What NOT To Do In A Close Up

The close up shot is your chance to create intimacy with your audience. Often, the close up is the most emotionally complex aspect of a scene. This makes it powerful, but also increasingly difficult to execute effectively.

Whether you’re an experienced film actor or coming straight from theatre, your instinct to play into the emotion of your close up could have your face moving all over the place – distracting from your performance.

What makes a great close up? Check out today’s video where Wendy Davis will show you what NOT to do in close up. Stay tuned for the rest of the video to find out the 4 critical components of a powerful close up.

What NOT To Do In A Close Up

Remember these 4 principles and get ready for your close up:

  • Seamless Acting
  • Acting Listening
  • Emotional Availability
  • Maximum Exposure Of The Eyes

Leave a comment. Was this video helpful for your film acting preparation?


Coming Soon: Los Angeles Class

How To Be Captivating In A Close Up

Our brand new 10-week intensive with Wendy Davis and Julienne Irons will teach you “How To Be Captivating In A Close Up.”

The camera picks up everything – every nuance, every twitch, every raised eyebrow. The fact is, it’s not enough to be a good actor. To be successful in film and tv, you must also be a skilled technician. During this class series, you’ll learn how to turn the camera into your best ally.

You will learn the 4 principles to creating a powerful close up performance:

  • Maximum Exposure Of The Eyes
  • Active Listening
  • Emotional Availability
  • Seamless Acting

Not only will you learn the theory behind these 4 principles, you will practice them each week. Seeing yourself on camera is the fastest way to learn what works, and how to modify what needs work.

Class begins November 7. Enrollment details coming soon!


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  1. Best explanation I’ve heard of the close up potential, and most

    • wonderful
      and helpful tools for going from stage to screen and then some ! and funny LOve it !

  2. Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice and Denzel Washington in Glory (the whipping scene) are two of the best close ups ever.

  3. Employing these techniques are far more powerful than face acting. A well-known rapper did a lot of face acting in the first few movies he was given. Since then, he’s learned to act. Well, has become better.

  4. Fantastic. Thanks so much! Sharing!

  5. Thank you. I will also keep this in mind for self tapes as well.

  6. Thanks for the advice. It made a lot of sense. I need to practice this skill.

  7. We don’t shoot audition tapes in close ups so this is a note once we book the job and hear the director say “let’s get a close up”, right?

    • Absolutely!

  8. This was very helpful, and informative. Being present in the moment definitely helps me to be more connected with the reader, aware of what I’m feeling, andhelos me “not act”.