No close-ups, unless we need to
Keep it real. Keep it natural. The beauty of [Elephant, Last Days, Gerry] was that one of the rules was no coverage, unless we need to. No close-ups, unless we need to. So when you have a close-up, it’s very important.
In the standard coverage, where you do master shot, medium shot, 2-shot and close-up, the crew become like robots. It’s like “Okay, got it,” then everybody starts moving, the tape measures come out… That’s not filmmaking, it’s the dumbing down of the people who make movies. And everybody’s just covering their asses, “just in case”…Instead of shooting everything and looking at it later, please make a decision. It’s hard to make movies. We don’t have money, and we have to act like the police are chasing us. So let’s try to do this with some dignity. And do it well, and have some fun. And do good work.
– Harris Savides on shooting Elephant, Last Days, and Gerry with Gus Van Sant
Via the always excellent Heidi Saman.