26th December 2013

The Basics of an Establishing Shot for Video

Need to film an interview on a budget? Fortunately, filming an interview can be done by most people without expensive production.  To ensure that your video doesn’t appear of lesser quality, there are some video production tricks you can use to imitate the video professional.  A video technique that is great for short, interview style video is an establishing shot. To get you started, here is everything you need to know about creating an establishing shot in your next video.

What is an Establishing Shot?

An establishing shot is a wide angle setting that shows the viewer where you are. It can be as far as just showing an image of your country on a map, to the actual street and office building that you are filming in.

Here’s a great video about how to use establishing shots:

Why is it Important?

Creating an establishing shot will give your viewers a perspective of where exactly you are. The establishing shot will not only will add some scenery to your video, but it will also add a personalized touch for your viewers.

Essentially, the shot should set the mood for the entire video. For instance, if the shot starts at an office building, you are ready to expect a person in a suit in a professional setting. Then again, you set an establishing shot at a festival or diner, you may be ready to expect something else, something that fits your perspective of the scene..

Why does showing your location make a difference? An establishing shot adds personality to video. You are featuring an inside view at some place that represents your company or even your company culture which in turn shows how real you are.

When do you Incorporate an Establishing Shot in Video?

What makes an establishing shot so simple is that its a free-formed trick, as in there aren’t many rules to how to use them. In fact, you can use multiple establishing shots in one video. Typically, for professional videos, the establishing shot will come in the beginning of the video along with the intro, but then again it could be just as effective if you set it to come at the end of the video. To help you decide while editing, create multiple variations of your video by placing the establishing shot in different parts of the video. Remember that the establishing shot is to help your viewers focus on your visual story, so choose the best option that flows naturally.

Establshing Shot

This restaurant was the famous establishing shot for the TV series Seinfeld.

There you have it, the oh so simple establishing shot move. Try this professional filming trick in your next video interview. For more ideas, stop by our portfolio to watch our latest videos.

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About the Author

Anish hails from London and holds a degree in software engineering from the University of Manchester. Following his education, he worked for several years in the financial industry as a platform administrator before founding Revolution Productions in 2008. In addition to over seven years of video production, Anish is seen as an industry professional, adding his insight in publications such as VentureBeat, ReelSEO and Wistia.

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