You are on page 1of 1


Reaction shots show a character's reaction to something that is seen or heard. They are
typically close-ups, so the audience perceives their meaning very quickly, usually within
a second.

Reaction Shot (Bottom)

Reaction shots should be as short as possible, otherwise the audience will feel a lag in the
action. Inexperienced filmmakers tend to make them too long and it adversely affects
pace. Ultimately, proper length is dictated by the dramatic action of the scene. The shot
can be safely extended when:
suspense is involved
the nature of the reaction changes
the reaction is followed by dialogue
Look-Off Shot
A look-off is when a character looks off screen and the object being looked at appears in
the next shot. This two-shot sequence establishes a relationship between the character and
the object. The look-off itself need not be more than second.
Music can be added to a look-off shot to convey a feeling of suspense. In such cases, the
look-off can be held longer since the music will engage the audience for the remainder of
the shot. Obviously, the music must be quickly introduced.