Shot reverse shot  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Shot reverse shot (or shot/countershot) is a film technique wherein one character is shown looking (often off-screen) at another character, and then the other character is shown looking "back" at the first character. Since the characters are shown facing in opposite directions, the viewer unconsciously assumes that they are looking at each other (the 180 degree rule). However, shot reverse shot is also often combined with creative geography to create the sense that two characters are facing each other, when in fact they may be being filmed in completely different locations or at completely different times. These techniques are all features of the "classical" Hollywood style of continuity editing, which deemphasizes transitions between shots such that the audience perceives one continuous action that develops linearly, chronologically, and logically.

By comparison, an alternating sequence shows the systematic intertwining of actions or motifs occurring in a single diegetic space, and therefore involves cutting back and forth from one action or character to another, but does not necessarily imply that the subjects of the shots are interacting directly with one another.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shot reverse shot" 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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