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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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Shooting a Big Close-Up or Extreme Close-Up

If you need to shoot a big close-up or an extreme close-up of a human face or hands, be very clear with your talent exactly how tight the framing really is. This enables them to better judge the limitations of their possible on-camera movements for such a tight shot. A big close-up is going to be achieved either through a very close camera proximity to talent or via a rather long focal length lens on a camera slightly farther away. In either case, the resulting frame represents a magnification of the person’s face or hands and therefore the entire screen will be filled with that information.

With such extreme magnification, the slightest movements of the talent can “break frame” (move beyond the edges ...

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