A recurring shot in the works of a film director. Can form part of a SignatureStyle. The literary/unintentional equivalent of this is an AuthorCatchphrase, and the actor equivalent of this is just a normal CatchPhrase ([[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger "I'll be back"]]).

May be the result of conscious or subconscious AuthorAppeal.


An important distinction to make in this trope is the difference between mise-en-scene and cinematography. Mise-en-scene is WHAT is shown on screen, while cinematography is HOW it's shown on screen. The two frequently combine to make a director's signature shot. So Michael Bay's love for helicopters at sunset is more "signature mise-en-scene" (see CreatorThumbprint), but his usage of low angled telephoto shots of said helicopters silhouetted over the sunset would be a SignatureShot. Others walk the line- Tarantino's close-ups on feet are sort of signature mise-en-scene (feet) and sort of signature cinematography (the close-up on the feet as anchor point for a larger scene). We're looking for that cinematography- that particular use of the camera, its focus and placement.

Many of these can be found in trivia sections on Website/IMDb.

Not to be confused with a {{Pinball}} designer's [[SignatureStyle preferred table layout.]]

Does not include overarching SignatureStyle elements of a body of work, or ''explicit'' IconicLogo trademarks, such as Creator/AlfredHitchcock's silhouette or Walt Disney's signature.
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!! Examples:

* Creator/JamesCameron: FeetFirstIntroduction. Also characteristic of Creator/KenBurns (one of his [[KenBurnsEffect Ken Burns Effects]]).
* Creator/QuentinTarantino: [[TrunkShot Shots from the POV of a car trunk]].
** He's also [[AuthorAppeal partial to feet]].
* Creator/JohnWoo: pulled back tight angle shots of DisturbedDoves are a frequent HarbingerOfAsskicking and accompaniment to {{Hit Stop}}s in his works. Action scenes frequently involve highly mobile cameras and various forms of AdrenalineTime and BulletTime, becoming more extreme as a film's budget rises. He's also known for a particular form of close-up MexicanStandoff featuring lots of {{WhipPan}}s and {{ReactionShot}}s over GunpointBanter.
* Creator/TimBurton: TunnelVision.
* Creator/SamRaimi: WhipPan (along with ShakyPOVCam).
** He also does that thing where he rapidly zooms in on something in the scene, then rapidly zooms in on something a different detail in the scene, and so on, always using a sound effect with the zoom.
* Creator/StanleyKubrick: the KubrickStare.
* Creator/PaulThomasAnderson has used IrisShot in every film he's ever made.
* Creator/JonathanDemme loves extreme close ups where the character LOOKS at the camera, especially ones where Creator/AnthonyHopkins stares at you and does [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvlBS5CmsNA this]]. His technique is so iconic, directors like Creator/PaulThomasAnderson replicated it. A gallery of his close-ups can be seen in [[https://vimeo.com/126757480 this supercut]].
* Creator/ClaudeChabrol uses shots of where the camera climbs a spiral staircase in four different films.
* Creator/YasujiroOzu really liked to shoot conversations by having the person speaking directly face the camera, rather than put two people in the same shot, or shoot over the shoulder of the person who's listening.
* Creator/OrsonWelles famously used deep-focus shots typically featuring three planes- front, middle, and back, all simultaneously in focus, but clearly separate.
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock used a technique called "cross-tracking", a variation of shot/reverse-shot, in which a character, walking towards a threatening object is intercut with that object.
* Creator/IngmarBergman is known for his intense close-ups of faces in despair. He has another one where the intense close-up is in profile, while including another character a bit further away facing the camera. Creator/GeorgeStevens did a beautiful ''homage'' to it at a tense moment in ''Film/IRememberMama''.
* Creator/RainierWenerFassbinder is known for still-shots framing characters in doorways.
* Creator/RobertZemeckis often uses [[ObjectTrackingShot ObjectTrackingShots]].
* Creator/SergioLeone loves long close-ups of faces and EyedScreen.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' director Creator/GraemeHarper puts a shot of a character seen through a lens in every episode he directs.
* Creator/StevenSpielberg does at least one reflection shot per film. Also, the "Spielberg Face" is his signature shot where we see a character's face as they look in awe toward some wonder or during some monumental event.
** Long before Spielberg, William Perlberg had Jennifer Jones do a Spielberg Face in ''Film/TheSongOfBernadette'', where Bernadette first sees her lady.
* Creator/BusbyBerkley is very famous for his overhead shots, especially where dancers form kaleidoscope-like or artistic patterns. Even today putting overhead shots into your film is considered an homage to Berkley.
* Creator/WesAnderson always has a Walking and Talking scene where the camera spins around the protagonist as he does a surprising amount of work.
* Creator/LucioFulci often uses a extreme close up of characters' eyes, either with or without a zoom. It is present in almost all of his films several times.
* Creator/SamMendes: Mendes likes shots where the protagonist stares into the distance, regardless if it took place inside (where he/she looks out the window) or outside (where he/she would look at a beach or a landscape). He'd have been wonderful with Creator/KatharineHepburn or Creator/GretaGarbo.
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