April 28, 2017

An Ode to the Best Shots in All of Cinematic History

If you don't appreciate shot sizes, you certainly will after this video essay.

What do you consider to be the best shot of all time? It's almost an impossible question to answer, considering the fact that you'd have to distill well over a hundred years of pure cinematic brilliance into one iconic image. Well, in in this video, CineFix does just that as they comb through thousands upon thousands of movie titles to come up with five (for now) of the best shots in cinematic history, though they make it a slightly easier task by categorizing each selection based on shot size.

But this isn't just a simple best-of list video; they also explain the deeper psychological meanings behind different shot sizes, as well as how filmmakers use them to communicate effectively with their audience. Check it out below:

There is a lot to learn from the video about how and why to select a particular shot size, but perhaps the main idea is that choosing one is about directing your viewer's attention. What do you want them to look at? What visual information do you want to share and what do you want to conceal?

The closer you get, the more emotion your viewer will be able to recognize on your actors' faces. The further away you get, the more your audience will try to understand the physical space in which your character finds themselves. Really, it's all about spacial relationships and how they affect characters, as well as viewers, emotionally.

This was only Part I of CineFix's new Best Shots of All Time video series, so be sure to subscribe to their channel to get notified when the next one comes out.     

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To me, Swedish director Roy Andersson's Songs from the second floor has some of the greatest long shots of all times.

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