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Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Lesson 37 of 39

Corporate Profile Pre-Production

Victor Ha

Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

37. Corporate Profile Pre-Production

Lesson Info

Corporate Profile Pre-Production

We spend so much time talking about fundamentals, and cameras, and lighting, and equipment. And I mean we talked about soundtracks. And we talked about everything that had to do with video production. And I think a lot of the things that we leave out sometimes can be the most important things. And that's pre-production. Taking the time to stop and look at the project from under a microscope and breaking apart the nuances of that project. So you know it's funny, I'm a really high tech guy. I love high tech stuff. When it comes to stuff like this I want to go low-tech. And I want to write it down and I use my hands and I want to write on paper and I want to look at what I've got so that I can move things around and look at it as a whole. So what we tried to do is recreate, here in front of me, this experience. So I've taken the liberty of putting up some of the words that will help jog us into the rest of the segment. And I promise you at some point this segment's going to get boring. At...

some point this segment's going to be really oh gosh really we're going to go over this but if you stick with me to the end and if you stick with me to the last minute you're going to find out that if you take a look at this as a whole it is worth its weight in gold. I do this before every production. And I do this because it matters, because I am kind of picky and I'm really really OCD about how I want things to play out and I want to have control. You know it's a problem so this helps me have that. Okay so what we're going to do today for the next however long we have is we're going to think of a concept and it's going to be simple. It's going to be a basic concept we've talked about but we're going to break it down into into shots. We're going to break it down into an elongated description. We're going to break it down and understand from our perspective because I'm a photographer I'm looking at things as a photographer and a lot of these things I never thought about before well before before I even started doing videos, started doing motion okay. So we're going to skip doing like Instagram videos right now okay. We're going to pretend that we are going to do a production with our DSLRs. We're going to have to dictate how much equipment we want. How much crew we're going to need. What our schedule is going to be. Where a location is. But it all starts first with a concept. So the concepts that I like to throw out there are let's say you're going to do a corporate profile because that will flush us out really really nicely on all of the topics that we talked about okay. So the topic we're going to talk about is a corporate profile. And if the topic that we're going to talk about is a corporate profile, it could literally be anything. It can be a bakery. It could be a bakery. It could be a printing lab you know. So what are some businesses that you guys have interacted with in your own life that we can kind of focus in on. And I'm going to rely on you guys because I I do this all the time and I want to help you guys understand and view it. So what's up? Dental practice. Okay, dental practice. A gym. Oh, I like that one. I like that one, a gym. And dental practice is good too because there's a lot of nuances but gym like a CrossFit gym? Sure. Okay. Anyone else? I was go with pizzeria but like you said a bakery, pizzeria. Okay, bakery, pizzeria, all right. You guys want to chime in anything? Everything. (laughter) Okay, so I really like the gym idea. Okay, so let's let's flush this concept out. It's going to be about a gym all right. And the gym obviously has owners okay. So let's make believe it's two or one. It's a brother and a sister. A brother and a sister okay. So let's actually write this down okay. I'm really short so here we go. So the concept, okay, is going to be gym corporate profile okay. Let's flush this concept out a little bit. Okay so if the gym corporate profile who are the owners. Boy and a girl. Brother and sister? Mm-hmm. Okay so the talent will be brother and sister. Okay who else we have live case? So what else what other people can we look at as talent? Trainers. Trainers. Members. Okay members. And for members they can be new and existing right. So you want to break that out to new and existing. And maybe even prospective right. So prospective. How about potential celebrity endorsers or other? Okay so so in talent maybe we have testimonial. Okay so now we're starting to really break it down right because initially you go okay well it's a video about a gym. And you talk about the owners, you think okay. And then you start to think about it. Well there's a lot more than just the owners we can tackle this from. Okay so now we look at it. We want to know address what is the why of our video. Before we even walk and talk to the client we want to pitch them on a concept right. We want to pitch them on an idea because that's why they came to us. If they came to us with an idea already what do we what good are we except just a push record right. So we want to give them an idea. And initially a lot of people will say well I kind of want to do a gym corporate profile where we talk about the owners and the owners can give a what to do about how they got into business and that kind of thing. But I'm looking at members. I'm looking at existing, perspective trainers. I think there's a story here. I think there's a story here that we can kind of try to flush out. So what are some story options okay. Okay why should they pick us to produce this video? What's our concept for this gym now? It depends on the gym. How are the structures? Do they open early, close late? What would their, what services do they offer? Well, I mean just let's think about it. It's a CrossFit gym. So we just decided it's a CrossFit gym okay. But a CrossFit gym is all about like strength, intensity, and all kind of good stuff right. So let's think about it. Let's think about it. What from what perspective do we want to make this video from? Do you want to make it from the perspective of a customer, a new customer, an existing customer? Think about what the overall video is going to feel like. At this point here's where you start blue skying your concept. Blue skying your idea all right. Do I want this video to be about the pathway of a new customer as they're being a part of this gym? All of the things that are available to them. What they're going to learn. Is that going to be motivating? Do I want it to be inspirational? Okay, do you want to take an existing member and talk and have them talk about you know what when I first started I was flabby, I wasn't toned, I couldn't run a mile without and then make it inspirational and end with you know what here's a picture of me six months ago and here I am today. That's one other track right. Another one could be from the owners perspective. The owners perspective is you know we started this gym because we are passionate about fitness. And in our gym we're going to you know da da da da da da da da. So those are very three like distinct pathways that we can take with this video and it's our job to find the most compelling out of that. And if we can find that compelling concept and pitch that as we are being you know courted that's what's going to set us apart. So we haven't even gotten in to anything else yet and we're hung up on this concept because that's what's going to make this video special okay. So what do you guys think? A benefit in joining. New member. New member, benefit in joining. Yeah, I would definitely do a new member with supported by everything he's coming up to. He's supported by the owners and by somebody who's gone through it. You face all that fear is because at the end of the day is your marketing it to the potential customer. Right. So I would take his fears talk about what he's worried about and then the owner is what they're offering for. All right. Okay. Can I ask a question Victor. So in the beginning of the course we you showed us the graph of what the storyline how there should be a conflict. At this point are you thinking okay what is you have to create a conflict or create a problem and then solve it. There's a great phrase in the world of sales okay. And it's it's I don't know where I got it from. It could be all the people that I've worked with but like it's you give them the headache and then sell them the aspirin. Okay so that's that's kind of what we're doing here. We're figuring out the headache and we're providing the medicine for it. Okay and I think that's what we're looking for. Now the purpose of this is to give us an idea of how to approach a corporate profile right but hopefully when we're done you will have seen how all this works and you can step into your own project after it's all done and do the exact same thing. And I love the new member perspective because if we do a new member perspective it keeps it hyper focused hyper focused all right. So our concept is a new member perspective and our run time is going to be about two minutes. Okay it's going to be about two minutes. All right so let's start talking about this new member perspective. In a new member perspective what are some of the things the new member's going to go through? What do you mean by go through? Well, are they going to enroll? The enroll process. Okay what are some of the. Give a tour of they gym. Do they get a week? Okay yeah now you're spitting stuff out. So enrollment. Register for different classes. Okay you've got classes. You've got different workout regiments. Facilities you know lockers, basketball courts, tennis courts. Facilities. An initial workout like with a trainer. Okay so trainers. And staff you know what does the staff how they you know I'm a new member I want to know how the staff is going to treat me. Okay so trainers, staff. So now we've we've narrowed that focus down to a new customer but now we expanded that focus out so we need to cut it down into and distill it down into the most important things that customers going to go into. So now we go okay well a new member in a two minute runtime I'm not sure if I can cover all of this. So we need to make sure that as we kind of flush out the the interview portion with these people right we understand that some of these things are going to take precedence. So we list out our ideas. We list out everything that we would think is going to be important. And we we see where the footage and the and the end the end the end the production takes us. When doing something like this are there they embark on their own tree but yeah let's say you're doing a voiceover I let the guys in rolling right. So you could very simple to do someone enrolling with a voiceover it's going be a basically telling the same story from two different angles think I'm meaning you could have someone rolling right and he's saying I made a decision to go to gym after six months of being da da da da so how does he right so a lot of stuff can be go very quickly with one statement. One would to seven voiceover right you can go run through. So that's a production element. That's an editing element okay. We know that you say essentially someone's going to say something and they're going to create this content for us as they're speaking. What we're doing is we're planning out okay. We're just setting the scenario for ourselves so that makes sure to make ourselves aware of what's going on right. And what you were talking about before is you might actually shoot for all of these things but then in pre-production or post production you're just going to pick what's most important. Yes, yes. So here's what I'll do here. So now we've kind of done some work and now we've got something here. Now like every segment that I've taught in this class I've reduced it down to one goal in one statement. This production needs a one-line statement that you can always refer to because that will be the mission statement of this production. That will be how you approach this production and when anyone has a question about if you should do something you can say well what does the mission statement say. What does our vision statement for this production say because if you don't know a vision statement for the production anything goes and that's not cool. You need to have some sort of guiding light okay. So if we want to put a vision statement for the production it's going to be the experience and pathway of a new member joining this gym. And you stick to that and you stick to that because invariably during production someone's going to say you know what we should do this, we should do this, we should go in and we should and you can stop them right there and say all right before you finish that idea before you even get that idea out of your mouth does it relate back to the experience and pathway of a new member joining this gym? Does it? No? We're not going to waste time on it. Okay it keeps you focused. I do this all the time when I'm not even working on video. I have a statement and I stick it to my wall and I pin it to my wall and if I'm writing a production or I'm writing a presentation like this when I got to a segment that I needed to work on for this class I had on my on the wall or if I was working on my computer, on the road, or whatever it was I had the mission statement and the vision statement of that segment. What did I want this segment to be about right. And it kept me focused. It keeps us hyper focused on this. So the experience and pathway of a new member joining this gym is our vision statement. Okay so how am I doing so far? We okay? Good. How're we doing over here? Any any questions at all? We have questions that are coming up people are asking well let's see Hannah banana had said and we did touch on this but can you only have one perspective? Could we have all of those scenarios in one profile? So here's the thing right is I believe that if you can have multiple perspectives in a video then those are multiple videos right. Because if you're going to try to get hyper focused and that's what a corporate profile a good one does is it stays very hyper focused on what's happening in that specific thing. And as the filmmakers, as the production company, as the people creating this video if the the owner of this gym goes and says hey you know what I want a ten minute video about the enrollment process, about what some of the benefits of being a member are, I want some testimonials, blah blah blah blah the immediate thing you should say is I don't want to do a ten minute video, I want to do five two minute videos. And then that way as a business you can charge them for each video. Or you can charge them for the entire production. And then you can charge them for the edits you know. It becomes more of a business for you as well okay. But if there are different perspectives that are possible out of a business that's an opportunity to create multiple videos. And businesses in this day and age need multiple videos because if their video is 10 minutes long and it's an about us video but in the about us video there's tons of stuff that they have to get to minute six to find out who's going to watch it right? You got to think of their website. Look on your website. On the about us okay it's like oh membership boom. There's a video okay. And then you go benefits boom there's a video. Then you go oh workout regime boom there's a video right. So we are focusing on the new member perspective because our gym is special. This gym is special so they treat their members in a different way okay. So we need to find here. There we need to find out the gym's why okay. So we if we have an experience and a pathway of a new member joining this gym what not only makes them special but why are they special okay. And maybe we already know that right. Maybe we already maybe what makes them special is they they take someone in four weeks and improves their physical condition X amount. And they've done that and there's there's a history of doing that right. Or maybe they take someone who doesn't know how to how to who can't run long distances and trains them so they can run a mile. So maybe what they're they're known for is that you can do X in Y because we do Z and that's how you get them to answer that question. You have to get them to say the statement. We'll get you to do this by doing this okay. And it's really simple right but when you break it down and you kind of just look at it it becomes something that we all of a sudden start to make sense of a little bit more because I guarantee that everyone watching and everyone here this is that this is a does statement. This is a does statement but we need to pick it out and isolate it because it becomes very important okay. So take a breather. What's up? And at what point are you bringing in the client? Like do you go to them with all of this already figured out or are you? So I've done it both ways. I've done it where I've thought of every possible scenario and pitched them on it and then I've done no possible scenario and gone into a meeting with them and we've done it together. What I have found is when I come in with a set scenario and we can flush out what doesn't work it works much better because business owners are very very eccentric typically and they're very distracted easily distracted. They're business owners because they have the ability to focus on multiple things. They're very very advanced in a particular people and they can do a bunch of different things but also they lack focus. A majority of the people that I've talked to just lack focus and so when you walk in with no pre work done and none of this to pitch them on they'll go well you know we could do this and you know but but but you know I'm not sure I like that and then well maybe we do this instead and they'll come at you from all angles and you'll just get inundated with idea after idea after idea and then when you try to stop them they think you're saying no to them right. And you don't want to be put in that position where you they make you're making them yourself feel like you're saying no to them because you want you always want to be able to say yes right. You always want to do what the client wants. So in my experience I found that doing some work like this prior to is much better because I I like answering questions or I like asking questions that I know the answers to. Especially when I'm working with a client. You always want to make sure you know the answer to a question because if I walked up here and let's make believe that you were the owner to the gym and I say you know what what what do you think is it is is one of the more important things about your gym? And you'll probably say well you know our facility is blah blah blah blah and you say you know what I think it's actually the process of becoming a member. And they'll go why do you think that? Well the process of becoming a member I mean one on a side note it's what drives your business right. Second thing is everyone always wants to know what it's like joining a gym. Why should they join your gym versus other gyms? Do you provide anything special? So that process that that beginning aspect of joining the gym is very important. I mean what's your in a gym you're in a gym and you have things that you do that are different than other people but what attracts someone to a gym is that beginning process. We should focus on that. It's so much more different having that conversation then walking in and going what do you think is bothering the gym? Well you know there's new enrollment. There's the the workouts. There's the facilities. And then you have to sit there and figure out with them. I like to know what I want to do before I go in and if they have a compelling reason to convince me otherwise then I'll jump in it. I'll jump in I'll jump in the boat with them. But I want it I want to come in with an idea so that they one can see my vision, two know that they're paying me for something that that I'm I'm worth doing okay. And I don't know that we want to get too far into pricing or the business or anything like that that's market dependent and that's just a whole rabbit hole that we could spend hours on. But Brian has a good question. Do you find out a budget before you start planning? Because that does affect a lot. Yes so we haven't talked about like the the equipment or that kind of stuff yet. We're just doing concept right. So we we flush out a concept, we talk to the client, we ask them what their budget is okay. And then I'm going to meet that question about rates and that kind of thing. Generally speaking and this is just very very very very very general. You're looking at trying to get something about three times in hourly rate. So if your photography rate is five dollars, your video rate per hour should be fifteen dollars or your day rate is ten dollars then your your video rate should be three times that. And always include the edit but only one change. One change they get one round of changes. They get one round because it's the pressure on the client to put all of the changes in that first round otherwise you'll be making changes for days and months and years and you'll never be done with the project okay. They get one round of changes and a round of changes is oh could you take the statement, can you move this clip, give another clip here. Those are all changes in one round. The minute you do those changes the videos locked in and they will have to pay you to do more okay. That's that's what you have to do otherwise you will never get rid of the project because video can be edited and edited and edited and edited. Okay now. Victor before you move on is that also important to never offer that. To never say I mean you I guess obviously you say one round is included with this but you know I just find when you're doing a project like this not to promote that by saying. The client will always ask you. Okay so don't even say anything about it. The client will typically ask you and I'm an upfront guy. I'm very honest you know. And I've always been benefited about by being honest because I never need to know if I've lied to somebody. So I'm just going to always be honest. Be upfront say okay this rate this budget which our budget includes this the production work the edit and one round of changes and that's it. Okay so I just be really meet it forward. Meet it head-on okay. Because at some point if you don't mention it they'll say well you never mentioned that. You never mentioned it. I'm not cool that. Well you're all ready too far in the process right. So just mention outright. Okay here we go. So you can do X in Y because of because we do Z. Okay that's a way to figure out their why. So I'm comfortable with this aspect in terms of the concept okay. In terms of the concept. Now I'll go into a meeting and I'll flush out some of these open things and even before I even get content I can start planning out equipment. I can start planning out shot lists. I probably before that meeting want to come in and talk about a soundtrack. So if we want to think about three words through a soundtrack. Okay so I want three words that would exemplify the content that we'd be recording for the experience and pathway of a new member joining this gym. Athletic. Powerful. Energetic. Energetic, powerful, athletic, I want a better adjective. Fast, inspiring. Inspiring I like that one. (audience member speaks) Okay inspiring, not painful. Motivational is kind of like inspiring so we can ditch that one right. Inspiring is a good one. Someone said energetic. I'm like intense. Intense okay. Okay and relaxed. Okay so this is our first round. Okay so watch here. We're not done. What are its what is the vision statement? Experience and pathway of a new member joining the gym okay. Find out the gym's why. They can do X because because we do Z. Now inspiring, intense, relaxed. Okay. (audience member speaks) Okay so now we've just helped this statement out by picking these three words. So now we can go in to our meeting with our guy and so you know what we want to talk about we want to create a production about the pathway of your new members, about what your gym is, you know why they join and we want the video to be inspiring, fun, and feel relaxed. What do you think about that? You know so we should think of several collections of words so it's like no you know what I'm not that I'm not sure that's what we're about. Okay well what do you think? Maybe like intense and and and you know blah blah blah so let's think of two more sets of three words. Okay so that are not inspiring, fun, or relax. (audience member speaks) Totally different words. I think rhythmic. I'm like committed or rhythmic. I guess a rhythm is like commitment cuz it's very repetitive. (crosstalk) Diligence. Diligence, that's the word. (audience member speaks) Confident okay. And maybe epic like if you want to give a guy who has an imagination like it's more thematic. Epic, okay. I'm thinking transformation. I actually like that better. I like that a lot better. Okay now what you're going to see is you're going to go okay well you know maybe you don't like that how about a video that shows the diligence and confidence that's that a new member is going to receive and the transformation they're going to go through. And they'll go you know what I kind of like that but I like the other couple words too. So now you've got six words and you can mix and match and you can really work with them in getting the three words that will work. So you come at them with like nine words and then together as a team you pick well you know what I want to make a video that's inspiring because it's going to give someone confidence in their transformation. And that's your video. Get it. If we don't do the work beforehand if we don't do the work beforehand to get to here could you imagine stepping into production on day one? What's the video about? Oh it's about a gym. Who's the character? It's about a new member. Okay right. Now we can go okay well the videos about the pathway of a new member and it's going to be you know about how it can be inspiring and and make you confident because you're because of the transformation that new members going to go through by being a member of this gym right. That has impact okay. So how we doing in the chat room? We are doing well. Very good. People are enjoying it. Are jumping in with their own thoughts and ideas , I love it. I love it. Okay good so remember we always want to support this statement so this picking of the soundtrack supported that statement and helped us flush out the idea and hey we haven't even met with the client yet. Okay you'll walk in and the reason you're a professional guys. The reason we are professionals is because we do this and we walk in prepared okay. Now let's do sound track location. Okay locations can't be the gym. This can't be the gym. But we'll put the gym down. (audience member speaks) What do you mean it can't be the gym? Can't be the gym because the gym has different places inside of it. Can't just say gym. You need specificity. (audience member speaks) I'll be a CrossFit gym. They call the CrossFit gym a box okay. So if we're going to go a box okay. We're going to go to the box. There is an immediate immediate ethos that surrounds CrossFit and the terminology that goes there. So what we would have to do is I'm not familiar with CrossFit very much except that the gym is called the box but we would want to make sure that we use terminology associated with the gym. Now since is anyone in this room more familiar with CrossFit? I know that the workouts have girl names. Each workout routine has a different woman's name. Okay great. And I know that like eventually there's something of CrossFit Games and there's that there's like there's like a thing right. So so I mean there's so much about CrossFit that can be very inspiring for somebody but if you look at this you go use a terminology associated with the gym. So that means inside of the gym if that means inside of the gym if there are specific exercises, specific workouts, unique experiences that happened inside the gym we need to identify where they're going to happen, we need to list them out so that when we get to production or we talk to the the owner we can be like all right well you know I know there's a rope that you climb up and maybe there's some medicine balls there's like some dead lift things there's a track like what what do you focus on in your gym? Like what do you do right? And I think that's that's where we make our hay is right here. We flush out the important locations in that gym that sets that box apart from every other box okay. Because that's what's going to be important here. So they have you know are you doing do they have a section for complete and total strength training? Or is it about endurance and is about conditioning or aerobics verse anaerobic? Like that's what we have to figure out and so you're going to list all this stuff out here and in your meeting you're going to flush that out. So let's pretend. Let's pretend. So give me some locations in a gym, in a box that we can we can kind of run with. so give me a. Well this might help narrow it down a little. It's kind of a blanket statement but for them classes are it. I mean that's huge for them is the class experience. Okay. And that can be like five to maybe 15 people. Okay so what kind of classes are there? So then it could be strength classes, circuit training. Cycle classes. Yeah Olympic lifting yeah. Awesome. Okay so I get it now. Yeah. Lifting, spinning. Okay so all of these guys will happen in a specific location in the gym. So these are now activities. These are now simple actions. These are now things that we can break apart just like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So when you're looking at your locations guys. What we're looking for is the root actions in those locations. We're looking for what can we break apart that we can actually capture on video in motion that will actually mean something and say something. Oh my gosh. So when we're talking about location we were actually really talking about what we can do to break apart and show simplistic after simple actions. Simple actions in a visually compelling way. So now let's make believe that those four things are what sets that is what's available in that gym.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

If you own a DSLR camera, you already own a powerful filmmaking tool. Ready to learn how to use it? Join CreativeLive and Victor Ha for a course that will cover the core principles of capturing video with your DSLR.

Through hands-on demos - including how to create compelling video interviews - Victor will guide you through the core techniques of DSLR filmmaking. You’ll learn how to apply the compositional skills of still photography to taking video. You’ll also learn about how to navigate the video-capturing features of your DSLR, choose the right gear for your filmmaking needs, and incorporate audio into your shoots. From framing shots to producing simple projects to spatial relationships, the skills you gain in this course will leave you ready and inspired to create high-quality, engaging film projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Victors White Board Notes - High Resolution

Pre-Production Planner


Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!