You know you’re getting old (*points at self*) when you’re going along your merry way and all of a sudden you look up and say, “Waa? A whole friggin’ week has gone by? How did that happen?”
Then you realize you haven’t got a clue what to write about in your little blog yet still feel the need to post something. Anything.
Now, I could post about how I don’t have anything planned and humbly apologize and say I’ll have something super-awesome-keen next week and please don’t leave me sob, sob, sob.
So I did what any self-respecting blogger would do. I searched the internet for other stuff to show you and get my lazy ass off the hook.
So here’s what I
scrounged up discovered. And they’ve all got a neat ‘teach-y’ feel to them too.
Yes, I’m alive.
Sorry for the delay in this last post, but I was having one of those craptastic weeks where you want to curl up in a ball, shut down your blog and feel like you suck at the very thing you’re trying to teach people about.
Much better. And I won’t be shutting down anything, thank you very much. : )
So back to business and Wall-E and all that fun stuff.
This is a bonus post to the long ass series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ where I used the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. You can find all the links to the breakdowns of the six shots I discussed in the introduction post.
For this post, I wanted to grab a short sequence and take it shot by shot, exactly how it is in the movie. That was easier said than done because even a short sequence could end up making a mega-long post.
First off, this doesn’t start at the beginning of the sequence. I started a little further in. So there are no really wide shots straight off the bat. There’s only one and it’s later on. You wouldn’t start a sequence like this without going wider sooner, OK?
And I only grabbed one frame for each scene. It would have been nice to see more, but it was getting way too long.
This means looking at the shots the way I have them, there appears to be some jump cuts and stuff. There really aren’t because in some of the shots, Wall-E ended up leaving the shot at the end. So it’s a kind of ‘condensed version’ of the sequence.
But that’s OK because this is really all about the shots and not the action or anything.
(And see if all of my previous posts made any sense or not.)
“Oh, there they are.” Here we have a Long Shot. This is in the middle of montage-type sequence so it stays on these for a while.
Well, I’m still busy, busy, busy as a storyboard supervisor and being all drunk with power and stuff.
But anyhoo, here we are! The final post of this long-ass Wall-E series known as ‘The Shot Tells the Story’. As usual, you can find the rest of the shots here in the introduction post.
Actually, there might be one more wrap-up post. Because I thought it would be fun to string the shots together. Don’t ya think?
We find ourselves at the Extreme Close-Up. You can guess what this shot looks like. It’s a Close-Up.
In the last post on the Close-Up, I told you that getting close like that is very intimate. It’s getting very up close and personal with your character or subject matter.
So you’d think with the Extreme Close-Up it would be super-duper-intimate, right?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
It can be super intimate or it can just be a very useful information tool. It depends what you’re showing and why. I find it to be much more of an information-teller myself. Because to me this shot says:
In this shot, nothing else matters but the subject matter. And it’s usually going to be a particular part of that subject matter. Backgrounds are unimportant (or unrecognizable) in the Extreme Close-Up.
It’s all about one particular thing. One particular part of your character. The eyes. A hand. The mouth.
Pair an Extreme Close-Up with a pair of eyes and a voice saying, “I love you.” or of a mouth saying, “I hate you.” and you’ve got yourself a pretty intense moment there.
Sidenote: One of my biggest pet peeves is the ‘one-eye shot’. I guess it comes from looking at too many student films (usually in Anime style) that tried to use it to be all deep and stuff. Ugh. It never worked. If there is no good reason for showing just one eye. DON’T.
The only exception is if you work on ‘Lost’. They use one-eye shots and I love them. Because I love ‘Lost’. So the ‘Lost’ guys are off the hook from my rant. Thank you.
On the other hand, if you’re showing an object, the Extreme Close-Up is a very effective information-giver. This is when you’re really telling the audience, “You need to see this and ONLY this.”
This is the one shot that can really save your butt in the ‘don’t lose your audience’ department. Using this shot in the right place keeps your audience informed. It keeps them comfortable. They have all the information they need.
Let’s take an even closer look at the Extreme Close-Up and what information the shot provides.
“Look, I press this button and to make the conveyor move.”
OK, I’m back and I’m going to do this post because it’s the last day of 2008 and it’s cool to put up a post on the last day of the year.
Or my analness is just showing through. Whichever.
So! We’re at the fifth post of the series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ using the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. Yet again, you can find the whole list of shots in the introduction post.
We’re now at the close-up.
Ooo, the close-up.
The close-up is an ‘information giver’. An ’emotion teller’. A ‘look at this-er’.
But to really sum up what this shot says, it would be:
When framing a character, the close-up is usually the full head (some of the top can be cropped off), the neck and a certain amount of shoulder showing. The way NOT to frame a close-up is just a full head and no neck.
This gives you a ‘head in a box’ look and it ain’t pretty. Don’t be slicing off your character’s heads and putting them in boxes please. Just. Don’t. It’s all sorts of wrong.
You can crop closer, but that is an extreme close-up which would be, you guessed it…next post.
This shot is all about the subject, be it character or object. It’s telling us something. It’s showing us something. Something important.
Let’s take a closer look at the close-up.
“Look, I collect stuff and put it in here.”
We’re at the fourth post of the series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ using the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. Again, you can find the whole list of shots in the introduction post.
We’re now at the medium shot. It is a very common, widely used and let’s face it, pretty self-explanatory shot.
If a full shot is a full body shot of a character, then the medium shot is about a three-quarter to one-half shot of a character. Meaning you will have the full head in the shot and it will end anywhere between the ribs and below the butt.
There’s actually not a lot to say about this shot. It is what it is. I consider it a ‘work horse’ shot. It has a million uses and is usually never a bad choice.
So what does this shot say?
It’s when you need to get a little closer. A little more intimate with the character, but not too intimate.
The background is not important. It should have already been established and we know where we are. It’s all about the character and when they are doing.
It’s also great for when you don’t need to see their feet. Which makes it an awesome ‘cheat shot’ for animation. Why animate a walk cycle if you don’t need to? Just pan the background.
I love a good storyboarding cheat.
The medium shot is your trustworthy friend. It will never betray you and will always be there for you.
Let’s see what these shots are going to tell us. Sometimes, it’s not rocket science.
“I’m lifting my arm and reaching out.”
We’re at the third post of the series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ using the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. You can find the whole list of shots in the introduction post.
We’re now at the full shot. You may not see that term in any film making books. It is very often referred to as a long shot. But I like to separate the shots more.
So what’s the difference between the full shot and the extreme wide shot and long shot?
(Yup, that is never gonna get old 🙂 .)
How close? I define it as a full body shot of a character. There will be some ‘air’ (or space) above and below them inside the frame. No part of them is cut off (unless they are behind an object).
The extreme wide shot was all about the environment. It told us the big picture of where this story is taking place. The long shot had the perfect balance between ‘where’ and ‘who’. It gave us a closer look at who the story is about and where they are in their environment.
In the full shot, the environment (or the ‘where’) falls much more by the wayside. This shot is all about the ‘who’. This shots wants us to look at our characters. It’s the ‘big picture’ of just that character (or characters).
We should already know where they are by the time we get to a full shot. So this shot isn’t about Wall-E inside his house. It’s says:
“Watch me watch TV.”
This is the second post of the series ‘The Shot Tells the Story’ using the movie Wall-E as my lesson plan. You can find the whole list of shots in the introduction post.
In the post about extreme wide shots, I said those shots answer the question “where are we?” for the audience. This time I’m talking about the long shot.
What’s the difference between the extreme wide shot and a long shot?
“Gee Karen, never woulda figured that one out.”
OK, so I’m not really blowing your socks off here. But I’m not trying to. I’m just pointing out the differences and help you pick your shots. Remember, it’s all about shot choice.
So if the extreme wide shot answers the question, “where are we?”, what does the long shot do?
While the long shot can answer that question too, I feel it’s making more of a statement. That statement being:
If you look at the last post, Wall-E is in some of those shots. And when you watch the movie you can see him (my pictures are pretty tiny).
But those shots aren’t really establishing Wall-E himself. They are showing us the big picture.
With the long shot, you’re not establishing the ‘world’ so much as establishing the character(s) in that world. So the audience finds themselves saying, “Oh, there they are.”
This is a good thing. The audience always wants to know where everything and everybody is.
“Hey, there’s Wall-E in his house. Look at all the stuff he has.”