Shot Coverage and Shot Sizes

Identifying different camera shots types and sizes recorded during production.

Misha Tenenbaum avatar
Written by Misha Tenenbaum
Updated over a week ago

Shot Coverage is the collection of different types of shots recorded on set to "cover" one scene. A director will film the same moment repeatedly from several different camera angles. A director does this to ensure they capture the best possible acting performance and camera work, which give editors options when editing a story.

Shot Size is how much of a character and location is seen visually within a shot's frame.

Acronyms like WS, MS, and CU are used to call out different shot sizes on set. You will see different shot acronyms listed throughout this article.

Wide Shots

An EXTREME LONG SHOT (ELS) is an extremely wide shot that shows a vast amount of the scene's location while making the characters appear small, if visible, in the space.

A WIDE SHOT (WS) captures the human subject's entire body along with room to see the location or place of the scene. This shot gives the audience information about the character's relationship to the scene's location and objects.


A FULL SHOT (FS) is a wide shot where the subject fills most of the frame (top to bottom) from head to toe, filling most of the frame.

Full Shot (FS)

Medium Shots

A MEDIUM SHOT (MS), also known as the ¾ shot, captures the subjects from the waist up and includes some surrounding areas within the setting while still being close enough to capture the character's emotions.


COWBOY SHOT (CS) gets its name from Western Films, which frames the character mid-thigh to allow the audience to see the character's gun holster within the shot. It is sometimes also called a MEDIUM WIDE (MW).

Medium Wide and Cowboy Shot

Close-Up Shots

In a CLOSE-UP (CU), the subject's head and face take up most of the frame. This shot type allows their reactions and emotions to dictate the scene. The subject is the focus, which helps build a connection with the audience.

Close up (CU)

A MEDIUM CLOSE-UP (MCU) captures a human subject's face from about mid-chest but includes some of the setting's surrounding areas.

Medium Close Up (MCU)

An EXTREME CLOSE-UP (ECU) captures a specific detail of a character or an object with a very close frame.

Extreme Close Up (ECU)
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