In your close-up, as you think and speak, your head movement can follow a triangular pattern.
It looks good on screen.
And it’s part of film language. We recognize the pattern of the movement from movies and it usually indicates searching for an idea, getting the idea and then concluding.
It’s recognizable human behaviour. In life we make the same triangular movement, so it’s truthful and technically sharp – meaning it suits a frame.
Can’t get any better than that.
It can go like this: the other actor sends you a line and as you receive it your head dips down and to the left as you’re thinking of your response, then, as your thoughts clarify and words unfold, your head comes up on the left. Finally, as you complete your point and dialogue, your head returns to its starting position on the right looking back at your scene partner.
It’s a flowing, triangular movement based on your thought going from right, down, up on the left and then back again on the right. It could go from left to right.
This isn’t a rule or something to do mechanically but it is a movement pattern that we do and that looks good on screen.
Knowing that something looks good on camera quietens the doubt.