establishing shot


: a usually long shot in film or video used at the beginning of a sequence to establish an overview of the scene that follows

Examples of establishing shot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His miniatures were essential for adding detail to the sets, plus the various external and establishing shots like the Nostromo gliding through space. Sezin Devi Koehler,, 25 May 2024 Film of the exterior of Timberline Lodge was used for some establishing shots of the fictional Overlook Hotel throughout the movie. Becca Longmire, Peoplemag, 19 Apr. 2024 These nighttime scenes are provided with ingenious contrast during intervening mornings, made up largely of establishing shots of green mountainsides and nearby communities, captured from afar. Siddhant Adlakha, Variety, 15 Mar. 2024 Often classroom scenes are blocked so that children aren’t needed for more than an establishing shot, and those classrooms are designed to resemble real classrooms as closely as possible. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 26 Feb. 2024 There are establishing shots galore of Tokyo’s streets and public spaces — the Ozu influence is strong with this one — that are matched by the toilet cleaner moving through them with the greatest of ease. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 7 Feb. 2024 Betts’ original cut opened on an establishing shot of a tree in a grassy field, which is later revealed to be an unmarked burial ground for America’s enslaved Africans. Tim Greiving, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2023 Wide shots, for those unfamiliar with the lingo of cinematography, are spacious, open compositions, often full-body views of characters and their surroundings (frequently used for broad-scale action or establishing shots). Jason Bailey, New York Times, 22 Oct. 2023 Some have said that Tomine thinks like a filmmaker, and indeed, so much direction is already there on the page: the establishing shots to orient us in the spaces of his scenes, the shot-reverse-shot conversations, tight focus and natural pauses, spare frames to mark the passing of time. Bonnie Johnson, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'establishing shot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of establishing shot was circa 1948

Dictionary Entries Near establishing shot

Cite this Entry

“Establishing shot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

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