We’re at the fourth post of the series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ using the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. Again, you can find the whole list of shots in the introduction post.
We’re now at the medium shot. It is a very common, widely used and let’s face it, pretty self-explanatory shot.
If a full shot is a full body shot of a character, then the medium shot is about a three-quarter to one-half shot of a character. Meaning you will have the full head in the shot and it will end anywhere between the ribs and below the butt.
There’s actually not a lot to say about this shot. It is what it is. I consider it a ‘work horse’ shot. It has a million uses and is usually never a bad choice.
So what does this shot say?
It’s when you need to get a little closer. A little more intimate with the character, but not too intimate.
The background is not important. It should have already been established and we know where we are. It’s all about the character and when they are doing.
It’s also great for when you don’t need to see their feet. Which makes it an awesome ‘cheat shot’ for animation. Why animate a walk cycle if you don’t need to? Just pan the background.
I love a good storyboarding cheat.
The medium shot is your trustworthy friend. It will never betray you and will always be there for you.
Let’s see what these shots are going to tell us. Sometimes, it’s not rocket science.
“I’m lifting my arm and reaching out.”
It doesn’t have to be dramatic or exciting. What is Eve going to show us?
“Watch me turn my head. I’m looking around.”
“See the glow all over me from the rocketship taking off.”
Changing your camera angles just adds to the usefulness of this shot. You still have room to add in some crucial background elements if you need them.
“Yes, I see my ship taking off. It’s all good.”
“See me peeking out. I’m not afraid, but cautious.”
“Watch me light up this light bulb all by myself. Cool, huh?”
Yes, this one was a toss up. But just a little too much of Wall-E was cut off to be a full shot here. So I put it in the medium shot file. I’m still flip-flopping on it.
“I’m holding these wires and going to try give Eve a jump start.”
“I’m staring up at the sky. I’m listening to my music. I feel.”
It’s more involved with your character than the full shot but not as much as the close-up (next week).
It’s the dried pasta of shots. Keep it around, pull it out whenever you need it, add whatever you like to it and it will always feed you.
But supremely useful.
“I’m gonna show you something.”
Read the Storyboard Blog by RSS Feed or by email for the next post in this series; ‘close-ups’.
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