Discussion in 'Screenwriting' started by ADDABAD, Feb 14, 2011.


    ADDABAD Bronze Member

    Hello all,
    My question is this: do I use CLOSE ON or CLOSE ON:?

  2. wks2001

    wks2001 Bronze Member

    really neither one - it's a camera direction - use with much discretion and only if absolutely necessary..

  3. Writerguy

    Writerguy Bronze Member


    In your narrative if you write,

    Barrows' eyes narrow, his brows squinch up.

    and move from there to a new paragraph, guess what? You've just described a close up of Barrow.

    Every paragraph (just about) is a SHOT and if you keep that in mind you'll never have to use CLOSE UP or CLOSE ON or any other directorial text.

    In any given paragraph the only thing we see on the screen is what you've described in that paragraph.

    Ah! Whole new world, eh?

  4. ed earp

    ed earp Bronze Member

    Hi I'm Ed

    If you are holding something in your hand say a book -- I would just write

    addabad’s hand comes into focus

    The director would understand it is a close up of addabad’s hand holding the book

    Don't know what everyone else thinks -- I think this would work
  5. wks2001

    wks2001 Bronze Member

    This is why I love guys like WriterGuy so much, because he is able, and willing to take the time to spell out why something is not right or is right - when it comes to "MOVIE writing, more so than I and the majority of screenwriters - not only on this website - but screenwriters in general.

    Believe me, when I say this here. I've been writing, and writing for over 30 years now, but this forum here has shown the most promise and assistance that I have run across in all these years that I've been interested in WRITING.

    Now I know some may question, "Why did he choose to emphasize the word, "WRITING" his last response - for two reasons :

    1st: it made you stop and take notice of the word, and then go back and read the whole sentence leading up to it - visceral.

    Secondly, it puts emphasis on the word - writing. I guess what I'm really trying to say is: whether your reader be the director, producer, or head of development - the writing has to moved them - and move them in directions adjacent to where there minds are already leading them. surprise them! whether it is stupid, arcade, or downright ridiculous - turn their heads!

    To the point where they give up trying to figure out where u are going with this - and succumb to just follow you... your script, your pitch, and your story.

    Now there's your page turner... always keep them guessing.

    what the f#@! happens next!!!

    I'm sorry if I went off on a tangent - but, we can be better writers than what u've been seeing lately. and don't be afraid to call crap - crap! It's a business - crap will be made! But all the time, their eyes are looking for the script that's gonna knock'em upside the head
  6. Writerguy

    Writerguy Bronze Member

    I appreciate the hell out of this comment.

    I too have been a student of the spec script form for more years than I'd care to count. I've watched as it has evolved and changed over time and tried very hard to keep pace with those changes in my own work. I do not ever presume to tell another writer what they should or should not write vis-a-vis the form, but I am more than willing to express my views and to describe why I think certain things work and others don't. From there, it's up to writers to make their own choices and, of course, to live with them.

  7. Lysdexic

    Lysdexic Bronze Member

    Giving camera direction either limits the directors blocking or cinematographers options,
    or encourages them to ignore what you've written.

    Either way the correct term is (CU or Close Up) and is usually part of the shot list
    or added to the script when it becomes a shooting script.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  8. Lon

    Lon Bronze Member

    CAPS are a good thing. By using them sparingly in your action/descriptives you can draw attention to a detail without having to use a CLOSE ON or an INSERT or other such camera directions.

    Bob and Tim lock eyes. Sizing one another up. Bob doesn't see the PISTOL tucked into Tim's waist band.

    When you read that, did you automatically visualize a close up of a pistol tucked into a waist band? Ten bucks says yes.

    Remember the KISS rule -- Keep It Simple, Stupid (mind you, I'm not calling you stupid -- that really is the KISS rule).

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