Shot (filmmaking)  

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A film still from the Great Train Robbery, a robber shooting at the projection screen.
 This page Shot (filmmaking) is part of the film series.  Illustration: screen shot from L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat
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This page Shot (filmmaking) is part of the film series.
Illustration: screen shot from L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In film, a shot is a continuous strip of motion picture film, created of a series of frames, that runs for an uninterrupted period of time. It generally portrays a subject. Shots are generally filmed with a single camera and can be of any duration. A shot can be compared to a word with each frame being a letter, a scene as being a whole sentence, and a sequence as being an entire paragraph or chapter.

The distance from the camera to the subject greatly affects the narrative power of a shot. The three basic kinds of shots are long shots, medium shots, and close-ups.

Long takes

Long take

Shots with extremely long durations are difficult to do because any error in the shot would force the filmmaker to restart from scratch. They are thus only occasionally used. Films famous for their long cuts including Alfred Hitchcock's Rope that only cuts at the end of each reel, and does so surreptitiously so that it seems as the whole film is one take. A film that was actually a single take is the recent Russian Ark. Joss Whedon's feature film Serenity introduces the main characters with a long take.

Film editing

Film editing

Cutting between shots taken at different times by different cameras is known as film editing, and is one of the central arts of filmmaking.

The length of shots is an important consideration that can greatly affect a film. The purpose of editing any given scene is to create a representation of the way the scene might be perceived by the "story teller." Shots with a longer duration can make a scene seem more relaxed and slower paced whereas shots with a shorter duration can make a scene seem urgent and faster paced.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shot (filmmaking)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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