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The Filmmaker's Eye by Gustavo Mercado

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establishing shot

The establishing shot is usually an exterior, long shot or extreme long shot that showcases a location where the action that follows will take place. Although these shots usually precede and contextualize scenes of action and/or dialogue, sometimes they are placed at the conclusion of a scene (that might be in an interior or exterior setting), providing a revealing or unexpected context. This simple combination of shots (exterior establishing shot followed by a dramatic scene) is a powerful cinematic convention that has been exploited by filmmakers since the early stages of film history. In the minds of the audience, a scene that immediately follows an establishing shot takes place in that location, regardless of where it is ...

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