The Importance Of Head Gesture

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The head, by its movements and gestures, can impart meaning to the character's intentions and/or feelings. Like the gestures of the arms and hands, it too has a non-verbal language, while sometimes ambiguous and subtler. Understanding the potential of these gestures and their implications is a valuable tool for actors, especially in film acting where the head and face dominate the screen image.

Head gestures allow people to communicate a variety of thoughts and feelings. However, head movements by themselves are incapable of being as precise as words. They are open to wide interpretations and many have multiple meanings. In many cases, the gesture's implications depend on the context of the scene, the dialogue, relationships, and the dramatic
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It can indicate what the character is talking or thinking about by the direction and target of the head turn. The "what" in these cases could be something tangible such as people or objects. They could also be imagined entities and the head turn combined with eye behavior takes us to that space. We see and feel what the character is visualizing. The head swivel is also used scanning and observing a new environment. Another application, when two people conversing are side by side, the head swivel is used to acknowledge or comment on what is being said. When these subtle moves are incorporated with eye behavior, the exchange can be quite effective. This is because both behaviors are open to the audience and ideas, thoughts, and reflections become more important than the physical…show more content…
When something obstructs the character's view, the head moves to obtain a better angle. This movement incorporates the upper body moving sideways or up to get a better look. Such movement indicates a stronger commitment of interest than the side slant and increases the impact. This move can be done with only the upper body moving sideways or in combination with the head slant. The first is in the comic style while the latter is more realistic.

Emphatic Head Gestures can be used to evoke powerful feelings of convictions. Such movement, usually up and down, punctuates and emphasizes dialogue. Often these are synchronized with the rhythm and phasing of the words. However, when overused, the affect become redundant and looses impact. Yet, when properly placed and implemented, this gesture can be powerful tool in scenes having highly motivated speeches or confrontational arguments

Leaning in is indicative of being attentive, interested, or desirous. This head movement is usually very subtle and almost imperceptible, yet it has a telling affect on relationships. It signifies the person is actually listening. It implies a connection, either intellectual or emotional. When accompanied by appropriate facial expressions and eye behavior the viewer senses what's being communicated non-verbally. For instance, if the guy leans in focusing longingly on her lips, it likely relates the emotion of
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