Video Directing 101: The Establishing Shot


What is an establishing shot?

The word establish means to set up or show. In video terms, the establishing shot sets up the scene or shows where the scene is taking place. The establishing shot provides context for the viewer.
You’ve seen this in every TV show and movie you have ever watched.

Consider a sitcom like Seinfeld. If you watched the show you know that one of the main places of action was the coffee shop. Can you here the popping bass notes as the camera zooms into the coffee shop for just a few seconds before we join the cast already inside at their favorite table? That’s the establishing shot. Keep thinking! Continue reading.