Filming a wide shot costs more

As a film producer, you understand how the different types of camera shots can cost different amounts of time and money.  As an example, setting up and directing an aerial shot can be very time intensive and there are a lot of environmental factors at play such as the weather, camera shake and the pilots ability, so having a great director and an intricate plan is essential.  One type of shot that can increase your budgetary spend is filming an extremely wide shot or wide shot.  An extremely wide shot features the subject far from the camera and as a result, you can see the area and environment around the subject.  In actual fact, in the extreme wide shot, the subject can be barely seen.  A wide shot is similar to the extreme wide shot as it shows a lot of the area and environment around the subject but in this case, the wide shot moves closer to the subject so they can been seen more easily.  So why do wide shots cost more to film than closer shots?

You need to use more light:  When shooting a wide shot, you’ll need more light and therefore more energy to power those lights.  Shooting a wide shot may look easy, but setting up the lighting is a big challenge.  Getting all the elements in the scene lit properly and looking natural takes experience.  You might have a scene that requires you to film an entire room without panning or taking cutaway shots. But what if that the room is too dimly lit for good video and is exceptionally large? This is where all that extra, portable lighting comes into play.

Extra security for wide shots on the street:  When filming a wide shot on the street, even if it’s a closed set, you will need to have extra staff available to keep the public out of the shot or protect them from danger especially when stunts are being performed.

More props to decorate the extra space:  If you are filming on a set, you’ll understand the number of props that are needed to fill a small space.  When you require a wide shot on set, this will mean extra costs to fill space with flooring, furniture, interior decoration and loose props for realism including items such as magazines, glassware, toys or books.

Fill your space with extra talent:  If you want you to shoot a bigger space, this means you may need extra people in the scenes.  This can include more background actors, more animals (if required in the production), more vehicles or cars plus the people to drive them and sometimes you might even need more children!

You’ll need a bigger studio:  Wider shot equals bigger studio.  Even with the extra cost for the larger space, you’ll also need to consider all of the above inclusions such as lighting, staff and talent.

If you are on a really tight budget and want to eliminate some or all of this extra cost, you may have to sit down and consider whether or not you really need the wide shots in your production.  Ask yourself if there is an alternative angle that you can shoot from or if a closer shot will still give the same effect.