What is a set-up shot?

A set-up shot is a shot (or series of shots) of somebody who you are interviewing. If you have time, ask them to do something related to the story. If that’s tricky, the old-school solution is to get them to make a cup of tea.

You need to shoot a set up shot of everyone you interview (apart from vox pops).

You can use these shots to script about the person before we hear their soundbite. You might want to say something like “John Jones has lived in Grangetown all his life. He says the traffic in the area is now unbearable.” You don’t need to a huge amount of footage to cover this amount of script.

As long as we can’t see their face at the end of the shot (or in the last shot of the action sequence) then it will edit OK.

If we can see their face at the end of the shot(s) we will jump cut into the interview shot.

Here is a downloadable handout about set-up shots.

Here’s a simple walking shot set-up. You could do the same shot with the reporter walking along with the contributor and talking to them.