Money shot

money shot is a moving or stationary visual element of a film , video , television broadcast , or print publication that is disproportionately expensive to produce and / or is perceived as essential to the overall importance or revenue-generating potential of the work. [1]


Originally, in general movie-making use, the “money shot” was simply the most expensive thing to produce. [2] In general, a money shot (also called a money-making shot [3] ) is a provocative, sensational, or memorable sequence in a film, on which the film’s commercial performance is perceived to depend. [4] The scene may or may not be a special-effects sequence, but may be counted on to become a selling point for the film. For example, in an action thriller , an expensive special-effects sequence of a dam bursting might be considered the money shot of the film. Many filmmakers read a scriptand look for the most dramatic or climactic moment-the-money shot-in movie. [5] Even if the costs or technical challenges of such filming may be huge, producers and directors will do whatever it takes to get that shot completed. It is because of its box office importance and expensive set-up, that this climactic scene is often referred to as a money shot.

Pornographic movies

The term money shot has also been used as another name for a cum shot in pornographic movies . Referring to the ejaculation . According to Steven Ziplow, author of The Movie Maker’s Guide to Pornography , “the cum shot, or, as some refer to it, ‘the money shot’, is the most important element in the movie and that everything else (if necessary) should be sacrificed at its expense. ” [2] [6] It has been argued that this is the film that the audience has paid to see. [2] In her book Hard Core , Linda Williamsargues that the money shot is not simply desired, but proves to the audience that the sex is real. [7]


Talk shows

In TV talk shows , a highly controversial film, may be a highly emotional scene, such a visible well-kept secret, or a dramatic retelling of a traumatic experience. [8]

Broadcast journalism

Money shots in journalism are shots that grab and hold viewers’ attention. They can include an unusual, noteworthy, tragic, embarrassing, or incriminating situation, such as an earthquake , tornado , or explosion . A money shot is typically a shot that would be difficult to set up or anticipate in advance. Because such shots are frequently fortuitous, amateur footage is disproportionately represented among money shots: a shot of a tsunamirolling into a city is a rare and newsworthy money shot, it is recorded by a professional crew or simply by an amateur who happened to be on the scene with a camera. In television news broadcasts, money shots are often used in the attention of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks .

Print media

In printed publications, a money shot may be a photograph that in itself drives an important percentage of the sales of the publication. Photographs of celebrities in unusual situations may have been made in the past, and the pursuit of such photographs has been given to paparazzo journalism .


In surveillance , the money shot often refers to the footage in which a perpetrator enters and commits heinous or criminal acts, while being caught on camera. [9]


Money shot is used as an in-joke term among architects and designers to describe an extremely impressive or pleasing image of an architectural site.


The term money shot is used on the 3-point shooting competition in basketball, in reference to the 5 or last ball in the rack, which is worth it if the shot is made.


  1. Jump up^ Patches, Matt. “We’re Living in the Age of the Money Shot Movie Trailer” . Vulture . Retrieved 23 May 2016 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:c Mills, Jane. The Money Shot: Cinema, Sin and Censorship . Pluto Press, Annandale 2001. ISBN  1-86403-142-5 , p. xix Extract
  3. Jump up^ From the “Filmmaker’s Dictionary” by Ralph S. Singleton and James A. Conrad, edited by Janna Wong Heatly, (2nd edition, 2000, Lone Eagle Publishing Co., Hollywood, California).
  4. Jump up^ “Money Shot”. Oxford English Dictionary Online.
  5. Jump up^ “Approved for All Audiences: A Brief History of the Modern Movie Trailer” . Yahoo! Movies . Retrieved 23 May 2016 .
  6. Jump up^ Williams, Linda (1989). Hard core: power, pleasure, and the “frenzy of the visible” . University of California Press. pp. 93-95. ISBN  978-0-520-06652-6 .
  7. Jump up^ Williams, Linda (1989). Hard Core: power, pleasure, and the “frenzy of the visible” (First ed.). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. pp. 233-234. ISBN  0-520-06653-7 .
  8. Jump up^ Grindstaff, Laura (2002). The money shot: trash, class, and the making of TV talk shows . University of Chicago Press. p. 19. ISBN  978-0-226-30911-8 .
  9. Jump up^ McGrath, John Edward (2004). Loving big brother: performance, privacy and surveillance space . Psychology Press. p. 80. ISBN  978-0-415-27537-8 .