Two shot

A two shot is any frame that contains two characters. It’s an important part of the coverage you’ll pick up for most scenes. Before cutting to a close up of the characters, it helps to orient the audience, demonstrating where the actors are positioned in the scene and in relationship to each other.

At the end of Hot Fuzz (2007), director Edgar Wright uses a two shot of his protagonists Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) and Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) standing amid the destruction wrought by a “no-holds-barred, adrenaline-fueled thrill ride.”

Even though a two shot is one of the most common shots in film and television, there are still a lot of decisions you need to make about the blocking of characters. Placing the characters close together can create a sense of intimacy whereas putting space between them implies a sense of emotional distance. Are they facing each other? Is one character facing away?

The two shot is an important part of the grammar of film and television and a crucial part of the coverage you’ll shoot for most scenes.