establishing shot

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In film or video editing, the opening shot (or shots) of a sequence (notably, at the start of a scene), which establishes the time, location, and sometimes also the mood. Such shots are usually long-shots, tracks, pans, or zooms that indicate a wider context, although a close-up can also be used: for example, a café sign. In science fiction and fantasy genres, whole sequences can be regarded as establishing shots since they serve an expository function of introducing an unfamiliar storyworld to the viewer. But other genres also use sequences for this purpose: for example, the exterior of a building is typically followed by a shot inside that building. Re-establishing shots are sometimes used later in the sequence as reminders. See also general views.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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