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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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The Over-the-Shoulder Two-Shot

Most often edited into a scene after the audience has first viewed the wider profile two-shot, the OTS two-shot favors one character’s face by shooting from behind and slightly to the side of the other character’s head. Because the profile two-shot establishes location and the two characters involved in the dialogue, the OTS shot allows for the audience to focus more attention on the one favored individual’s face and script line delivery. In both previous versions of the two-shot, an audience member would have to choose between which character’s face they would look at and when, but the OTS decides that for them.

An over-the-shoulder two-shot may be composed appropriately within a variety of shot types ranging from ...

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