For reference, my question comes after having viewed the latest episode of the HBO series Silicon Valley (Season 3, Episode 9 - "Daily Active Users"). The final camera shot was a single, stationary camera overlooking a room crowded with people and computers. There was no dialog, narration, or music. The only audio on the scene was the ambient noise of the room (computer keyboards and mouse clicks, a few people quietly coughing or clearing throats, a squeaky door someplace off camera, etc). The shot lasts for 30 seconds (maybe longer, even a couple of minutes) as the credits begin to display, and all the way through to the last credit. The camera never moves, tilts, pans, or zooms throughout the shot.

I have seen this technique before, also on other Mike Judge productions (namely various episodes of King of the Hill). My question - Is there name for this particular technique or a history behind it? Someone who is noted for having used it or developed it as a signature technique? If Mike Judge is paying homage to others he finds influential, I'd like to be able to explore that history on my own, but I need to know where to start.

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    Not sure what you're asking... this: "The camera never moves, tilts, pans, or zooms throughout the shot." is a "static shot"...
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 20:51
  • Perhaps I didn't make it clear that I want to know if there is a term for using the kind of shot I described as the final shot of a movie or TV show? Also, was (or is) there a director or screenwriter who was known for developing or using that technique (again as an ending to the piece - the final shot in a work) as sort of a signature to his or her work?
    – Nyantho
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 21:14
  • Considering that this is something likely decided by the editor rather than the director... no.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 21:18
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    Admittedly, I am not a student of film, so I am mostly unfamiliar with the different roles filled by the director, writer, producers, and editors. I do, however, have a general concept of what editing is. So what you're telling me is that the editor has the final word on whether that shot gets included in the film, right? But what about all of the steps that it took to get that shot to start with? Certainly the editor didn't get involved until the shot was on film, right?
    – Nyantho
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 21:24
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    @Catija - I think I understand what you're saying now. That because of the group effort nature of such projects as film and TV, one can't necessarily say for sure that it is one particular person responsible for a single closing scene like the one I describe. A friend of mine was later better able to describe certain techniques that were "Hitchcockian" back when his influence loomed so large in the field, which is exactly why I thought this kind of static shot ending might be attributable to a specific influence.
    – Nyantho
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


I would say this qualifies as Leave The Camera Running

Sometimes a single shot goes on for a very, very long time. Though this is usually a bad thing when done to stretch the film and/or its budget, it can also be done deliberately for artistic reasons, such as showcasing particularly good-looking visuals, establishing more lifelike pacing, for the purposes of extending a joke, or increasing tension (because Nothing Is Scarier). It can also serve as a thematic device: For example, a director might illustrate the lonely and mundane life of a solo astronaut by showing him going about his daily routine, never speaking a word because there's nobody to talk to.

The link gives a few examples of other endings, but few are comedic:

Heat ends with a fifteen second shot of Lt. Hanna standing framed in the lights of Los Angeles International Airport holding Neil McCauley's hand as he dies.

The Graduate. How long are they sitting on that bus, slowly realizing they have no idea what they will do next, having burned all their bridges behind them? Nichols literally left the camera running without warning the actors.

Michael Clayton ends with an extended shot of the title character in the back of a cab, showing his facial expression as he wordlessly contemplates what he's just done.

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