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Chapter Two. Film Language > Parts of Speech

Parts of Speech

Bear with me as I extend this metaphor a bit. It will prove very helpful in understanding how to edit. Think of shots as nouns and the transitions between shots as verbs. You might say that in cinematic language, sentences are constructed in a noun-verb-noun-verb arrangement and are punctuated with fades, freeze frames, and other graphical elements.

Types of Shots: Size of Subject

You can organize and differentiate between different types of shots in several ways. I will start with the most common: size of subject in the frame. This is where you'll finally find out what all those odd abbreviations (CU, LS, and so on) really mean.


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