By Eugene Vale
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Extra info for Vale's Technique of Screen and Television Writing
The close shot points to the detail. It can be part of the set, like the bullet hole in a wall, or even part of an object, like a flat tire, or a prop, like a letter or like the nervous tapping of an actor’s fingers. Still closer is the semi close-up or two shot. It is used when we want to show the faces of two people. And last we have the close-up. There we bring the expression of an actor to the last row of spectators in the largest movie house, a fact whch has made the movies so popular as a democratic art.
Time, which is forever changing, must be constantly exposed. The need for a precise exposition of time is less severe than for place. Except for a specifically indicated flashback, we know as a matter of course that each consecutive scene takes place at a later time. Our only question is, How much later? The answer can be given in two different ways: either we expose the time of the first scene and the time of the second scene separately, whereby we define the lapse of time between them, or we expose the time of the first scene and the length of the lapse of time before the second scene.
This being the case, they should be placed where they can see and thereby show us the essential things. But at times the storyteller can identify himself with one of his actors. That is, he can sneak into the soul of one of his personsand look out through the eyes of this actor. Then he can shift to the soul of the other actor and look out from there. Let us assume we show a man entering a room where he sees a scene of horrible devastation. The camera then shows us the scene from the point of view of the actor.