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What Is an Over-the-Shoulder Shot?

An over-the-shoulder shot (OTS shot) is a digicam angle that provides a medium close-up on one actor whereas displaying a part of one other actor's shoulder. This filmmaking method combines one character's facial expressions with one other's viewpoint (POV) in a single shot. Some OTS photographs actually present an actor's shoulder (or the facet of their head) in mushy focus, with a pointy give attention to the character they’re speaking to. Different OTS photographs merely suggest the presence of a foreground character, however they don’t truly seem within the shot.

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How one can Movie an Over-the-Shoulder Shot

To efficiently movie an over-the-shoulder shot, you sometimes body two photographs—your main angle and a reverse shot that reveals the other perspective. There are a couple of steps for making this occur.

  1. Stage your first shot. Construct your first shot across the actor whose facial expressions you wish to seize. When you've captured that actor in the absolute best method, insert the opposite actor into the foreground with the intention to seize a sliver of their shoulder or head in mushy focus. If you’re going for a clean-over shot, you do not want to truly place this foreground actor.
  2. Arrange the reverse shot. Most OTS photographs are available in pairs. We take a look at one character's face from over the opposite character's shoulder. Then we reverse views and give attention to the opposite character's face. Doing this minimizes the necessity for camera movements; you’ll be able to merely lower backwards and forwards.
  3. Line up the actors’ eye ranges. Over-the-shoulder photographs actually succeed when the 2 characters' eyelines match up with each other. Even if you’re doing all of your OTS shot as a low-angle shot or a high-angle shot, you’ll nonetheless wish to protect this eye-level alignment.

What’s subsequent? Study 50+ Digicam Photographs and Angles!

Have you ever ever been overwhelmed at the opportunity of each digicam angle, framing, and shot kind obtainable as a filmmaker? Us too. So we supplied a cheat sheet with definitions for you!  

OTS Film Scenes

Over the shoulder shot examples

Perhaps probably the most well-known over the shoulder shot comes fromThe Godfather’s opening scene. Watch how Francis Ford Coppola directs this scene and makes use of the OTS shot as a option to introduce Vito Corleone.   

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