BIG CLOSE UP (BCU): The audience only sees details of the subject. The subject more than fills the screen
CLOSE UP (CU): A short range of distance between the camera and the subject. The subject fills the screen
MEDIUM CLOSE UP (MCU): Slightly wider than CU
MID SHOT (MS): A wider shot that shows the subject in some context
LONG SHOT (LS) OR WIDE: The widest shot of all using a long range of distance between the camera and the subject. Shows the entire setting.
Describe the framing Use the right language, then everyone understands!
Some additional shot descriptions
POINT OF VIEW (POV):
A shot which is understood to be seen from the point of view of a character within the scene
A shot of someone looking off screen, possibly linking to a POV
A reaction shot can also be a shot of someone in a conversation where they are not given a line of dialogue
Use the right language, then everyone understands! Describe the camera angles. LOW ANGLE: A camera angle which looks up at its subject. HIGH ANGLE: A camera angle which looks down on its subject. Describe camera movements. Use arrows to show this as well. PAN: A steady, sweeping right to left or left to right movement from one point in a scene to another. TILT: Using a camera on a tripod, the camera moves up or down to follow the action. ZOOM: Use of the camera lens to move closely towards or away from the subject. Use arrows to show action on screen!
Describe the time of day, interior/exterior and location.
Describe sound, for example, music, effects, atmosphere.
Give key dialogue lines.
Use the right language, then everyone understands! DISSOLVE: A transition between two shots where one shot fades away and simultaneously another shot fades in. Often indicates passing of time
FADE: A transition from a shot to black where the image gradually becomes darker is a fade out . This often indicates the end of an action. Fade in is where the image gradually becomes brighter and clearer. This often indicates a new action starting
WIPE: A transition from one shot to the next using a line or shape, for example, a part of a building or a body or vehicle.
Describe transitions between shots.
Here is an example from a short student film exercise: The Message. Notice that it is missing the shot numbers and there is little visual information or notes about background/mise-en-scène. Thus, it is not very helpful to the editor or camera! However, it did help the director visualise the sequence and the key visual elements!