Close Up

Contributor: Jennifer Pauk

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The camera slowly moved in on her face, capturing the raw emotion. The tall, gorgeous blonde was now the focus of the camera. The tears fell freely from her face as she stared off into the distance. Her eyes were red and puffy, her face a mask of pain. This was the moment where everyone got close to her. They felt the pain as she was feeling it and they were a part of her. They knew her. The camera stayed on her face for a few more moments as a flicker of determination appeared in her eyes. The tears slowed and her face focused, fully determined now.
“Cut! That was good, everybody take five,” a male voice yelled.
The actress’s face abruptly changed. Her previously tear-streaked face now merely appeared bored. She stalked off the set toward me, and without even looking me in the eye she demanded, “Get me a water, now! Make yourself useful, you are supposed to be my assistant.” She continued walking and plopped down on a couch fanning herself with her hand, her head held high and nose in the air.
My eyes followed her, but not in admiration like many of her fans. I turned only to glare at her, but she never saw it because her head was too far up in the clouds and I wasn’t worth a glance.
In filmmaking, a close-up shows intense detail. It is often used on a person’s face, the camera gets really close at the same time as the audience gets close. The audience gets to truly see the person and experience emotions with them. The audience gets an accurate picture of the person’s life. The close-up takes the audience into the mind of the character.
The thing is, people don’t really get an accurate view. They don’t see the spoiled actress, demanding things from everyone. They don’t see her showing up late and hung-over every day and me getting blamed for it. They don’t see me picking her up at least three times a week from some random bar or party so slobbering drunk her eighteen-year-old self can barely stand, much less walk in her expensive, designer, skin-tight outfit, and three inch heels. They don’t see the people, like me, working constantly to cover-up her actions that could cause bad publicity.
If I was a filmmaker, I would show it all. Such as, her currently yelling at the director, right up in his face, demanding he work around her schedule and do things she wants to do, when she wants to do them because if he doesn’t he will lose his actress. Or last week, when she threw a steaming hot cup of coffee on one of the camera men because he accidentally bumped her with the equipment he was carrying. I would show the things people don’t see because they should see them. People think they are seeing reality, but they are seeing a fake image. That fake image is what they base their image and their lives on—a false reality.
“Alright, everyone let’s take the close-up again.” The director called, “Remember, we really want to get a good view of the emotion she is going through—we want to see the real her.”
If I were a filmmaker, the close-up I would show is the real her: her sighing and rolling her eyes with her arms crossed, refusing to get up and start the scene.
I slowly approached her and handed her a glass a water, then turned to go before she could complain. I had no desire to be close to her—I would let my camera do that.

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I am a student a the University of Northern Iowa. I love reading, writing, playing sports, and watching movies.
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