Who doesn't love a good close-up? They're the shot that can heighten emotions, push the intensity, and look beautiful doing it, so learning all you can about not only composing such a shot, but its nature and narrative capabilities as well, is essential to grow as a storyteller. David Chen of Slash Film sat down with director Edgar Wright to discuss the art of the close-up -- the result -- an engaging 8 1/2 video essay. Enjoy!
When reviewing Wright's work, namely the Cornetto Trilogy: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End (as well as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) it'd be impossible for his use of close-ups to go unnoticed. Highly stylized, satirical, and high-energy, the close-ups used by Wright reflect his films, as well as their genre. For example, his approach to using close-ups in Shaun of the Dead was to parody the tooling up montages you'd see in action films by doing a similar montage of his characters doing mundane activities.
Not only does he use close-ups as a comedy device, but he also uses them to set the speed of his movies and, in a way, force the edit. He mentions in the video essay that by starting a scene with a close-up, you are essentially giving the editor no other choice but to mark that shot as the beginning of your scene -- which might be an effective method if you have very specific parameters for different aspects of your film.
Check out Chen's discussion with Edgar Wright below -- and be prepared to see a bevy of awesome crash zooms.
What about Edgar Wright's discussion stuck out to you? Which filmmakers have inspired your cinematic approach to close-ups? Let us know in the comments.
[via Filmmaker IQ]