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What are the basics of shot sizes and focal lengths?


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#1 Benson Marks

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 09:31 AM

I'm planning on a career as a writer and director of movies and would like to know about shot sizes and focal lengths, as I hear they're important in directing. So what are the basics and where can I learn more about them?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 09:47 AM

Focal Lenght for any given shot will vary based upon the format and distance to subject. I'd recommend Katz's book, Shot By Shot, which will introduce you to the story-boarding methodology and go into all the shot types and the like in great detail.
Simply put it is essentials

Extreme Long Shot
Long Shot
Wide Shot
Medium Wide Shot
Medium Shot
Close Up
Extreme Close Up

as well as POV (point of view) and OTS (Over the Shoulder). There is no exactly set size for each, 100% (a medium of a building will be much larger than a medium of an ant for example). http://www.aber.ac.u...ort/gramtv.html that's a good example.
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#3 Benson Marks

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 11:48 AM

Thanks for the info. I do have Katz's book, but I have to admit that it got boring and I stopped reading it. Looks like I have to get back to it.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 October 2008 - 11:49 AM

Yeah it's not the best of reads, but useful. Most books on cinematography do go into it though.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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The Slider

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

CineTape

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport