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Additional info for SciFi Now [UK], Issue 65
Don't get your actor to stare at a wail, or something else close-up, because it looks ridiculous. Give your actor a window or balcony to peer out from, so that there s a reasonable justification for him to be staring off into space. ' Set up your camera behind the actor, with a long lens. Although you can move the camera to accommodate the ' actor s movement as he walks towards the other actor, the less movement this shot contains, the better it works. Set ' up your actors marks so that the camera barely needs to move.
When he does, ' ' ' and looms into view, it s clear that he s made an entrance to the film. There are several ways to make your character strand out at this point. One is to give him more light than the other people in the scene. Another is to make sure that everybody who s on the same plane as him is shorter. The Children of Men shots show this well. Everybody else on the front row is relatively short, so he towers above them, making it clear he s the hero of the piece. ' ' Set up your camera to the height of your main character, and angle down towards the crowd.
This underlines her importance. 48 ENTRANCES S EXITS OBIECT REVELATION WINDOW PUSH Sometimes you want a character to do more than simply leave the scene. You want to signal that she's leaving behind a part of herself, or a section of the film. At moments of such change, the Window Push is a good way to signal this sense of closure. In these frames from Amelie, a simple combination of effects creates the correct emotion, without it looking like a technique at all. The camera moves towards the windows, as they are closed, and then the character walks out of the shot and turns out the light.