Equatorial weather. Shooting outside. My makeup is running off my face. Washington, DC is no place to make movies in the summer unless it’s one of those gritty, we’re-hot-and-miserable-and-want-to-kill-someone films. It’s a good thing young filmmakers are not into extreme close-ups. The shine would be blinding.
I like extreme close-ups actually. Not for vanity’s sake. You can say a lot with a face and eliminate pages of weighty dialog in the process. “The eyes are a window to the soul,” as they say. I believe someone also once said that “man created language to hide his thoughts,” which is as good an argument as any against too many words in a script. Let’s convey thoughts, moods, feelings, motives. Too many screenwriters forget that film is a visual medium.
I was watching Dear Frankie again the other evening, Shona Auerbach’s very unslick 2004 film that got a standing ovation at Cannes. She does things that you don’t often see anymore – close-ups of just the eyes, shots of characters where little is said but so much conveyed by their body language. Look at the long, drawn-out awkwardness before Gerard Butler and Emily Mortimer kiss. Where did Auerbach find the confidence to do that?
Or look at Michael Kitchen in Foyle’s War. He says so much without words. I love Michael Kitchen’s work.
Having said all this I auditioned in Philadelphia on Saturday for a part as narrator. All words. Still, they are short and to the point and the film has a very intriguing plot twist that could prove challenging. Every film is an opportunity. Need to line up more on-camera work for August though. I’m focused; something will come up.