a. With the filming of sequences comes the problem of visual retention versus
closeups. The average person viewing a film or tape on the screen ordinarily will retain
only one or two scenes immediately preceding the scene being projected. With so much of
the surroundings being eliminated in closeups, the audience occasionally must be
reoriented in relation to those surroundings. Closeups without reorientation will tend
to confuse, and may even completely "lose" the spectator; especially where several
closeups appear consecutively. This reorientation is accomplished by making what is
generally termed the reestablishing shot. This will be explained in the next learning
b. When we speak of the extended sequence we mean the basic sequence, that is,
long, medium, and closeup with the addition of extreme long shots and extreme closeups.
c. Finally, the entire sequence can be reversed. Start with a closeup and move
back to the long shot.
Learning Event 2:
SHOOT REESTABLISHING SHOTS
a. An audience usually has difficulty remembering more than one scene back. The
experienced cameraman reorients his audience from time to time by furnishing scenes for
this purpose. These scenes are called reestablishing shots.
(1) A series of related shots make a sequence and sequences joined together make
a story. Sequences should be joined together with a reestablishing shot. This makes the
story clear, unbroken, and results in a smooth flow of action.
(2) The reestablishing shot (RS) usually is a medium or long shot. It usually
follows a closeup and is used to reestablish the general scene. In other words, it
reminds the audience where they are.
(3) The RS is used to tie sequences together and to keep the audience from
getting confused or lost. The audience can rarely keep in mind more than one scene at a
time and the RS will help keep them oriented. Also it is a good idea to remind audiences
how a small scene fits into the larger scene that includes it.
b. Reestablish the scene when the subject is moved from an old to a new location.
Use the RS to end a sequence.
(1) In the reestablishing shot, the camera is moved back from the closeup
position and a scene is made in which the spectators once again will see where the
closeups were taking place in relation to the surroundings. Usually a medium or medium
close shot will serve very well for reestablishing, after which it is perfectly
permissible to move in again for more closeups.