Creative Brief: Establishing Shots


Establishing shots are critical for creating a geographic location for your action. An establishing shot is usually the first shot of a new scene, designed to show the audience where the action is taking place. It’s usually a very wide or extreme wide shot, and is especially significant, being that it usually sets the time of day for action being filmed on a studio set far from the apparent location, because of budget, permits, or time limitations.

Shot-List Thought-Starters

• Real-time and matching day and night lockdowns, pans, tilts
• Suburban Neighborhood
• Mansions
• Apartment Buildings
• Town or Row houses
• House at night when lights are switched off, magic hour where lights are turned on
• Impoverished neighborhoods and run-down buildings, housing estates, dark and empty streets
• Fire or Police Station
• Court House, Prison
• Office Building
• Hospital
• Schools

Suggested Keywords (depending on location): Home, Security, Safety, Family, Wealth, Poverty, Protection, Danger, Community, Education

Typical Users: Unscripted drama and reality TV programming, feature and documentary films

Suburban House White and Tan Establishing Shot with Mailbox by JaimeByrd

Pro-Tip: Attempt to avoid anything that may give the viewer a clue about where your location actually is, such as palm trees or signage (strive to shoot generic buildings for more potential usage). Other than impoverished neighborhoods, all properties need to be well-kept, attractive, and iconic. Other types of camera moves are recommended, but a lockdown is our most preferred — extra points if you can capture day and night matching shots.

Location Diversity: Urban, Suburban, and Rural

Before You Shoot:
• Please check what content already exists in the Pond5 marketplace
• Think about a visual approach that will result in new and fresh footage

Submission Checklist:
• Remember to tag your clips with the keyword code: ESTSHOTP5BRIEF
• Have all property releases filled out and submitted
• No logos or brands may be visible in any of the clips
• Don’t forget to add any applicable conceptual keywords

Top image: Large House with Lights by ImageSource