What Is Shot Reverse Shot?
Shot reverse shot, also known as shot/countershot, is a continuity editing technique in filmmaking used in dialogue scenes in which one character is shown looking at another character and the other character is shown looking back at the first character. The characters are also shown facing opposite directions, implying that they are looking at each other.
Setting up a shot reverse shot requires an understanding of the 180-degree rule, which starts with a wide establishing shot to show viewers which characters are going to have a dialogue with each other. Then an over the shoulder (OTS) shot is used to show viewers the character who is speaking, which then reverses to an OTS shot of the other character when they begin speaking.
Shot reverse shots are a classic Hollywood style of continuity editing and is important for maintaining an organized sense of spatial, linear, and chronological action.
Check out this short clip below from Hard Eight (mostly filmed in Northern Nevada) to help understand what a shot reverse shot looks like:
“Hard Eight (1996) – Prologue” by Alexei Djalagonia
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