Cinematography - ProxemicsThis is a featured page

Proxemics is the complicated-sounding term we use to descibe a very simple thing; where we place objects, especially actors, in the frame. the word basically refers to the study of the distance between objects.

How did this student director / cinematographer use proxemics to establish characterisation at the start of their film?

Look at how Tarantino arranges his actors at the start of Reservoir Dogs. Can you figure out who likes who, who distrusts who?

Proxemics can also refer to the distance between the camera and the subject; when we talk about camera proxemics, we are basically talking about long shots, mid shots, close ups or some variation of that. The basic rule is that close ups heighten tension, longer shots dispel it. (Used too often, of course, close ups simply become annoying. The Bold and the Beautiful was famous for it. It's not a good thing, unless you're making a pastiche.) So, there tend to be rather a lot of close ups in horror films, for example; not quite so much in comedies.)

Look again at the short film above. When are close-ups used?

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