Tag Archive - Stationary Camera 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…

A Variety of Shots to Paint the Big Picture

We’ve been looking at how adept and creative novelists use a combination of “camera shots” to structure their scenes, mimicking the way filmmakers piece together the segments they shoot from various angles and using different lenses to fashion scenes that lead to the desired “high moment.” Movie scenes will often feature dozens of different shots in a very short period of time, especially high-action ones.

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. Continue Reading…

Another Look at Combined Camera Shots in Novels

This week we’re going to continue looking at combined camera shots in novel excerpts. Not every scene in every novel is going to have a huge selection of shots. Some scenes are almost all dialog and may start with just an opening Establishing Shot and the rest of the scene all as a Two Shot, and that’s fine. Sometimes. The whole idea here of mastering cinematic technique in your novel writing is to know you have a choice, and have lots of shots to choose from.  Continue Reading…

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