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Wide and Full Shots

Wide and full shots are the launching pads for many scenes a director will put together. They help establish a character in a specific location. For example, a boy walks out of doorway onto an empty street. A close-up or medium shot would not allow viewers to see where the character is. The wide shot helps identify both the character and his environment. These shots also allow characters to show body language. Although emotion is important in a close-up and medium shot, body language is important in a full shot as well. Figure 5 shows a wide shot of a boy in a cityscape. The goal of the shot is to establish the single character's position in the frame and his relationship to his surroundings. The director can slowly zoom the camera in to a full, then medium shot to bring the viewer's attention to the boy's dialogue or emotion. When that happens, the audience already will understand where the boy is because of the wide establishing shot.

Figure 5 Figure 5 A full shot establishes and connects a character with his environment.

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