Tag Archive - Close-Up Shots

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…

Close-Ups Close the Distance

We’ve been looking at stationary camera shots, beginning with the Close-Up, which is perhaps the most common of all shots in a movie. Close-Ups allow writers to paint the flair into the story, which breathes life into it. Can you imagine showing every scene as if the camera was a football field away? Yes, there are times when you don’t want to show detail, and I’ll get more into that in later posts when we look at Long Shots.

But I believe it would be hard to successfully write an entire novel as if watching from far away (okay, there’s another challenge for those of you with too much time on your hands). Your characters would be shapes upon the landscape, and the reader wouldn’t be able to tell much of what they are doing. From that far away, your reader can’t hear what they’re saying, smell, taste, or touch anything. The distance distances readers—and that’s a problem. Readers want to be immersed in story and character, and you can’t achieve that by holding them at arm’s length—or relegating them to standing a hundred yards away. Continue Reading…

Using Close-Up Shots to Give Sensory Detail

Back in my first post kicking off this year-long course of supercharging your novel using cinematic technique, I told a short (bad) joke. I’ll share it again here, since I’m going to use it as an example of how you can take a basic scene idea and use Close-Up Shots to highlight details you want the reader to notice. Using specific camera shots is all about getting the reader to pay attention to what you, the writer, want them to notice. The fine details we reveal with a Close-Up shot add flavor and nuance and texture to our scenes, and that’s why they’re the often the best and most commonly used shot. Continue Reading…

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