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Old May 4th, 2013, 12:29 PM   #1
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Shot selection, closeups and wides

I learned in this forum a long time ago that when editing a multicamera wedding project, that cuts are fine when going from wide to closeup shots, and dissolves will often make for a better transitions when going from closeups to wide shots. It's a nice guideline that I use a lot. Not always, but often.

I wonder if, likewise, there is a similar rule of thumb for how long to hold a closeup before transitioning to a wide, and vice versa.

I am currently editing a first dance shot with two cameras, one wide and one closeup. I realized today that I kind of make my cuts and transitions instinctively, and wonder if there is a guideline of sorts for this. As a self taught videographer/editor it seems the longer I do this, the more I realize I do not know, it's kind of weird.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
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Old May 4th, 2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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Re: Shot selection, closeups and wides

Jeff,
You said you made the cuts/dissolves instinctively. That's a good thing. So I then ask, how does the piece feel to you? Not how do you like it but how does it feel in your gut? Does it flow, do any of the cuts or dissolves detract from the story line you're trying to make? Does the length of the shot help or hinder the story? If you made the shot 1 second longer or 1 second shorter how much of a difference would it make in that one section AND the total effort?
Answer those questions and you'll have your answer. Your work has always had a flow to it and IMO as long as you keep the flow in the story, all is good.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: Shot selection, closeups and wides

Thanks Don.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 05:36 AM   #4
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Re: Shot selection, closeups and wides

Don is absolutely right.

Becoming formulaic in your approach leaves no room for the creative instincts --- and, if everyone followed the same formula everyone would be doing the same thing and everyone else would become bored. The best guidance (not instruction) comes from looking at well-crafted films and videos at the cinema or on TV. See what the big boys are doing and see if this gives you any ideas you can use or adapt for yourself (but don't be slavish about it and avoid predictability as far as possible although, having said that, this can sometimes be useful to support the narrative as you certainly don't want what you are doing to get in the way of the story).

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Old May 5th, 2013, 06:49 AM   #5
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Re: Shot selection, closeups and wides

Hi Jeff

As the "master" has already said it's all about story line.

With dance shots be very careful you don't tend to favour one particular dancer if they are in a group ...the Mum's and Dad's definately don't like it so use closeups fairly and evenly in that case ...When I did a second shoot for a dance school they actually asked me to rather shoot wide and medium shots only and NOT include any close ups since as a cameraman you are often "attracted" to the more talented dancers which causes professional jealously amongst the group!!


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