Edgar Wright on the Secrets of the Close-Up

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. 



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.