The medium camera shot comes in different sizes depending on what videographer or filmmaker you're talking to at the moment (laugh)...!
Here is my definition...!
In film and video production the medium camera shot can frame the subject anywhere from...
Well... That's a pretty broad area to say the least! Lots of leeway… And lots of opportunity for confusion about just where this shot is framed.
So… what I will try to do here is just give you my interpretation of it and leave it at that. After you've worked with this shot a lot I'm sure you'll come up with your own definition too (smile)!
So... Here we go...
It is basically what you would see if you are standing there talking to the person. This shot (in my definition) is also called a waist shot or mid-shot.
This shot is good for showing facial expressions but, also works well in showing the body language of the subject as they are usually far enough away so that you can show the arms and some part of the legs.
This shot is preferred in an interview if the person is animated with their movements.
With the medium shot you can still show facial expressions while being far enough back so that the audience can still see the subject in action.
The shot is framed so that it usually only shows part of the subject in detail while still giving the impression to the viewer that you are seeing the whole subject. It allows the audience a “connection” with the subject you are shooting while providing “space” for the subject’s movements, expressions, and gestures etc.
This type of shot works well when the intent is to deliver information to the audience such as on a newscast... Which is why television news presenters frequently use it.
In news footage you will often see a shot sequence beginning with a mid-shot that provides general information on the scene and subject followed by closer shots to provide information about the subject's reactions and emotions.
This type of shot is also used to good effect in shooting sporting events to show action and emotion.
About 50% of all shots in a normal video, TV program or movie are medium shots. This shot is easily overused especially if you're shooting with just one camera.
So... However you frame your medium shot (smile)...
Just keep the above things in mind and you should be okay when you use it…
And believe me... you will use it a lot...!
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