Throughout the movie, The King’s Speech, there were many close up shots of a single actor with a great deal of Depth of Field (DoF). This is a technique which could be applied to your business social videos.
Depth of field is the distance between the focal point (the actor) and the background. It is why on so many close-ups, the background is blurry. The blurrier the background appears; the more depth of field. For close ups, this provides interest and perspective. This technique forces the viewer to concentrate on the subject’s face. The viewer is forced to concentrate on the facial expressions and the emotional impact of the specific moment.
The King’s Speech used the DoF often throughout the film. Particularly on the close-ups between Lionel (played by Geoffrey Rush) and King George the VI (played by Colin Firth). Interestingly, when the two were conversing with each other, you were seeing the impact of the off-screen statement made by the other actor.
Now that you are focused on the actor, you will notice the actor is not directly in the middle of the frame. The actors are over to one side or another. Like a tic-tac-toe board. The center of the actor appears on one of the two vertical lines.
When you are creating your videos, try the same technique. Stand to one side or the other. Create the focus on you and not the background by creating a greater depth of field. When Lionel and Bertie were talking to each other, you noticed how each of their close ups appeared on the opposite vertical line…further illustrating they were talking to each other while you, the viewer, would concentrate on the emotional reaction of the person in the close-up.
The King’s Speech provides many great examples of DoF and Tic-Tac-Toe framing. Watch the movie, if you can, for both. Then, try this technique with your next business social video using an interview style.
It is easier if you have two video’s recording at the same time.
- Have each video focused on one participant.
- Frame close ups with each participant on one vertical line (left or right).
- Position the camera to record diagonal to the person being recorded.
- Keep both cameras on the same side (180 rule).
Let the interview be with one of your best customers, a business partner, employee, or anyone related to the topic of your video. Just try it. It’s digital. Even if you do not use it, you will learn a great deal about staging, close ups, and depth of field.