Edgar Wright on the Secrets of the Close-Up

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 29 2014 12:10 PM

Edgar Wright on the Secrets of the Close-Up

Filmmakers have been experimenting with the close-up since early director James Williamson first shoved his camera down his star actor’s throat (literally), but we’re still finding new ways to use it. That’s part of why this video from writer-director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The World’s End) and /Film’s David Chen is interesting. He’s only talking about one type of shot, but in each of his films Wright has found ways to make it do new things, from speeding up the pace to parodying “tooling up” montages and beer advertisements.

Wright also discusses everything from his use of hip-hop montage to the secret to pulling off a whip pan onto a close-up (film it backwards), and Chen edits in clips to illustrate with examples. The focus of the video might seem a little microscopic to the casual moviegoer, but for Wright fans and those interested in the craft of filmmaking, it offers a lot of insight.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


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