We covered the terms used in storyboarding and the effects of different kinds of shot:


Wide shot, establishing shot, etc.: Shot from a distance. Useful for establishing a setting, making the viewer feel ‘distant’ from characters, etc.

Full shot: A shot that includes the full body of a character.

Mid shot: shoots a character from around their middle. Enables closer look at emotions and gesture than a full shot.

Close up: Head/shoulders shot. Good for revealing emotion.

Extreme close up: For a character, really emphasises emotional response. For a detail shot, implies the information shown is ‘secret’ i.e only visible to the audience, as the characters in the scene in most cases will not be privy to the information conveyed by this kind of shot.

Bird’s eye view/down shot: Camera is placed higher than the subject. Makes subject seem small/more vulnerable, at some kind of disadvantage.

Worm’s eye view/up shot: Camera is placed lower than the subject. Makes them seem more imposing/powerful.

Rule of 3rds – an image is generally more interesting if the focal point/s are at the intersection of 3rds. Dead center/symmetrical shots need a reason, generally – they give a more formal/balanced/still feeling.

Aspect ratio – to compose shots, it is key to know what the aspect ratio of the final output will be.

Camera placement:

180 Degree Rule – Generally, be sure that the camera does not cross an imagined 180 degree line running through the scene. This is to help keep characters/elements on consistent sides of the screen and helps audience understand where everything is in the scene. Violating this can cause a jarring or confusing effect.
Transitions: Have their own ‘grammatical’ connotations. A simple cut implies following on or simultaneous action. A fade or dissolve implies the passage of time. Wipes of various shapes are possible too, e.g. the sideways wipes in Star Wars movies.