The dramatic peak of a dialogue scene is often a close-up… of an object.
Perhaps the most amazing of the fantastic takeaways from StudioBinder‘s breakdown of the business card scene in American Psycho (2000): director Marry Harron‘s revelation that Christian Bale can sweat on cue.
- Character want: Who wants what in the scene? Who is in their way?
- Choice presented: Will A or B be chosen?
- Scene object: What is the important object the debate is over?
- Side A vs Side B: Where do all the characters in the scene stand on the choice?
- Power of Choice: Whose choice is it?
- Stakes Raise: How is pressure built on the choice?
- Choice Made: Which option is chosen?
The insert shot is often part of the peak of the dramatic arc in a dialogue scene – here are some examples: