Tag Archive - cinematic technique

How to Construct Scenes Using a Variety of Camera Shots

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From A Variety of Shots to Paint the Big Picture:

Here’s a great sequence of shots from the opening of Apocalypse Now (1975) showing the camera moving in and out, panning, making the viewer see a series of specific things writer/director Francis Ford Coppola feels it’s important to see (the original screenplay was written by John Milius). Coppola’s aim is to get close and personal to the experience of being in this primal jungle in a hotbed of war, practically immersing the viewer in the swamp of mud.

PRIMEVAL SWAMP – EARLY DAWN

It is very early in the dawn—blue light filters through the jungle and across a foul swamp. A mist clings to the trees. This could be the jungle of a million years ago.

Our VIEW MOVES CLOSER, through the mist, TILTING DOWN to the tepid water. A small bubble rises to the surface; then another. Suddenly, but quietly, a form begins to emerge; a helmet. Water and mud pour off revealing a set of beady eyes just above the mud. Printed on a helmet, in a psychedelic hand, are the words: “Gook Killer.” Continue Reading…

Using Close-Ups in Your Scenes to Get Personal

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at excerpts from past posts on Live Write Thrive that tie in with our exploration on scene structure.

From Close Up and Personal—One Stationary Camera Shot:

There are plenty of shots that specify a particular distance the camera should be positioned from the action, but I like to break them up into three basic distances, and these are covered by the following camera shots: The Close-Up (CU or Close Shot, sometimes called a 2-Shot for two people in the shot), Medium Shot (MS, or Full Shot), and Long Shot (LS). These are the staple shots.

You may also find Extreme Wide Shot, Very Wide Shot, Over-the-Shoulder Shot, etc. It may be superfluous to say that you want to use a Close Shot when you want to get in close and see things you can’t see from far away. Same goes for the Long Shot in aiming to show a wider scope of what’s happening in your scene. Sometimes you want to “see” something far off and not see the details. This is a choice. Continue Reading…

3 Ways to Not Lose Your Readers on Your First Page

Readers will often stop reading before they finish the first page of your story. While this has always been true, in this fast-paced age that foments impatience, it’s even more true.

If a writer doesn’t deliver what a reader hopes for on that first page, it’s going to be tough to convince the reader to stick around for the whole chapter—let alone the whole book.

We’ve been looking at all the things needed on a first page of a novel or short story. And while it’s not a hard-and-fast rule that all these elements have to show up on page 1, the more elements a writer includes, the better.

This, of course, is going to vary a lot. And if a writer is starting with a prologue or some scene that doesn’t introduce the protagonist, that makes a difference as well. But the overall objective, regardless of opening scene, isn’t going to change. And that is to engage the reader. Continue Reading…

Page 4 of 5«12345»