Recurring Camera Shot

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This shot again? The Monolith must be doing something.

In some works, viewers may notice different scenes that seem very similar to each other, a visual kind of Motif. This can be accomplished by framing those shots the same way, arranging objects within the shot in the same pattern, or having the characters in the same pose. Often in these cases, the director, photographer, or artist is trying to tie them together for some reason. Either something is occurring in them that is related, or there is something present there that they are trying to draw attention to without being obvious. In these cases the settings and characters in the scene may be different but certain elements will be present.

Distinct from Stock Footage in that this is not simply reusing the same footage over and over. Each recurring shot is a unique one, filmed, rendered or drawn separately from the others.

Compare Match Cut for a similar technique used to transition between scenes. When this is employed at the start and end of a work, they form Book Ends.

See Trigger Happy and More Dakka for another meaning of "Recurring Shot".


Examples

Film
  • In 2001: A Space Odyssey as the Monolith is jumpstarting human development it is shown with the sun right behind its top edge and the moon above that. Later when the one on the moon sends its signal the shot is seen again, the sun over its top edge and the earth this time above that.
  • Arrival: The first shot is a view of the lake outside Louise's house seen from her porch as she's talking about the beginning and endings of stories regarding her daughter. It's seen a short time later as she is taken by the army to the landing site, the helicopter shown flying out over the lake, as she begins the main story. It's seen a final time at the end by which point the audience knows that her memories of of daughter are actually what will happen rather than what has happened, the end of of the movie's story is actually the beginning of her daughter's story.
  • In The Cranes Are Flying, the opening romantic scene at the bridge with the lead couple Boris and Veronika gets repeated shot by shot later in the movie. This time with Veronika and Boris' cousin who lusts after her.
  • There are several recurring shots in The Fountain.
    • One with Tom/Tommy/Tomas looking up at a light source over his head.
    • A shot of him passing by the camera at high speed, Tom in his bubble ship, Tomas on a horse and Tommy in his car.
    • One with him kneeling before the camera as she puts her hand on his head.
    • One of Tommy/Tom whispering to Izzie/the tree.
    • Tom/Tomas reaching his fingers toward the tree.
  • In Frozen, we get two shots set up with someone looking out of the study window.
    • The first time, it is with Elsa during "For the First Time in Forever" number, where she is looking at the kingdom citizens waiting outside the gates. This is to show that's she nervous about opening up to all those people out of fear that her powers will be revealed to them.
    • The second time, it is with Hans during his Motive Rant to Anna, where he looks out the window. Due to the blizzard outside, there are no people this time and he only sees his reflection in the glass, showing that he only cares about himself.
  • The battle at the entrance of the skyscraper in The Matrix and the entrance to Club Hel in The Matrix Revolutions both end with Trinity kicking someone in slow motion. The kicks themselves have nearly identical choreography as well.
  • The Searchers has recurring shots of the sun-drenched desert, flanked by shadowy foreground objects. These pop up as Book Ends, and a few times in the middle of the film.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow has one near the beginning when the robots arrive in New York, first with bystanders pointing at them, three of them lined up in a row, followed by the police shooting at them arranged and framed the same way.
  • Some of the most iconic shots in Volver are the PenÚlope Cruz boob shots. The first is at the start of the film, and she is cleaning off a kitchen knife in the sink. The next time, she's cleaning the knife again but now of her husband's blood after her daughter/sister killed him.
  • Oblivion (2013): The scene where Jack finds Julia's sleeper pod, with her visible through the viewport while he looks down at her from the right with a hand on the pod, is mirrored later when he puts her back into it right before he flies up to the Tet.

Live-Action TV
  • Babylon 5:
    • The episode "Walkabout" has repeated shots of Stephen Franklin seen through a drinking glass.
    • The final episode shows Delenn from behind watching Sheridan as with her arm held out as he leaves for the last time . The last shot of the episode is of her shown the same way holding her arm out to a rising sun.
  • The Leverage team was often shown from above with them standing in a circle usually when they were about to break up into the roles of their job.
  • That '70s Show: A regular occurrence - nearly Once an Episode - is the Circle where the camera spins around between the characters as they're implied to be passing a joint around.

Video Games
  • In Mega Man Zx, Vent/Aile is having a problem fighting a Mini-Boss, when their partner, Giro, shows up as a transformed Mega Man Model Z who leaps to the air and then takes down the Mini-Boss in one powerful slash from.his sword. In the sequel, when Grey/Ashe has difficulty fighting another Mini-Boss, Vent/Aile shows up, now as Mega Man Model ZX, doing the same move to the Mini-Boss to save them.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: During the "Subspace Emissary" campaign, Diddy Kong tries to enlist the help of Fox McCloud to help him rescue Donkey Kong. Fox starts to walk away, so Diddy grabs him and drags him off by the scruff of his collar. Later he tries to get Falco to help as well, who does the same thing, so Diddy grabs him and drags him off the exact same way.
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