19

Is there a term used by directors to describe a brief interstitial scene identifying a location of a following scene? The interstitial doesn't need to show a sign pointing to the location, but it often will. As an example I think of the "RESTAURANT" interstitials in Seinfeld right before the cut to the dialogue.

1 Answer 1

34

Arguably this is a form of an establishing shot:

An establishing shot in filmmaking and television production sets up, or establishes, the context for a scene by showing the relationship between its important figures and objects. It is generally a long or extreme-long shot at the beginning of a scene indicating where, and sometimes when, the remainder of the scene takes place.

7
  • 2
    Thanks! I establishing shots with text. There's a distinction between text-over-the-location (like a spy flick with computer text spelling out "Washington, DC." and cutting to a scene in the White House) vs. a more diegetic approach where the location is identified with a sign (I could imagine an establishing shot with a close-up of street-signs identifying the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, or the perhaps the more common Wall Street and Broad, or the Hollywood sign).
    – Mark S
    Commented Sep 24, 2023 at 14:19
  • 4
    In this context, does "long" or "extremely long" refer to distance rather than time? I don't tend to think of establishing shots as taking a long time.
    – trlkly
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 0:37
  • 11
    @trlkly I read it as distance- see here cla.purdue.edu/academic/english/theory/narratology/terms/….
    – Mark S
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 1:12
  • 4
    An establishing shot doesn't have to have text. A skyscape of the city will do, or just an exterior of the building the next scene takes place in. Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 12:24
  • 1
    In similar vein there's such as the shot of the exterior of 'Central Perk' in Friends used not only to indicate where we are but also shorthand for 'some time has passed' - as we only just saw then in one of the apartments & they can't be in two places at once.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 9:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .