Long Shots, Short Detail

Be conscious when you call for an extreme long or wide, long or wide, or establishing shot, that you don’t try and focus on small details in the same panel.

For example:
Focus on LA’s 405 freeway. It’s backed up for miles. Car after car after car. Stuck dead in the middle of the mess is Mac’s 18 wheeler. We know it’s Mac’s truck because of the bumper sticker that shows a chicken drinking a cup of coffee and the words “Keep Calm and Drink On”.

This is particularly tricky trap for writers who don’t specify camera direction.
When you’re not envisioning how the panel will actually lay out, you have to keep your focus on the stuff you’re putting in the scene (one of the four core elements of the comic panel discussed in the Working Writer’s Guide to Comics and Graphic Novels).

Generally speaking, if you’re showcasing BIG things: space shuttles, planets, mountains, ancient temples and such, don’t focus on small details in the same panel.

Use the close up of an important detail in a separate panel to carry and enhance the narrative. ▪

About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S.  Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.


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