Just about every director of feature films, independent shorts or viral webisodes is going to find themselves setting up to shoot a pair of actors, in a room, simply talking. The exchange of information or emotions which are crucial to the development of the characters or essential in moving the story forward is an extremely common storytelling device, right? The key is creative shot framing.
While some scenes may seem like they’d be an easy setup and shoot, there are opportunities for filmmakers to augment their creativity. By careful and deliberate framing of the shots there’s an opportunity to tell a deeper story. Tell a story deeper than what’s being spoken on screen.
It’s in the framing
Take for example this well-deconstructed scene from Jonathan Demme‘s classic “Silence Of The Lambs.” As Academy Award winning actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins meet for the first time in the film, a tense primary exchange of major character is not only told through the words on the page and the performance of the actors but the carefully calculated shots from behind the camera.
It appears that Demme leaves nothing to chance in absolutely any of the frames of this pivotal scene. He shows us that even scenes of conversation, two people in a cell, leaves plenty of room for enhanced storytelling.
Furthermore, you too can build a visual plan before you shoot. (You don’t think the great directors “wing it” do you?) While it takes planning, it doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Start working on your next film today with the storyboarding help of StoryBoard Quick.
Want to read more about shot types and their uses? See our blog post on the Language of Film.
For more amazing insight into some amazing shots, check out Every Frame A Painting.