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The Lone Wolf Filmmaker

Lesson 7 of 15

Framing & Shot Sizes

Bill Megalos

The Lone Wolf Filmmaker

Bill Megalos

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Lesson Info

7. Framing & Shot Sizes

Lesson Info

Framing & Shot Sizes

Now I'm going to blast through these next slides they're very important again it's the words that we use and it's the way we do that we interact with people in a way that we talk about when we're talking about films and it's a way of thinking about it whenever possible we use um you know there's a lot of these shots do have uh uh abbreviations for them okay, so extreme wide shot extreme whiteside is often an establishing shot it doesn't really um it's it's just set it really sets the scene you can't see any details in it all right? You can't see that this kid is there you can't see where the car is you don't know anything all you know is hey it's a green suburban whatever oh there's a fence could be horsey that's all you're just seeing you're just getting a little bit of the details. The next size shot that we normally talk about is a wide shot where you do see someone in their location situated in their location. Next we go to a medium shot medium shot usually goes to the waist em see...

you medium close up right? Not as close in between a medium and close up close up is usually a little bit of, you know a little bit of air above and below the chin hee seo's an extreme close up these air other sizes that we occasionally talk about this is called a cowboy shot you'd not because there's cowboys in it usually cowboy shot goes to about the knee it was designed it's really designed so you could see the guy draw his gun for the gun is in the shot it's in between a full shot which would be head to toe and and and and a medium shot but if this designed to show those guns alright umm it's also not a bad one for shooting dance point of view shot I mean this is kind of rare that we actually have someone pointing that but sometimes you'll be over someone's shoulder there showing you some yeah and this is the field where I saw the you know where so the ufo uh land um two shot to people over the shoulder all right very good over the shoulders are very, very useful shots especially in dramatic films what's happening over the shoulders you want to set them up so that they're identical in the sense that you want the same focal length of the lens and at the same distance from the people so that they're so that next time when you cut you want to cut back over to the other side so that she's on the left but you see her face and it's over her shoulder but you don't want to change the image side so that's very distracting the idea of these is that it feels seamless and when people are talking you don't even notice it's been cutting and the reason you used these when the when the dialogue is very important when there's information in the dialogue that people need as opposed to a close up where you would not see the other person when someone's talking like this and then you cut to her and she's not in it that's called separation that's when you would do something like that it's what happens is while you're looking at at as morale dah you're playing this woman, you're actually being that woman and while you're looking at her you're being the other one it's much more involving but this is this is less work on the viewers and so you're able to listen to the sound more this is a cut in shot which I really don't like where I mean I see a lot of people do that where they'll cut into someone's hands while they're talking and unless something really interesting is happening with hands like they're you know, cutting themselves or their doing something really important that you need to know I don't care for a cutaway shot is something that's not part of the action it's over there if you're cutting away from it um hi angle lowing who's that these air very useful this is again we're giving in front we're trying to give the view of the information that we want them to have, that they need what's the difference between these two shots? I mean, obviously, one high angle is looking down, the low angle is looking up, what's the difference? What what different emotion do we get from them? Just fromthe shots? Not having nothing to do with expressions on his face looking down makes him look more vulnerable. Yeah, and looking up makes him look more threatening again. We're talking about all these choices. You're making choices all the time, right? You're making the choice, I'm going to film a close up of eric do I want to see the background? What do I want to not see the background? So I want to separate him with the background or don't want to put him in place with the background I'm going to shoot, do I want to look down on him or look up on him? How do I want to do this? You know, very how do I want to light him? How do I want to? But right now these are other choices that we have a static a still frame when it before, when we talked about a frame, we're talking about one individual moment, one photo of time, just like just like this is this he's talking or whatever this is one frame of it once stopped motion in time but this time when we talk about a frame we're talking about what we see inside the camera so there's two types of static frames one everything is static include like let's say the action of a bit like the building's not moving the camera steady the building that's that's static another kind of static shot is where the camera's not moving but someone might be moving across the frame we're moving towards you or whatever okay, so I wrong wrong button um then there's moving camera all right, these air moving pictures moving the camera gives us a lot of choice is a lot of things to say a lot of again expression what is the story that we're telling so the so we can move a camera in different ways we can keep it on the tripod and still move it can I have the x three please? So so um the first one is called a pan right that stands for panorama all right, I'm just gonna lock this so that we don't mix up our movements so this is a pan I start on excuse me for looking at you got okay, you can start right here we'll start here so this is a pan I start on something and I'm panting to the moving in the horizontal axis okay, that's a pan panorama and I want to show the city that way I can pan, right? I can pan left. Okay, um right now I'm getting a little I gotta turn off the motions of emotion stabilizer in here one second. The reason I wanted to do that is because the thing was changing back on me. Okay, so so that's a pan. Okay, now, generally, in our culture, it's easier to pan to the right than it is to pan to the left because we read from left to right when I say easy it's easier on the viewer we're reading we read a letter from here and we go over to here so that if I'm starting here and I'm panning here, the camera is moving with ease and it feels comfortable to us. If I want to show a struggle, I'll move this way and it doesn't look, it looks much more it's harder to read because the eye keeps jumping the eye doesn't want to look to the left. I want to look to the right same thing if you do a scene, if you see if you see if you want to make someone look like they're moving faster, moving from left to right if they want to make him look like they're struggling, moving from right to left, all right all right, the next thing that we talked about is the, um tilt all right here's a tell start and moves in the vertical right er right that's a tilt down that's a tilt up okay, now let's talk about this tilt it let's talk about these shots where the camera's moving generally when I shoot and I'm shooting again I'm shooting reality stuff if possible what I try to do is I try to take if I'm doing a pan I will hold at the beginning I'll do the pan and then I'll hold up the end what happens then I get three shots out of it first of all, the shot should never just and you say you like you get tired of it, you're going to think about what the shot is if I was doing a pan here, I'm going to make it I'm going to make it tell a story on some level maybe the story is just, um over here regular lights, boom, professional lights but I'm going to stop and I want to think about this before I start, but if I hold this for seven or ten seconds at the beginning, then I have a shot of this that I can use in some place in the film and I've got the shot in the middle and then I hold it at the end I've got another shot maybe I'll pull the middle out maybe I'll just use those two shots so I'm in the same time I'm getting multiple shots. Okay um all right? So the till same thing with the tell I'll find you know I'm starting here you know very often will start on the sky and will tilt down we'll find the building well you'll see someone okay, so that's the tilt up or maybe there's a beautiful woman there and we're starting on her heels you know on her high heels and you move up and you sell her hair or whatever you start on the air and you come down but there should be a payoff it's always a slow disclosure payoff you know? What are you setting up and what do you paying them off? Why you're making them watch something? What do you rewarding them with the end they okay so that's the that's, the tilton and then there's the other one is a zoom right that's another way of moving here we're doing a zoom now so using the zoo motor so it's smooth now let's see if this is set up nice um well this okay so we can set so with zoom we can start with the very wide shot I mean, this is a way of moving the camera this is not very smooth on this one give me one second to get into these menus and I can fix this really nice or can I there we go okay and look at this see if that works like a slower even the motor on this one is catching when I get too slow there we go so there is a nice slow zoom all right so that's a way of moving the camera now you know again these things have to have a reason don't zoom that's a really sign of of of of amateur filmmaking is when you see the camera moving in zooming you know what you want to do is you really want to use intention what am I saying why am I doing this what's the point what emma what story am I taking the people on that's it's all about intention okay um all right then there's two other kind of camera moves that we and will use this where it happened to be on here but you can do this just a cz well with hand holding you can do it justus well with hand holding one is called a tracking where the camera moves sideways all right I could make this lower I could be right on you guys so we'll just do this all right so I'm tracking this is a tracking shot not if you look at the monitor shot you'll see what the tracking shot looks like it's moving sideways okay, you can move against the action, people could be running this way, and you can go against them, make them look faster where you could be running with them, okay, that's, a tracking shot. The other shot is one. This is it's. A people will also say, dolly in on this, but this is called a trucking shot. A trucking shot is one where you're trucking in you're moving like this. We're moving straight in, say, that's, different than moving a tracking shot, which is sideways, okay, and then we're trucking out here.

Class Description

It is common to "postpone" your filmmaking due to insecurity and doubt: Do I own the right camera? Do I have access to the proper resources? Can I support my vision with a strong artistic/technical point-of-view? Those fears are why so many film and media projects never get off the ground.

In The Lone Wolf Filmmaker with Bill Megalos, you’ll learn camera, sound, and storytelling techniques that will place you on a simple, yet sophisticated path towards completing a moving-media project. 

Bill will help you:

  • Choose the best camera for your project and budget
  • Use the camera on a technical level, with an artistic intent
  • Develop an aesthetic and technical approach to sound recording

The class will demystify the distance from the first step to the completion of a formidable, marketable piece of media. You’ll learn techniques that will simplify your process, no matter the scope of the project or your experience as a filmmaker.

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Mulk Raj

This was excellent. I’ve been learning filmmaking up until now from watching YouTube videos and from my own practice which has been great. But I found these lessons to complement everything I knew and filled in much of where I was going wrong or wanted to know, and all in one convenient place. The course covering both the technical aspects as well as telling the story. There were lots of great techniques, tips and information from all aspects. Shooting mainly on the Sony Camcorders but I didn't consider this to be an issue, and the course also provided an excellent side by side comparison with the Digital SLRs. You can see from the lesson list that many topics are covered from the different types of lenses (one interesting question Bill asked was “what type of lens was that photograph taken with?” I had never thought you could discern this from the photo). Other great lessons was on sound tests, covering reflective sounds and comparisons with booms and lab mics and the ideal placement. The emphasis was always on telling the story and the reasons why you would choose one over the other. I learned a heck of a lot from the interview section. How to set-up, where to set-up an interview, looking at all the different aspects and backgrounds open to you from a location, how to conduct an interview, how to ask questions, lighting from the far side, the concept of slow disclosure, and the final hour being a fly-on-the wall on getting the shots was really interesting if you’ve never worked on a filmed set before. I personally thought this was an invaluable insight into filmmaking, well worth the investment. Great work.

jamie applegate

I have seen a couple other film courses on CreativeLive, but I think I have enjoyed this one the most. It was very informative, Bill's personality is great. I loved how hands on he really got with his student's including seeing them actual film. It had some good laughs. Well done!

Josh Moore

Great overview of capturing video from a one-man/small production team perspective. And great insight from an expert who's done it all. The Making One Location Look Like Many episode was fascinating to see how Bill spontaneously approaches creating shots in a location.