Film Techniques Used in Pride and Prejudice: What and Why

Establishing Shot/Reestablishing Shot: A shot, usually involving a distant framing, that shows the spatial relations among the important figures, objects, and setting in a scene.  This final establishing shot is called a reestablishing shot, for it shows us once again the spatial relationships introduced with the establishing shots.

Both of the above shots are used to reveal the size of the Bennet’s estate.


Cut-In, Cut Away: An instantaneous shift from a distant framing to a closer view of some portion of the same space, and vice versa.

These shots are used to place emphasis on the Bennet’s breakfast table.


Shot/Reverse Shot: Two or more shots edited together that alternate characters, typically in a conversation situation.  In continuity editing, characters in one framing usually look left, in the other framing, right.  Over-the-shoulder framings are common in shot/reverse-shot editing.

The Shot/Reverse Shot is used to show the conversation between Elizabeth and Mr. Collins.  This allows for a clear understanding of the type of relationship between the two characters through different angles of framing.


Cheat Cut: Cut which purports to show continuous time and space from shot to shot but which actually mismatches the position of figures or objects in the scene.

This cheat cut allows for the viewers to watch the conversation between Jane and Elizabeth even though it is occurring under a sheet.  It would not be physically possible to fit a camera between the two girls and film the conversation.  The cheat cut allows for the camera to switch between the two girls and give the illusion of being under the sheet.


Eyeline Match: A cut obeying the axis of action principle, in which the first show shows a person off in one direction and the second shows a nearby space containing what he or she sees.

This allows for the viewer to understand the importance of what the specific character is seeing.  In this case, the viewer is able to understand the importance of Elizabeth’s book, as that is the only thing that she is focused on during her walk.


Match on Action: A cut which splices two different views of the same action together at the same moment in the movement, making it seem to continue uninterrupted.

Match on Action allows for the viewer to follow Mrs. Bennet as she chases after Mr. Bennet without disrupting the action.


Long Take: A shot that continues for an unusually lengthy time before the transition to the next shot.

This long take allows for the viewer to move through the Bennet estate as though they were actually on set.  This helps give a much clearer understanding of the size, social status, and family dynamic of the family.



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