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#1 Jim Nelson

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 03:49 PM

Hi,

When should I use medium close ups? I know that a medium shot is just to give information and that it's emotionally neutral. I also know that the close up allows us to emphasize the character's emotional state. But when is it best to use the medium close up?


Thanks :)
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 04:08 PM

You could regard it as the default dialogue frame size, it's usually the standard size for dialogue and is used a lot more than the CU. It give a good mix of facial and upper body language.
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#3 Jim Nelson

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 06:48 PM

But does the medium close up emphasize the character's emotions? And if yes, what's the difference with the close up then? Obviously I know that the close up is tighter than the medium close up; I'm just refering to the purpose.


Thanks for your help.
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#4 Rob Vogt

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 08:18 PM

A character shows emotion more than in just the face. They have body language too and the CU cant pick it all up. The MCU is good because it allows the actors to act more.
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#5 Jim Nelson

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 11:23 PM

So when is it best to use: the medium shot, the medium close up and the close up?

Also I thought the medium shot was emotionally neutral and was just used to provide information. But now I undertand that body language also shows emotions so I'm kinda confused :(

Sorry if I'm persisting with this. I understood what you said. It's just that there's still some stuff troubling me :(



Thanks
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 02:41 AM

So when is it best to use: the medium shot, the medium close up and the close up?

Also I thought the medium shot was emotionally neutral and was just used to provide information. But now I undertand that body language also shows emotions so I'm kinda confused :(

Sorry if I'm persisting with this. I understood what you said. It's just that there's still some stuff troubling me :(



Thanks


The frame size contains the action and the subjects within it. You're recording the content, not the frame size, so it's possible to have a more emotional meduim shot (the actor's whole body is shaking with raw emotion) than a CU of a actor who's face reveals cool disdain.
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#7 Jim Nelson

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 04:15 AM

Thank you soooo much. It's now clear to me :)

May I ask one last question? Why is it that the medium close up is the default for dialogue? And what kind of body language does the upper part of the body (in the medium close up) give?
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 05:58 AM

I don't know if you've don't any practical film making or photography, but when filming a MCU you become aware of shoulder movements, body posture, hand or arm gestures, plus the breathing. You also are see more of the environment. It gives you the reserve of the CU if you need more facial information or intensity.

The CU is too intimate for quite a lot of dialogue, remembering that people tend not to stand closer than 18 inches from each other unless they know each other.

You can also do over shoulder 2 shots with the MCU, so it's a versatile frame size.
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