Do you find your scenes feeling a bit sluggish? I stumbled upon this video about the Art of the Close-Up from David Chen’s YouTube channel. This is a great practical technique in applying two timeless principles of crafting engaging scenes.
- Arrive Late
- Leave Early
I am learning how tangible these principles are, as I am currently working on my first commercial feature film.
The writing process has been a wake up call as to just how difficult it is to train your brain to arrive late into a scene and to leave early. For a screenplay, it makes for a much easier read, especially for when you are sharing it with casting directors and actors.
Writing Scripts for Direction vs. Reading Experience
The challenge is when you are writing a script as a Director and Editor your mind is thinking about transitional story beats that may or may not be used to enter and exit a scene. Part of being a Director is making sure there are plenty of options in the edit room that allow the Editor to play with alternative ways to arrive and leave the scene. However, I am learning these are usually boring tidbits to read in script form – almost making the script too hard to digest.
Using these principles during the writing process as well as during production and post-production, is a great solution that can speed a story’s reading tempo in order to keep an audience engaged.
Use a Shooting Script & Shot List for Entrance & Exit Shots
What our team plans on trying before we go into production, is to ensure our script reads friendly as a stand alone experience for casting purposes – this means applying the principle of arriving late and leaving early in the writing, in order to make it a good read.
Next, as we craft our shooting script and shot list, I plan on building in some entrance and exit shots for each scene to apply the principles of arriving late and leaving early. I’m sure techniques, such as the Art of the Close-Up, will come in handy.
I’ll keep you posted on how this process goes, but for now…
I gotta leave a bit early ; )