YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR PERFORMANCE ACCORDING TO THE SIZE OF THE SHOT
On screen you can be seen in anything from full length shot of your whole body (Head to Toe) to an extreme close up of your face(Fore head to Chin) depending on the size of the shot. As a professional actor you should be aware of different sizes of the shot and monitor your performance accordingly.
Here on the location I have been observing the maestro from close quaters, who already has 340 released films to his credit in five languages, has a record of 27 releases in one calender year, Mr Prakash Raj. I was amazed to see how effortlessly he monitors his performance according to different composition of the shots. Even in a single take where the composition is changing, say from wide where his whole body is seen, and then the camera trollys in to compose a close up, he adepts so well with the performance and the right look for his co-actors. No doubt with experience he has mastered the craft.
Now coming back to the different sizes of the shot, the problem is there is no ‘standard acceptance’. Broadly they can be catagorise as.
1. Full length shot
2. Medium shot
3. Medium close up
4. Big close up(extreme closeup)
Most of the time in a master shot actor is seen in the frame from head to toe. This a ” Full Length Shot” (LS). As an actor how do you convey thoughts, feeling and expressions to the audience when they are seeing your whole body? What you are experiencing should come across through whole body motions and physical attitudes as well as loud clear voices.
Next is the “Medium Shot”(MS). Here your image is occupying larger screen space. You are seen from head to waist on the screen. This a usual size of the shot when two or three actors are sharing the screen space. This composition also desires “reasonable body motion and gestures”, here some facial expressions are also noticeable.
Then comes “Medium Close up”(MCU). Actors head and shoulders are seen, bottom of the screen cutting across the actors chest. This is a very common composition in shooting Television dramas.”This is a real life frame”. Its like you are seeing somebody sitting across the table before you. How does an actor goes about? Well, subtlety, transparent expressions, just what one would do in real life. Actors ease, naturalness and genuine feelings come across in this frame.
The “Big Close up”(also called extreme close up). Here the actors face entirely fills up he screen. Right from ‘fore head to the chin’. In life you can never see a persons face in extreme close up. If you try to see some ones face so close, you go out of focus and the image blurs. But cinematically this size shot is used often. Its an unreal size shot. It reveals what the actor is “thinking” rather than “presenting”. So, you just need to think strongly
in this composition.
This skill of adaptation of performance as per the composition of the camera frame is taught and imbibed deeply in the Actors of Indias Best Acting Academy KREATING CHARAKTERS we groom actors.
(For previous Blogs/ Tips on “Acting Career In Bollywood”
SAMAR JAI SINGH