Extra wide shots,
emphasize talent in their environment, at the risk of diminishing them, perhaps purposely. There will be much space above and below the them. How much depends on the style and the emphases given to the character or the props around them. Often used to set up atmosphere, it gives the audience a sense of orientation where the characters are before closer camera frames. Subtle hints can set the tone of story and its characters.
As seen in: Rated T for Teen A villain character is chasing the heroine through the woods. This extra wide shot establishes the forest as vast and easy to get lost in. The branches in the immediate foreground depicts the characters are in the middle of the woods with no edge or escape in sight.
As seen in: The Two Riddles Project Landlord, Tim Dorbeshe, awaits the arrival of his newest tenant. This misanthrope stands alone in a world of brick and mortar.
Extra wide shots are also described as establishing shots and is your “text book” technique introducing an opening scene of film and help define new ones. Your audience may need the subtle hint that the film has moved to a new location. Sometimes in guerrilla filmmaking, you’ll gamble and omit this cut. It is a risk as you’ll move away from standard practices. Consider it if you’re looking to preserve the tempo of the film or choosing to depict what your talent is experiencing more important than where. In addition, you may want to confuse or disguise where the characters are located presently.
Guerrilla filmmaking 101 is a series a posts covering the basics in a quick-footed production. Every director carries his or her own filmmaking philosophy.