23 Reasons For Close-Ups

To conclude our series on Cinematic Storytelling, last week Mystery Man examined the origins of and opinions about close-ups. Today, in the 10th and final episode, we look at 23 visual examples and their dramatic reason. To examine beauty / ugliness: To illuminate a glance we would not have seen (as in Lady Snowblood): To … Read more

Cinematic Storytelling (9)

Sheila O’Malley’s post on a close-up of Bud White in L.A. Confidential reminded us that characters with dimensions, with varying inner conflicts and emotions – a.k.a. depth – foster the right circumstances for great acting through close-ups. CLOSE-UPS, BABY! Of a moment in which we watch Bud, Sheila writes: “He is totally still. He doesn’t blink. He just stares. … Read more

Cinematic Storytelling (7)

Here’s a scene taken from the completely visual screenplay written by a longtime friend, Bob Thielke. This writer found himself so inspired by Jennifer van Sijll’s book Cinematic Storytelling that he wrote for himself a nearly dialogue-free screenplay. The result is a creative exercise, just to practice the art of telling a story through visuals. The … Read more

Cinematic Storytelling (6)

Here’s a sequence from Robert Towne’s Chinatown, a script that really deserves no introduction. This is my favorite sequence in this script in terms of screenwriting techniques. Reading this for the first time was such a revelation to me. by Mystery Man I love the way Towne uses Secondary Headings to cut back and forth … Read more