Types of Shots
These are terms that we clarified for ourselves at Broadway Comics
to simplify the working relationship between the writing team
and the artists. We gave copies of the full document (with many
more pictures) out to each penciller who worked from our scripts just so we could be sure we were talking about the same things. Each
heading links to a version of the same document with a few examples
of comic book panels that illustrate the definition. The definitions
describe the depth from the camera to the subject.
CLOSE SHOTS - (click for visual) Good for conveying details, emotion, reactions, expressions.
- EXTREME CLOSE-UP - A shot in which a small object or part of an
object fills the entire frame, usually cropped.
- CLOSE-UP - A shot in which the subject fills most of the frame
with little space around it.
- BUST SHOT - A shot in which the main subject is fills much of
the frame, but more of the surroundings are shown. As in a head
and shoulders or portrait type shot of a person.
MEDIUM SHOTS - (click for visual) Good for establishing figures and body language, human size
- CLOSE MEDIUM SHOT - A shot with the subject near to the camera
and clearly visible, but most likely partially cropped
- MEDIUM SHOT - A shot which shows the subject and its surroundings
equally well. Usually full figures.
- LONG MEDIUM SHOT - A shot where meaningful information and details
are still clearly visible, but the subject of the frame occupies
less of the space than the surroundings.
LONG SHOTS - (click for visual) Good for setting locale, showing location of objects, showing
an area, showing big action.
- LONG SHOT - A shot at such a distance that few details and little
meaningful information about the object of the frame can be readily
- DISTANT LONG SHOT - A shot where the object can still be clearly
seen, but no meaningful information about the object is discernible
- EXTREME LONG SHOT - A shot that is so distant that the main object
is a dot or is not visible at all.
OTHER DESCRIPTIVE TERMS
- ESTABLISHING SHOT - A shot that shows enough of the surroundings
to establish the locale adequate to the telling of the story.
- HIGH ANGLE or BIRD'S EYE VIEW or DOWN SHOT - A view from an angle
higher than normal eye level.
- LOW ANGLE or WORM'S EYE VIEW or UP SHOT - A view from an angle
lower than normal eye level, frequently the ground level.
- DIAGRAMMATIC SHOT - A view from normal eye level at 90 degrees
to the action or interaction of the subjects.
- STRAIGHT ON or DEAD ON SHOT - A view from directly in front of
- OVERHEAD SHOT - A shot from directly above or almost directly
above the subject.
- PANORAMIC SHOT - A wide angle shot which is similar to the viewpoint
of a panoramic camera.
- FULL FIGURE SHOT - A view in which the subject is not cropped.