12 Angry Men- A Lesson in Staging


So, let's say you've got a 90-minute movie that features twelve characters and is all set in one location. How on earth can you shoot it in a way that's unique and exciting, and not just an endless series of mids and closeups? Let's dive into Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men, and study what it has to tell us about scenic density.

Six Ways to Build Scenic Density:

1) Move your characters through the spaces inside the frame
2) Have the background and foreground interract
3) Let characters take over shots
4) Move from one story to the next instead of cutting
5) Allow conversations and reactions to play in the same shot
6) Hold off on closeups for moments of prime emphasis

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Sources/Further Reading:

Walk the Talk by David Bordwell- http://bit.ly/2vNbqfv
You Are My Density by David Bordwell- http://bit.ly/2tGYGG9
Making Movie by Sidney Lumet- amzn.to/2vbOV7f

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