Introduction and Script Formatting
Jeff Medford, Ross Hockrow
Introduction and Script Formatting
Jeff Medford, Ross Hockrow
17. Introduction and Script Formatting
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
Introduction and Script Formatting
I think I just want to start this by saying hi, I'm Jeff, and I'm a PC. (laughter) And we all feel sorry for you. So you see here, Ross is gonna edit on the Mac, I'm gonna follow along on my PC. You can do this on either platform equally, as well. You might not think that you're as cool as the people who think they are cool when they have Mac if you have a PC. You're not. But Adobe Premiere Pro works great on both platforms. So, Ross. So, Jeff. Should we talk about the trackball? Yeah, we should talk about... Once you go track you never go back. If you're at home and editing, and you're moving your mouse like this all the time and you have carpal tunnel, good luck. But really you should just get a trackball. It's a Logitech Trackman wireless trackball. And basically, it eliminates you having to move your hand around, you just do it all with your thumb. I'm sure most of you already have it, but it's the way to go when you're editing. It makes things a lot easier. I i...
ntroduced this to Ross when he first came on, and within just a few hours, you've never used a mouse since, have you? No, I haven't. This is actually like a totally, it's not a plug or there's no sponsorship here. We just really love trackballs. We don't know anybody at Logitech, I wish we did, if we do, call us if you're seeing us. But no, it's like a fantastic, fantastic tool. The second thing you're gonna need is coffee, so excuse me. Coffee is the key to editing. Until you actually start drinking coffee, you're actually not an editor. I'm joking, but I'm kind of serious in a lot of ways. So let's start off today with, I wanna talk about the role of producing. 'Cause yesterday we kind of touched on the idea that some of you, half of you, a good percentage of you are gonna wanna see the financial benefits of adding filmmaking to your existing photography business. Or maybe you're just trying to get into it and figure out how to monetize it, and you don't necessarily want to get hands-on. I want to make this point. If you enjoyed, I assume if after two days, you're still tuning in, you enjoy some of the videos we've shown you. Cinematography is at the bottom of the list of my ability in filmmaking. I'm not a cinematographer, I don't consider myself a cinematographer, I don't consider myself in the upper echelon of cinematography. I just, I can do it, but really I'm a filmmaker first and foremost. So it starts with writing, then it goes to directing, then it's editing, and then cinematography comes fourth. And I can show you that, if you look at the raw footage when you saw on the first day, you saw the wedding where we showed you the boring version of the footage, and then I showed you the better version. You saw that the cinematography was pretty lackluster. I was changing exposure, some of the camera was shaky. And it just kind of goes to show you, even with the family movie, when we first started on the regular monopod with no feet, the footage was essentially garbage, but the story still ends up being good. And that goes to show you that, obviously cinematography's gonna take you, give you the eye candy to make your story look good. But the story is really, really what matters, and that's kind of the point, I wanna say, 'cause there's a lot of people out there who teach this who are significantly better than I am at cinematography, there's just no question about it. But I would say our storytelling comes on equal level, because my storytelling elevates the film because a lot of people don't necessarily pay attention to the cinematography if your story's really good. And then of course, editing, you can do all kinds of crazy magic in editing, which I'm gonna show you today. But going back to the role of producing, you really need somebody, you know, if you, I was making this point to Jeff, 'cause we just shot a TV pilot two weeks ago. I wrote it, I directed it, and I operated the camera at times, and I won't touch the editing. And the reason why, he was like, how in the world would you give up control like that? And the reason why is because I can't write something and edit it at the same time, because it's too much of my influence. Now, that's not to say that you can't do everything yourself, but it's really good to have another opinion, another voice, and I would say that Jeff and I, our opinions on film and what's good and what's proper are pretty opposite, I would say. The movies he likes, I hate, the movies I like, he hates. And you can just see that we come from different spectrums of the film world, but there comes in the middle a balance. So when I have something edited and I say, I'm done. Jeff will watch it and he'll say, okay, this clip's too long, this guy's licking his lips here, this guy's picking his nose here, this thing's happening here, you need to change this here, this goes too long, this isn't long enough. And he'll go and then I'll cry like a baby and be like, no man, you don't know what you're talking about. We'll argue, and then I'll eventually give in and change it. And that role is so important to have when you're a filmmaker, because you need that sort of voice of reason, checks and balances. Too much of you is really bad. So if you're thinking about adding this to your business, you don't need to touch anything, but you need to hire the people, you need to know exactly what's going on, you need to know how to tell your filmmakers, this is what I want, this is what I want you to capture, this is how I want it to look, and let them go do it. This is how I wanna edit it, let them go do it. And then you need to, you can't just judge something and not know what you're looking at. So you have to understand the idea of storytelling. Would you like to add anything to that, producer? So, my role in a lot of these shoots is the role of producer, which generally means I'm coordinating, I'm making phone calls, I'm scouting locations, I'm... Fundraising. I'm providing funds, I'm looking for the business opportunities. And, if you're doing this for a hobby, that's great. You can kind of do all of that on your own. But if you're really looking to get into this and make a profit, you need some sort of producer to come in and take all that off of you so that you can focus on the story, on the cinematography, and most importantly, on the editing. Well said. Alright, we got a couple of questions, before I get into Premiere, we got a couple questions yesterday about script format. So really quick, the program I use is called Adobe Story, and it's part of the Creative Cloud. Actually, there is the Creative Cloud, and you can, I think it's $50 a month? Is it? $50 a month? That was a special they were running, I don't know if it's still active. That was what I saw yesterday. It's still active, okay. Alright, so, assuming it's still active, you get every Adobe product. That's it, $50 a month, you don't have to worry about upgrade, anything, it's just, you get them all. So one of the products that's gonna come with that is Adobe Story, which is how you format a script. I'm not saying that everyone's gonna go out and write scripts like what we shot yesterday, which I'm gonna show you what that looks like. There's a lot of other uses for it, you can do an audio-visual script where you have just, drawings or photos or screenshots coming down a list and then maybe a description of the camera moving or description of the frame or a voiceover. There's a lot of uses for this. There's something I'm not gonna show today, but you can do it. You can actually import a script into Premiere and use the data for dialogue, to find dialogue and things like that, there's a way that works with XML. I'll get into XML, because that's how PluralEyes works, which we are gonna show today. But I just wanna talk quickly about script format. A lot of people have been asking me, is there a difference between a shooting script and just a normal script that I would write? So, for example, the script we used yesterday. This is just a regular script, and if I was to make a shooting script, it would look very similar to this. But for the intercutting example that we showed on day one, if I were to write that, I would write it straight linear as I would, I would see the gift buying, I would write that. And then I would write the gift opening, and I would write that. And, probably, as the writer originally visualizing it, I would write it intercut, because you put transitions in scripts. And then when we came to shooting it, I would put the scenes together as if they were in order and shoot them, essentially, out of order, no pun intended. Out of order, that's right, we, and again we said this on day one, we want you to think out of order. When you hear that phrase, we want you to think filmmaking, storytelling, for the rest of your life. In the next few years, we hope to have millions of people across the world thinking that when they say it, when they hear it. Because it's very, very important, and once that concept sinks in, it changes the way you approach storytelling and filmmaking yourself. So, really quick, just a couple script formatting housekeeping things that you want to keep in mind if you're gonna do this. If you're gonna do commercials, you're gonna need these, no doubt. You're definitely gonna want this, your client's gonna want to see it. They're gonna want to read it, so you are gonna have to know how to format it correctly and look professional. So the abbreviation, I don't know, I hope we're streaming my screen right now, but if not, INT, in the beginning of a scene. INT, all that means is interior. So, before every scene heading, there either goes INT or EXT, and EXT means exterior, right? So that tells your director or filmmaker where the shot is located, inside or outside, which obviously points out a lot of things. What you need for lighting, where it's gonna be, does the weather matter, does it not matter. And then after it, it would say where the actual location is. So INT, dining room, and then day, so the time of day. So it would be day, it would be night. If I were to have a scene that comes a little bit later, it would say, interior, dining room, moments later. If I wanted somebody to walk from outside, it would be EXT, outside of John's house. Then he would walk into the door, it would be an entirely new scene setting, and it would say INT, John's house, continuous. That means that those two scenes go back to back and there's no passage of time in between. Whenever there's a character's name in the script, you can see it's always all capital, so that if someone wants to browse your script, maybe an actor wants to find their name or like what character they're playing or whatever, they can find it very easily. Action always is framed on the left, and it's not written in haiku, like you don't need to be this descriptive writer, like, Chef Tony magically exits flowing his wrists and you know, whatever, it's just, he exits, that's it. All that matters is action so that people get the point. No need to add extra details to it unless you want to say Chef Tony exits quickly so you know that he's going fast, or Chef Tony exits, he's angry, so maybe write the emotion in that. Then there would be a character's name, which would go dead center, and then under it will be the line. Now, what you see here, Kevin Kubota, and then under it is sort of an adjective of how he's supposed to be acting, so confused, angry, he's screaming. A lot of times, me, as a writer, it's just a style preference, I'll put like, an action that is happening while he's saying the line. So it'll be, Ross Hockrow, while saying this, pats Jeff on the back. So it'll say Rock Hockrow, in parentheses, patting Jeff on the back, you're doing a good job, buddy. So instead of having a whole new action, I just put it right under in parentheses. And then, of course, all the way to the right would be a transition. So it would be cut to, fade to black, intercut with, and that would be how I would write an intercutting scene. So it would be, a little bit of the scene, intercut with this part, and then intercut with this part. So that would be script formatting 101. I always say 202 for the next level, 'cause I never, yeah, okay, so. 'Cause you never...? I play poker instead. It's film school. Yeah, I play poker instead of go to college, so. Wait, can we ask you guys just a couple of quick questions on that? Yeah, we got questions coming from the internet? Yup, yup. Just a few. Awesome, bring 'em on. Alright, so, one is, Mace asked for shot in cars, would that be internal or exterior? Interior. Interior? Cool. And we have another one from Patrick Masters that says, for the all caps, for the character's names, is it all caps the first time they appear and then for each dialogue part? It's always all caps for a dialogue, no matter what. It's actually, if you're actually in a script program, it'll do it automatically, you don't even have to capitalize it. Some people believe that, always, the first time a character's name appears should be in all caps. Some people capitalize it all the time, I do. But some people just do it the first time and then just write it normal for the rest of the script. My personal opinion is, capitalize it all the time so that, if you have, especially, a bigger script, so they can find where they belong, 'cause sometimes you're only in every fourth scene or fifth scene or something like that. Is Adobe Story a script writing program? Absolutely. Yes. Okay, and doesn't it have collaborative... Yeah, with Premiere, so you can import the script into Premiere and actually, you can follow along while you're watching the scene and see the script highlight where you are in the script. It's a complicated process that I will actually teach on out of order, 'cause it is very complex. We wouldn't even have time to do it today, but it does work. But isn't there a way, also, there's like, share the script with other people? Yes, oh, yes, that's a great point. So, theoretically, actually, what I wanted to do, originally, before we put the script on CineStories/CreativeLive for the download is there is a share option for the script, and why this, why I really love Story is because you could send an invitation to, let's say, you're writing your script and you live in Washington, D.C. And your shoot is in California, and you want, your director of photography is in California, it's very hard to collaborate. Well you can, instead of sending him a PDF, he reads it, makes notes, scans it, send it back to you, you can actually invite him to the project and then he can open up your project, you can stop him from making changes to the actual dialogue, and then he can put comments, like he can highlight a word and then put a comment next to it. So right here, you can see click to add comment. So I would say, he's not really, oh, I can't type. He's not really fancy. Boom. Now. So, you see that the fancy is underlined in yellow. That won't print out that way. It just shows up this way so that way, when I get back onto the script, and I say, oh he didn't really think he was fancy. That's funny, cute. So then I can see all the comments, what time it was written, who wrote it. So if you have several people commenting on the script, you can see who said what and where the comment actually belongs. So this is a cool collaboration thing that is actually very useful, because a lot of times, a lot of people want to read your script and everyone's got a comment about art, so. So instead of sharing the script with 10 actors with emails and everybody trading emails, they can just all do it collaboratively right here. Click one link, they sign in, and then you can track what everybody thinks about the script and all that. Awesome. Was there another question? We do have a number of questions coming in, but I know we have a lot to get to this morning. We could take one. One? While I'm opening up Premiere, yeah. Okay sounds good, and then, well, one question will be if you have any additional resources to send people to for script formatting and all of that, because it's, as we were saying, not talked about, not taught a lot, so that'd be great. We will. We do not have them ready now. Okay. But we've been pushing this phrase "out of order," obviously there's got to be a product attached to that, right? In seriousness, we shot a movie that is entitled Out of Order about a year ago. That is in the final stages of editing. It's a movie about the creation of Premiere Pro. Yeah, the creation of digitized editing, which the first digital editing system was Premiere. And it's a three disc set, it's a movie where you would watch it, be inspired about editing, learn about how things were invented, why they were invented, so you understand why these certain elements of the program even exist and what they're used for. So I made the point, when we came up with this idea, I said to Jeff, if I play basketball with Michael Jordan every single day for the rest of my life, am I gonna be as good as him? No way. It's not gonna happen. But, if somebody comes to me and explains to me the invention of certain elements of the game, I'm gonna understand how to do it better. I may not be able to physically, actually do it, 'cause Michael Jordan's a lot taller than I am. But you understand why certain parts of the game or the program exist. Then it comes with a disc of narration where I narrate the film and show you what you should've learned from each scene as it goes from editing. And then, of course, it comes with the five or six hour traditional education of editing from start to finish. It'll be the first and last editing DVD I ever make, 'cause editing theory never changes, so. So that'll be ready in the April timeframe.
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!