Close-up

From Academic Kids

In film, a close-up is a shot that is closely zoomed in on a person or object. The most common close-ups are ones of actors' faces.

Close-ups generally are short cutaways from a more distant shot to show detail, such as a character's emotions, or some intricate activity by their hands. Close cuts to characters' faces are used far more often in television than in movies; they are especially common in soap operas. Television shows that do not use close-ups are often described as creating an immediate feeling of emotional distance from the characters. The West Wing is notable for hardly ever using close-ups to show emotion.

Close-ups are used for distinguishing main characters. Major characters are often given a close-up when they are introduced as a way of indicating their importance. Leading characters will often have multiple close-ups. There is a long-standing stereotype of insecure actors desiring a close-up at every opportunity and counting the number of close-ups they received, such as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, known for her line "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

The disadvantage of close-ups is that they do not show the relative positions of people and things; overuse of close-ups can quickly confuse an audience.

The close-up is usually said to have been invented by D.W. Griffith, but earlier filmmakers had used it, just not to the same effect or with the same understanding of its abilities. Sergio Leone pioneered a technique of using extreme close-ups (ECUs) that show no more than the actors' eyes.

See also: Long shot, Mid shotja:クローズアップ

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