Visual Storytelling: How to Film a Scene
Visual storytelling. How to approach a scene. I wanted to, there's a lot of different ways that I've thought about teaching this and I wanted to break it down in the most simple, easy to understand way. That's gonna help you when you're in a situation where you're approaching a scene. Give you the tools that you need to be able to do this with confidence, right? So the things that you need to, what makes up a story, you wanna know where the story is, who's in the story, and what they're doing. Right? So that's what's telling us the story. And that's really just the literal, technical parts of it. The emotion obviously is a whole nother concept, but you get that through covering these basics and this helps you set up each scene so that you have the shots that you need to then deliver that emotion in a way that is meaningful and relevant and they understand. So you're creating a story that immerses them in it so that they can really connect with the subjects. And whether that's the viewe...
r as the client who you're making the film for. It might be future generations, it might be their great-great-grandchildren that are gonna be watching this later. And so creating something for them that's gonna be, tell the full story or tell the story of that day, of this season of their life, right? Okay, so, the where. This is where I would do a wide shot. So a wide shot is a really great way to tell us where we are. This is setting up the scene, it's an establishing shot. It tells us where the family is, is it in their home, are they at the park. Getting far back, getting a wide shot of that. Telling us then, we move into the who. So a mid shot is great for giving us who the subject is, showing us who it is that we're talking about. And I mean, that seems really obvious, but having enough mid shots in there really helps give us more of that personal connection with the subject, tells us who the characters are, gives us information about the relationships between the people, a mid shot, right? So a mid shot is probably like waist up, something like that. So a close up's really close, wide shot's really far, mid shot is waist up or around there. So it's a parts of the body, half of the body, things like that. And we're really just talking distance and shot types, right, at this moment in time. Then the what, so your close up, so what are they doing? So for an example, I'll go back to the scene we've been talking about which you'll see later in the class, which is the dad getting the Father's Day present, right? So you get a wide shot far back of the kids putting the present on the table. And then who is in this scene? Well, it's the kids and you're bringing more of that into, you're getting in closer to show more of who the subjects are. So getting more information about the kids, the boys that are giving the gift to the father. Prepping that whole scene up. The what, so then close ups of the actual gift that they're gonna give him and things like that. So there are all those logical things to think about. And understanding how a shot type will give you that information from a storytelling point of view, will help you know how to approach this scene. Okay? So where, who, and what, wide shot, mid shot, close up. It's really, really important to have a variety mixed in. So when you're shooting, be mindful. If your shot types are all pretty wide, it's not gonna be as visually interesting. Okay? So a really good mixture of wide shots, mid shots, and close ups. And there's obviously a lot of variety within that as well. I mean, that's pretty watered down. It's the simplistic version. So you could have a close up mid shot where it's even a little bit tighter than a close up but not quite a mid shot and things like that. So there's variety within that, but from a general point of view, the main thing you want to do is change up the distance between you and your subject. And give yourself the information that you will use then later when you're editing the film. So enough information about the scene and what's going on, enough closer up information about the people and their relationships with each other, and then even closer up of what it is that they're doing and what it is that they're touching and little details here and there. Those close ups.
Portrait photographers capture moments in time for families, parents, and children. But in order to tell the whole story, you need to switch your camera to video mode, and become the storyteller behind the camera. Join Courtney Holmes, family photographer, filmmaker, and founder of FilmingLife Academy as she empowers you to add video to your photography business.
In this class, Courtney takes you on location to a home in Seattle to see how she organizes a family shoot from start to finish. You will learn in a unique way how Courtney works to capture authentic family moments on video and how to stay flexible in a new home environment that you’ve never filmed in before.
Courtney will teach you:
- How to change your mindset from photographer to videographer
- How to add videography to your brand
- Pricing and marketing tips
- What to ask in order to capture the best story for your clients
- The technical skills you’ll need for video
- Post-processing using Adobe® Premiere Pro®
- How to choose music, import, organize, create, and polish the final product
Courtney has learned how to make filmmaking into a viable business, and is going to give you the tools to move forward and tell the stories that families will treasure for a lifetime.