February 23, 2015 at 6:17PM

9

Engaging An Audience

Hi everyone,

How can I engage/involve an audience in a scene using camera techniques so the camera isn't just a third-person standing in the room just watching what is happening from a very clinical perspective?

Thanks.

4 Comments

You must make a link with the actor with the audience. They have to feel that the actor feel. Normally with close shoots.

February 24, 2015 at 5:33AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7200

You have to show your character's emotional state so your audience will understand and empathise with what the character is feeling.

For me, the simplest way to do this is to treat the camera like a person, so get in tight and show the expression on your character's face. If your character is crying, then show their tears. If your character is nervous, show their hands shaking, show them biting their lips, or anything else that people do when they are nervous.

Also show your character's relationships with the other characters through their body language. If it's a loving relationship, show them holding each other, caressing each other, whispering into each other's ears, etc... If it's an angry relationship, show their angry body language, show the anger on their face, etc...

Most of this will mean mixing emotional close-up shots with wider shots of what is going on in the room. I love when film-makers mix compressed telephoto shots with tight close-ups, so that the long telephoto shot establishes the context of what is going on, while the close-up shots establish the emotional state of your characters.

For practice, pick any movie that you think does a good job of showing a character's emotional state, then break the scene down into the different shots. This will provide you with a good guide on how you might shoot this type of scene.

February 24, 2015 at 8:16AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
28553

Very interesting points guys! Thank you!

February 24, 2015 at 11:05PM

0
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Hovig Kazandjian
Writer, Director
468

Establish the scene with a wider shot first, but then get in close to the actors. Consider using a shoulder rig and shooting the scene with a bit of natural movement. Taking the camera off the tripod takes the observational feeling out of it and helps to put the viewer in the scene. After all, our heads aren't stuck on tripods.

Never shoot a zoom into a scene like this - it's completely unnatural. Unless of course you are going for a very documentary look.

Finally, use a shallower DOF to separate the character from the background so that your audience only has one thing to focus on.

You'll see heaps of shots like this in this music video I directed: https://vimeo.com/globalpictures/music-video-derrick-attwood-thing-you-c...

Hope this helps, Ben
Director/Producer, Global Pictures
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Learn the secrets to success in the corporate video industry. Get my course:
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February 25, 2015 at 11:37PM

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Ben Kumanovski
Director / Producer
289

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