or rather listen to) the commendary on the "Hunt for Red
    October" DVD/BD where they talked about designing the interiors
    of the US vs. USSR submarines very differently and even lighting
    them differently so that they could dispense with the establishing
    shots in order to move the storyline along. The only "rule" is what
    will convey your intended message to the targetted audience.
    Richard Crowley, Jul 21, 2009
  8. I'm slowly catching up with some old threads, sorry :)

    Soapies are hardly creative in editing and they just follow the "rules
    of the book" in order to not confuse their intellectually challenged
    audience too much ;-)
    A good, classic book about these rules is The 5 C's Of Cinematography
    by Joe Mascelli. It discusses things like this.


    Martin Heffels, Sep 13, 2009
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