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Compartment Shot

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This is a shot where the container is shown being opened from the inside. This camera angle provides an unobstructed view of both the character's face and the box's contents, allowing the audience to see the contents (or lack thereof) and the character's reaction to them simultaneously.

A Compartment Shot may be used to show a character Post-Stress Overeating, checking on an important object in their safe, going for a Midnight Snack, or making a significant discovery. It may also be used to emphasize the character's Empty Fridge, Empty Life or showing the reaction to seeing a MacGuffin while showing the object itself.

See also Trunk Shot, a specific version of this shot from inside the trunk of a car.


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  • A commercial for Tostino's Pizza Rolls is shot from inside a freezer as two idiotic kids can't find them. "Mom we're dying!" "No, you're just hungry."
  • A man is making a sandwich for a discreet midnight snack, grabbing lettuce, tomato, etc. and of course the Miracle Whip.
  • A bunch of teenage boys come into the kitchen for a quick drink. They open the fridge and summarily shun the orange juice and soda in favor of Sunny Delight.
  • A timelapse freezer shot shows a frozen steak spoiling and obtaining freezer burn over a lengthily period of time (while other freezer items are moved around), before the woman who put it in there comes back for it, to find it's no longer good.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Used in a flashback in Episode 1 of Sweet Blue Flowers, where kindergartner!Akira looks inside her desk for her crayons.
  • Tekkonkinkreet has a shot from inside a washing machine onto Black.

    Fan Works 
  • THIS SHORT FILM based on Portal where the technique is used twice:
    • First when the character goes to get a second can of beans.
    • Second on several occasions where she opens the oven several times to check if the cake is ready.
  • In Star Wars Uncut the shot of the Millenium Falcon escaping the Death Star in A New Hope is done as a shot inside a microwave, as a hand takes a hamburger on a plate out.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Turning Red, there is a shot from inside a box full of kittens as Mei opens it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used to subvert expectations in 1408. We see the hotel room's mini-bar from the inside when the hero opens it. He looks baffled and we assume it is because the fridge is empty but it turns out, the fridge's backside is open and leads into the next room from where the hotel manager starts to berate the hero.
  • The Baker's Wife: Several from inside the baker's oven.
  • The Body (2012) has a shot from inside a toilet bowl as Álex picks out the pieces of the torn dinner card to stuff them into his mouth.
  • Early on in Dude, Where's My Car? there is a shot from inside the fridge onto the heroes showing their reaction to the fridge being filled up with cups of chocolate pudding.
  • Played for Drama in Flight, where, the night before he's scheduled to testify about a plane crash, dry-drunk pilot Whip discovers that the mini-fridge in his hotel is fully stocked with liquor. You can practically see the willpower drain from his face.
  • Ghostbusters: Dana opens the fridge and is bathed in harsh yellow light.
  • Il Mare: Seen when Sung-hyun reaches into the mailbox to get the book about his father that he's been waiting for Eun-joo to send from the future. Unfortunately it arrived too late for him to show his father before his father died.
  • Occurs in The Jacket, in the scene where Jack searches Jackie's fridge to find something eatable.
  • Twice in Ninotchka do we get a shot from inside the hotel room safe onto the characters staring at it.
  • The Nutty Professor (1996) has a shot on Sherman from inside his microwave.
  • In The Professional, we get such a shot to watch Mathilda fill up the fridge with milk.
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes uses such a shot, but food isn't being retrieved. Instead, Caesar the chimp opens it to find canisters of ALZ-113, an Alzheimer's cure drug that can make apes smarter.
  • Secretary has a shot from inside the fridge when Maggie Gyllenhaal's character fetches something from it.
  • In Species, this shot used when young Sil snatches food from the train's dining car.
  • In Sword Of Gideon, a made-for-TV movie about Mossad agents hunting down the terrorists responsible for the massacre at the 1972 Munich Olympics, one of the agents notices that someone's been in his apartment. He carefully searches his place and finds a bomb. After defusing it, he opens the refrigerator per this trope. There was another bomb inside the fridge, rigged to go off...when the door was opened.
  • Whiplash has a scene where the hero opens a wardrobe door to look for his drums. We see the shot from inside the wardrobe.
  • Wild Tales likes these POV shots. Besides a Trunk Shot, we also get a shot from inside an overhead locker on an airplane as well as a shot from inside a cupboard in a kitchen.
  • In Wonderwall, Penny's boyfriend drops by Oscar's apartment to borrow ice, leading to a shot from inside Oscar's refrigerator as the boyfriend grabs chunks of ice.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There was a scene in the first episode of Breaking Bad where Walt fishes laundered money out of a washing machine.
  • Used in the episode "Wisdom Teeth" of Broad City where Ilana Wexler is making her friend a drink to help her feel better.
  • This often happens in The Crystal Maze, especially when the contestant opens the safe or other receptacle containing the crystal.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The End of the World": We get a shot from inside the washing machine onto Jackie Tyler as she is sorting out the laundry when Rose phones her.
    • "The Christmas Invasion": One of these happens as Rose gets something out of the fridge while she's talking to her mum.
  • Fort Boyard: Sometimes used in the snake pit to show the contestant's horrified reaction, when they open a cupboard full of snakes.
  • This is a very common shot used in Good Eats, coming from not only the fridge, but the microwave, oven, freezer, and spice cabinet. It was used to provide the viewer not only a view of Alton either taking or depositing food, but also giving him a chance to indicate directions for certain cooking steps, such as oven temperatures, and to show off some of his storage tips, such as the spice tins held on the inside of that cabinet by velcro.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • In the first scene of the series, the camera is inside Daniel Molloy's mailbox when he unlocks it to take out the package that Louis de Pointe du Lac had shipped to him.
    • In Season 1, there are a few shots which are from within the incinerator, such as when Lestat de Lioncourt opens the lid in episode 2 just before he and Louis toss Mr. Carlo's corpse inside, in episode 4 when Lestat forces Claudia to stay put and observe Charlie's body being charred by the flames, and in episode 5 when the police inspect its contents.
  • The intro to Parker Lewis Can't Lose featuring the entire Lewis family grabbing things from the fridge.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse did this all the time in order to hide the join between the live-action and the stop-motion animation of the food. Sometimes the animated food even interacts with Pee-Wee!
  • In the pilot of Sense8, there is a shot from inside the opened safe onto the diamonds in the foreground and Wolfgang and his friend in the background.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "Nepenthe", the camera is located on the inside of the replicator as it generates a slice of cake while Raffi watches.
  • First episode of season 2 of Stranger Things shows Will from inside his locker at school in the scene where he finds the newspaper clipping with "zombie boy" written on it.

    Music Videos 
  • In the music video for Paolo Nutini's song "New Shoes", we get this shot of the singer looking into his almost empty fridge.

    Video Games 
  • Team Fortress 2: The entirety of "Meet the Sandvich" video is shot from the camera inside the fridge that contains the Sandvich, with the action outside of it deliberately obscured by the fridge door.

    Web Original 
  • 5 Second Films skit 3D Food features a shot from inside the fridge, which turns out to be a cinema as well.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in an episode of American Dad!. Stan, suspicious of his new Iranian neighbors, the Memaris, disguises himself as Mrs. Memari's doctor as she's about to undergo a smear test. The viewers see a shot from inside something as Stan opens it up and starts rooting around, commenting on how he wishes Francine would "keep hers this clean"... then comes the reveal as he pulls a packet of Tic Tacs out, and an outraged Mrs. Memari demands to know why he's searching her purse.
  • Some non-fridge examples from Classic Disney Shorts:
    • The Little Whirlwind opens with Minnie Mouse taking out a cake from her oven, with the shot being set up like this.
    • Mickey's Birthday Party has a scene where Goofy checks on the cake as the layers are rising.
  • Fridge Shot when Toot from Drawn Together eats and opens the fridge constantly to get more and more food. Each time she opens the fridge, she is noticeably fatter.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy. Fridge shot in...
    • "A Glass of Warm Ed", as Ed sleepwalks and raids Jimmy's fridge, where he eats an entire pie, followed by washing it down with an entire carton of milk.
    • "Knock, Knock, Who's Ed?" The Eds prepare for a monster movie marathon by raiding the fridge; during this fridge shot, we find Ed squirting the ketchup straight into his mouth, followed by plastering a doughnut over his eye (looking out the hole), and Double D excited at finding a jar of garbanzo paste (to Eddy's disgust).
    • "Who, What, Where, Ed", the Eds are preparing an omelet. Ed is asked to find some eggs in the refrigerator. What follows is a shot from inside the fridge where he first looks into the freezer, finding some completely frozen ice cream. Only later does he find eggs, but by then he manages to get his tongue frozen to the ice cream, which causes quite a problem when he tries to return with the eggs...
  • Shows up in the third act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Babysitting Bogus", when the babysitter reaches inside the fridge and takes out a Tupperware bowl.
  • The Simpsons: In a holiday episode, Marge takes a ham out of the oven to give it another coat of glaze. We see a shot from inside the oven as she opens it, and the ham is already glowing from the amount of glaze on it.
  • In Teen Titans in the episode "Sisters", Starfire sadly opens the fridge to get a soda for her Sister Blackfire who is still arrogant.
  • Happens at the beginning of the infamous "One Beer" short from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Elephant Issues", when Buster asks Plucky and Hamton what they'd like to drink before deciding on the titular beer.

    Real Life 
  • There was a case (read about it some 15 years ago, can't remember all the details) when a woman suspected her husband of infidelity. Since he had a habit to ask her for a drink from the fridge after sex, she asked a private detective to place a hidden camera there to activate when the door opens. Four different naked ladies were caught on the film.