Jeff Medford, Ross Hockrow
Jeff Medford, Ross Hockrow
1. Class Introduction
Class Introduction17:55 2
Shot Sequencing30:35 3
Storytelling Theory35:22 4
The Structure of a Story25:00 5
Storytelling Techniques51:08 6
Understanding Conflict in Storytelling59:35 7
Camera Gear20:50 9
Lighting Tools38:56 10
Micro Budget Filmmaking33:42 11
Audio Gear29:03 12
Camera Movement20:45 13
Gear Q&A10:44 14
Shoot Preparation1:02:25 15
Shoot with Kevin Kubota1:12:45 16
Shoot with Kevin Kubota Continued1:16:55 17
Introduction and Script Formatting17:45 18
Adobe Premiere 1011:03:28 19
Building the Film1:19:36 20
Building the Film Continued1:23:15 21
Finalizing the Film54:59
Let's go through what we're going to talk about for the three days so we kind of get a grasp of what we're doing. Today we're going to talk about storytelling theory and you're going to really, everything we do falls under storytelling theory because that's the one thing I feel like is missing from people who are just entering into this trying to capture beautiful looking clips and arrange them. It's all really about the story. We're going to talk about reality versus fantasy. What is real and what is you as a storyteller making something fantasy. We're going to talk about the structure of a story. We're going to get into some storytelling techniques. We're going to understand conflict and we're going to understand that conflict is really the foundation of storytelling and how you sort of create something intriguing. The reason why we're spending an entire day on storytelling is when you go to the educational universe out there for DSLR filmmaking, you see a lot of discussion and a l...
ot of education on gear. And what's missing in a lot of this is a discussion of what the whole purpose of it is. It's storytelling. And if you understand storytelling then you'll understand how to use gear and how to use it effectively. When we decided to make this trailer, that was done for our original Get in Motion Tour. Ross had this idea, let's tell a story. Most trailers for tours have the people talking to the camera and saying blah blah blah blah blah. You notice we didn't even appear in it at all, because we wanted to make the point that it's about the story. It's about making, my daughter makes a cameo, my little red headed girl, but we never appear. But for this we did have to make the cameo. Don't get us wrong, we love gear. Toys are, they're fun. Don't get me wrong. I could go into some camera stores and spend some money but, We've got some gear arranged over here on the table. We don't like to talk about gear unless we can tell you use this because this is how it's going to affect your story, as opposed to, use this it's cool. That's a big difference so, we will get into storytelling with gear. On day two we're going to talk about micro budget filmmaking. Because at the end of the day, gear is fun we could spend money but not everybody is going to go out and drop, an AmexCard on the table and just outfit their entire studio. You can do this effectively with very little equipment. That doesn't mean gear won't raise your production value. But if you understand the central idea and concept of a story you should be able to do this effectively with very little tools. Audio, we understand that audio is a very big brain fart when it comes into this. It's very difficult to capture because we take a lot of the sounds we hear in the world for granted. So how do we take what we see in the real world, and what we hear and bring it into our film and make it feel full and alive. It was probably our most asked question on tour, was audio questions. So we like to explain that thoroughly. We will do a lighting overview. I'll talk about lighting and how it affects the story. Again, not just making things look pretty and exposed well. But how does light affect a story. What position does it have to come from? And what we'll get into when we talk about that is photographers a lot of, their thinking is how do I make this look as good as possible? Whereas a filmmaker is, how do I make this look as good as possible, but I'm bound by the laws of reality. So there is a big elephant in the room when you're a filmmaker when it comes to lighting. We're going to get into camera movement as well. Because obviously we see high end films. The cameras is moving a lot. A lot of misconception is oh let's move the camera, it looks cool. But we always say, here is how it's going to affect your story. Here is the psychological effect that's going to have on your viewer when you do it. So, you understand when to do it, why to do it. And you're not overusing it so that when you do use it it actually does makes its impact. We're going to obviously shoot live. That's going to be really interesting. Because we are going, we're going to have a good friend of ours Kev kubota, Kevin kubota. Raise your hand out there in the internet if you know who Kevin is. Yes. He's going to be our Actors, Yeah. You'll get that tomorrow. So it's going to be quite the shoot there. And then we are going to the 180 rule. That's a big thing we're going to talk about when we actually are shooting because Kevin will be talking to himself. And when you are constructing a scene that way you cannot cross the axis as we say, so we'll discuss that and once we make that film, and then we get into the editing of it, you'll understand the concept of it and you'll never have to second guess yourself again, when it comes to that. The third day is going to be all editing. So we will first go over Adobe Premiere 101. I'll show you the workflow. I'll show you some of the keyword shortcuts I use. How to set up your program for certain aspects of the editing process. How to line up external audio. All the things that you need to set yourself up to be successful in the editing process. I will talk about workflow as well. I know that's a big question. Although with Premiere allowing the H.264 codec to be native it's not as difficult as it used to be. But there are some things that you should know about workflow. We'll talk about a narrative basis. This is like my mantra when it comes to editing. Editing is like building a building. You don't build a building from the top down. You build it from the bottom up. And if a lot of people, they want to, they don't know where to go. Where to start from when they are editing and I can give you that information and show you the path to being successful. Picking music. This is a big deal. Jeff and I we're just going through this program last night. And making some last minute music changes. It was interesting to watch films with different music and the completely across the spectrum impact they have just by switching the song out. So music is a very big key to that. We will get into that. Audio mixing. That's a big, big, part of audio. How do you get your audio to sound correct. What levels do certain parts of audio have to sound like. When Jeff does his audio overview today, he'll reference what tool he uses to capture certain elements of audio for your film. Because there is as many layers of audio in your film as video if not sometimes more. So, that's a misconception that audio is just one track. Color correction I'll go over some basic color correction, going into a little more complex. I'll show you how to understand it so that when the color correction programs evolve, you evolve with it. All your figuring when new programs come out is the controls as opposed to how. Finalizing a film. Tweaking is everything. That's a good thing is to have a second pair of eyes on your film and see, this is the changes I need to make. The tweaks make a film double what it is as opposed to putting it together. And then exporting, we all have different outlets. We like to use DVD, internet, Vimeo, YouTube, cellphone, iPad. They all have different settings and I'm going to give you a couple of those to show you how to export your film for clients and things of that nature. So those are the things we're going to go through. And we're really excited about day three because normally on the tours we get to spend about 30 maybe 45 minutes on this and if you think about it, what we like to say is filmmaking is all about storytelling but the editing process is where your story comes alive. And again, lots of seminars about gear. Not as much about storytelling and even fewer about the editing process, which is why our tour this fall, Ross' tour Making Magic is 100% editing. Because we really think that there is a lot of desire for people to learn and understand editing theory and principles. Because that's where the story becomes real. And when I first started in this, about seven years ago, I started out as a editor. That's the only thing I really could control. Because when you don't have money, budget to shoot things and people are asking you to do stuff, my knowledge of lighting was very small so, busy always in the video music realm, when Jeff found me. Actually this is a music video that I. This is my history right here. Okay, so when Jeff found me. I answered an ad on Craigslist, this is what I was doing. And my claim to fame is editing still I would say I'm a better writer and director now. But, Can we afford all of this? Yeah. That's good. We all want to be reminded where Ross came from. 200 bucks, 200 bucks. 200 bucks. But that's how you become a good editor in a lot of situations. Take footage that really has no purpose whatsoever and learning to paste things to music. Things like that. I always told our employees when we would hire them as editor, I say do you listen to rap music? They say no. I say, you need to go buy some JAY-Z albums because it teaches you pace and beats per minute and a lot of that pacing of editing is understanding the flow and picking music when we get to that, I'll show you that it has nothing to do with your personal preference. It has to do with what's best for the film and understanding pace is really important when you get into some of the slower songs. So let's talk a little bit about how we got started because one of the reasons I think it's great for me to have this conversation with you, for Ross, because I came from the photography world. I knew nothing about filmmaking at all, when Ross and I got together. And what was happening is, Clay Blackmore and I we're doing a DVD project called How to Photograph Everyone, which was a multi DVD instructional video on how to photograph everyone. Portraiture. And we needed an editor and a videographer. You'll hear a little bit about that here in the future. I put an ad on Craigslist and Ross answered. He showed me this movie trailer and I was oh we're you like holding the microphone for this movie or something? And he's like, no I wrote the movie, I directed the movie I shot the movie and I edited the movie. And I was like. You wrote your own movie? Really? And so we hired him, and we were doing this project with Clay, and we are on the way to a family shoot where Clay was going to be doing some portraiture at the home on location, and for whatever reason I don't know it was probably like the spirit of Monte or something came over me and I turned to him and I'm like, you know what let's not film Clay making photos. Let's turn the cameras on the family and shoot their experience and make something for them. And it was really just out of the blue. Yeah, and basically it's my third or fourth day on the job. What's interesting is that when I did show up my first day on the job they had the first 5D Mark II and I just got done shooting that movie with a camera, about the size of the cameras that are pointing at us right now. And he handed me this 5D and I just, I was like these guys, they have no clue what they're doing. I'm going to just finish out the day. I'm going to be respectful and I'll never talk to them again. But Jeff made me download the footage before I left which totally changed my perspective on where this is going to go. And obviously DSLR's have taken over the world. So when he said, we're going to this photo shoot let's see if we can make something about the family. Although, it was last minute and there was no preparation I was basically hearing him say hey, do what you do as opposed to what I hired you to do. So, that opened up a big can of worms. And so, we're not. Just to prove that we don't have egos, we're going to show you the first family related, client related piece we ever made. This is before we became CineStories. This was us doing a DVD project. Because there are problems with this. We want to show you that you can come from anywhere. You can do this. There is also going to be some really interesting things about this. Even though there are problems. And that's what we want to talk about after we watch this. So let's go ahead and watch this and then we'll discuss it. (solemn classical music) Alright. So I want to get ya'lls reaction to what you just saw. Each of you take a turn and say what you thought of this and remember we don't have an ego. Alright, so you can be honest. Just to be clear, was it something that you did for the client or for a promo? For the client. Okay. We literally we're like, lets do this for the family on the way over. No thought no preparation, no anything. Okay. I like the way the music was incorporated with the girl playing the piano. That seemed to flow really, really well. Okay. I thought it was really well done as well. There were times that the camera was a bit shaky but other than that it's something that I think looked nice. So maybe the camera shake. I don't know. Yeah. Do you want go again? Now go ahead. I thought. I mean it captures some really cute moments like with the kids and you got a little more of their personalities than you get from the photos, but overall you don't really get the story of that day or that moment in the family's life but you get a really nice rhythm with the music, like you said and you get some more personality out of the kids especially. That was it. As a mom I think, definitely having those in between moments, like when I'm a photographer I try to catch the in between moments. But it's really hard. And with video, you can almost get more of them because you can incorporate it, for me it's hard to take a picture of somebody's feet and then be like here. Here is a picture of your sock footed kid. But in a video, it is part of the entire story and it doesn't have to stand alone and it works so well. The only thing that bugged me was the color. The color might be a little off because the monitor. So great comments all of you. Yeah go ahead. We have them coming in from the internet as well. So Amanda Khan says, I like how the music and the piano playing was used to create a rhythm, with the footage and the pictures. I want to go ahead and, I just want to make this point. We know the footage was really shaky. Like it's embarrassing, Ross and I are sitting over here shaking our heads right? I can't even watch it. Alright but, and we know that if we were to make that again today, that the production value, how we shot things would be significantly raised. But what do you think that family thought when they saw it? They thought what you said, I got the in between moments. They were overjoyed. They loved what this was more than they loved the photos. And this really is instructive because when Ross shot that he would shoot for five seconds here, and 10 seconds here, and he was moving all over the place. And I saw some of the footage later on and I thought it was kind of shaky and it wasn't long enough. And I'm like you've ruined this. My idea that we had on the way over here dude, you have completely ruined this. He's like, relax. I've got this. And when he showed it to me I cried. And the reason I cried is because when I saw that family bond it reminded me of the way I feel for my kids and my family and my life. And that's what good storytelling does. Is it takes something that you see and relates it to your own life. And that's the point. Even if you have bad shaky footage, you don't have anything production value to it at all, if you can make that connect, through a story, with emotion. Then you have a very powerful film. And I don't have any kids, 24 when I made that film, no emotional connection whatsoever so that's also storytelling is you don't have to always draw from personal experience you just let. Me and Jeff were having this conversation the other night, you let the moment take over and extract what you need from the moment and that's how you make a good story.
Ratings and Reviews
a Creativelive Student
Great 3-day workshop! I work for a college, teaching students to communicate via the video medium, as well as producing video for promo and events. This video is super useful to me... The most basic info was review, but it's great to see another team's approach to explaining and teaching the concepts. Some of the more advanced materials is on level or a reach for what I'm doing, so it's teaching me to move forward with my abilities. Just a note to the Creative Live folks, I love the idea of viewing for free and buy if you like to see again. I was able to catch a half hour here and there, which was enough to convince me to buy the whole thing. I wouldn't have been likely to plunk down $99 for a video when there really is so much out there for free. The difference, and reason it is worth it, is because this is so well organized and complete, and discusses a broad range of budgets as well as info for a range of skill levels. This live for free then pay to download model is great.
a Creativelive Student
TERRIFIC workshop! Extremely helpful/educational ... and rather entertaining, too. (Bear in mind, I'm new to the cinematography end of things.) I'm pretty sure, no matter where you may be on the experience scale, you'll get enough ideas from this program to make it well worth your watching. I love the way they prioritize equipment needs & wants, and help us sift through the PILE of options out there. And their "$750 starter set-up" was definitely an eye-opener. (Um ... that's AFTER your camera and lenses, guys.) It's critical (and difficult) to maintain audience interest over a 3-day course ... otherwise, even the best material will go right over our heads. But Jeff and Ross were perfect together -- playing off, and feeding, each other continuously. Sometimes their banter is used for clarifying potentially confusing concepts ... and other times just for chuckles. All-in-all, I would recommend this to any but (perhaps) the REALLY advanced cinematographers out there. (Scorsese ... keep your wallet in your pocket.) For anyone considering purchasing the videos, consider this: Most of us who've already bought them ... did so AFTER watching a considerable amount of the workshop for free. That should tell you something of the quality of this material. Thanks, Jeff and Ross, and Creative Live!
I am thankful that I found CreativeLive and signed up for this class. For a couple of years I have been looking for a comprehensive course to teach me about filmmaking for the independent artist. I have sought the professional guidance of "people in the business" but they were more interested in taking your money than helping. And they were very condescending and arrogant. At CreativeLive I have found people who are like me and willing to share their knowledge with me. This particular course gave me the foundation to know what to purchase and where to start in my first efforts of filmmaking. This course, though very informative, I would wish if was a bit more technically than theoretical. Ross is great at what he does but I felt spent too much time on too many theoretical aspects of filmmaking and not enough fundamentals. Jeff was better at explaining the technical aspects of filmmaking but did not speak as much as Ross. Overall, I find that Jeff and Ross were wonderful teachers and I learned so much from them. I am looking forward to enrolling in additional classes at CreativeLive and hopefully if Jeff and Ross teach more courses, I will sign up. Thank you so very much Jeff, Ross and the CreativeLive team!