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Shot-for-shot (or shot-for-shot adaptation, shot-for-shot remake) is a way to describe a visual work that is transferred almost completely identically from the original work without much interpretation.

Production uses[edit]

In the film industry, most screenplays are adapted into a storyboard by the director and/or storyboard artists to visually represent the director's vision for each shot, so that the crew can understand what is being aimed for.


From comics/graphic novels to film[edit]

  • Sin City - Directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller filmed most scenes shot-for-shot from Miller's graphic novels.
  • 300 - Director Zack Snyder photocopied the graphic novel and constructed the preceding and succeeding shots.
  • Watchmen - Zack Snyder again used the graphic novel as his main storyboard, featuring several shots that are almost identical to their literary counterparts.

From comics/graphic novels to television[edit]

  • The Adventures of Tintin comics series was adapted into The Adventures of Tintin television series, often with many of the panels from the original comic transposed directly to the television screen.
  • The Marvel Super Heroes animated series used extremely limited animation produced by xerography, consisting of photocopied images taken directly from the comics and manipulated to minimize the need for animation production.
  • The Maxx - Sam Keith and William Messner-Loebs' Image Comics series was adapted in an animated television series by Rough Draft Studios and MTV in 1995. Richard Mathes wrote of it, "The cartoon version of The Maxx follows the comics' art almost line-for-line. Instead of attempting to cartoon-ify the dark tone of the comic books, the producers made the decision to use animation that is nearly identical to the panels within the Image comics. In addition, the animators did as little animating as possible. They don’t insert motion just to show that they can; instead, they hold on to shots, using movement only when absolutely necessary."[1]

Film to film[edit]

Some films are remade in an almost identical "frame-to-frame" fashion.

Animation to animation[edit]

Monster, besides adding animation, music and shuffling around some scenes, is a perfect recreation of the source material.

Manga to anime[edit]

Many Japanese anime series that are based on a preceding manga series strive to adapt the story without many changes. If the anime and manga are being produced concurrently, however, and should the anime overtake the release of new source material, the producers might then be forced to create their own new ending to the story, go on hiatus, or create a "filler arc" with an original story arc that non-canonically continues the story until more material has been created.


Some directors pay tribute/homage to other works by including scenes that are identical.

Television to Television[edit]

  • To celebrate it's 100th episode "Mercy", the showrunners of The Walking Dead created a shot-for-shot remake of the first scene broadcast of the series from the pilot "Days Gone Bye".[4]


Many comedy works that rely heavily on parody use shot-for-shot as a substance of humor.