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Your Story Arch

Lesson 2 from: iPhone Filmmaking: From Shoot Through Edit

Cielo de la Paz

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Lesson Info

2. Your Story Arch

Set yourself up for success from the start with the pre-production process. Build a story arch, a shot list, and prep your gear before the shoot. Brainstorm a simple storyline to keep your project on track.

Lesson Info

Your Story Arch

I want to talk about the whole idea of pre production. So preproduction sounds like a big word, and I kind of don't really like to use it when it comes to mobile filmmaking, cause it's a very you know, um, an industry kind of term. But what it really means to me pre production is that you just have to do a little bit of planning. And luckily with the phone, there's not a whole lot of planning you have to do because there's not a whole lot of gear and all sorts of things that you have to bring. So let's get into that. Um, so one of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. So if you are going to do much more complex, shoot like the one that we're going to go over today, it really will be helpful to you too. Have prepared what yours will shoot your She will go so much faster. Um, but there are other times there when you're just out and about. And I think a lot of us do this. We're pulling out. Our phones were Just fill me this and that. I m...

ean, you don't have to prepare for that, But if it's a more formal shoot and you actually want to tell a good story, then it is worth your while to do a little bit of planning. So we'll go into what that actually means. Eso preproduction. So here, this is going to sound complex, but it really isn't. But it's always good to have a rough story arc, and we'll go into the details of what a story arc is and what that looks like. And then you can, uh, you'll be putting together a shot list and I'll go over what my at my shot list actually looked like for this particular shoot and then the gear list. And, uh, what else you need in order to support the Charlie? So what you're doing here is with the rough story arc, you're gonna put together the story. This is the story. Want to tell? And then the shot list is your list of shots that support that story, right? So this is just you thinking about what the story is and what shots will support that. And finally, the gear is okay. What gear do I need to capture those shots to tell that story. So it's all supporting each other, and it really helps to take a moment and sit down and think about what it is that you're going to shoot and go through all of this. All right, so the fun part, the story arc, Um, so I have my version of the story arc. If any of you are into storytelling or know about storytelling, it can get really complex. You have, like this nine point story story frame Hero's journey. It doesn't have to be that crazy. So what is the story arc in this case? Um, so the story arc in this particular case is going to be just a simple beginning. A middle and an end. That's it. In the most simple, simple level. That's what a story is. Something happens and something changes. And now something new happen. There's a new one. So I called the Old World and the New World. And in between there's that transformation. So then to make a little bit more complicated or to add some kind of character to that, so then, within the whole story arc. Within that transformation, these air the things that happen so usually for a good story for any story. There's some kind of conflict, right? Um, and it doesn't have to be a crazy conflict, but usually there's conflict, or there's a desire for something to be different. Okay, and I'll show you if this is a making sense just yet, I'll show you an example of something that I shot that was really simple, that had all of these points in it. So my next one is journey. So then there's a character that is experiencing this conflict or has this desire. And so they go on this journey to try to resolve that conflict or achieve whatever it is that they desire. That's all it is. And then the next one is the climactic events. So usually there's something like a peak or something that happened to really like, have them resolve that conflict or have them attained that desire, which then ends up to the new world. So they've now transformed through this whole journey. I know it sounds complicated, but honestly, it I mean, I'll show you in a second how simple it can actually be. So it could be a simple as a child, you could also do something trump travel montage or vignette and experience and still have a little bit of that storytelling in there. So let me show you something that I shot that has those points in it. So I'm going to go on my phone. It's turned off. And so I'm launching an app called Loom Effusion, which is where I do a lot of my editing and, um, let me pull up. Sure, is it it's in here somewhere. Ah, date one. Okay, so before I play it, I want to remind you again there's a beginning. There's a middle and an end, and within that there is some conflict or desire. So if you just remember those things and if you watch this video, then you can kind of pinpoint like I'll ask You will test you who has the conflict or the desire in this really simple lesson. Two minute video. Okay, so I shot in portrait mode because this was for I G TV, and before it was like a big no no don't shoot in portrait mode. But nowadays it's okay. Toe do vertical videos, especially cause I g TV all right, So I'm gonna play is free and they will test you afterwards. Every first Sunday of the month, I go to the Alameda Antique Fair to search for my vintage lenses that I could. This used to be a Navy base back in the forties, but now it's just used for this e always get super distracted it and buying other things besides the vintage linens way. So far, no luck. Have not found any kind of camera gear at all. Well, it looks like some people. What about mine? Finally saw something. Unfortunately, they weren't what are looking for. Then I finally saw some vintage lenses. Quality of this window wasn't that great. I'll end. This goes through C pretty damn tired already. And then I found this 50 millimeter, but already had something similar. Well, I'm walking away empty handed, so there's only one thing to do about that. So you can see. I mean, that was that to be, honestly, that was new pre planning happening there. But I was just at the market and I was casually shooting with just my phone. It was a naked phone. No mikes attached new lenses or anything. Um and then I just It was just my day and my day was a story. And, you know, I didn't have to try too hard. I went out there to look for the sleds. I didn't find it. So I just made sure to document those moments where, you know, I couldn't find her where it did find it. So what was the conflict or desire there to begin with? Look over my find the lands. Yeah, exactly. That was all it was. It was something really simple. And so I wanted to show that because I think that when you know, when I bring up in the other classes that I teach, like a Stanford, you know, have a story. It feels like Oh, my God. You know, it has to be something super ethics, someone us to die. And someone has to, you know, and it doesn't have to be that way. Could be a simple, as you know, as long for loans and couldn't find it. So I bought Kettle corn. You know, eso that's all. That's all the story is. So when you go out and do your own mobile filmmaking, just keep that in mind. it could be something really, really simple. Okay, so now let's go back to, um Oh, yes. If you want to see more, I have a lot of those on my I G TV so you can go to story. Ah, Griffis. Um and look through all the little stories that I've done in vertical video. All right, so now let's get back into that story, arc. And, um, let's talk about nonfiction. So here's, um, the shoot that we did in San Francisco. Uh, the shoot was of this design agency called nonfiction, and they were really unique because they had they did a lot of industrial design of really high tech things. So this was a story that I was trying to tell. And so when I first talked to them, I already had the idea of the story arc in my head. So when I asked them questions before the shoot, I asked so that I would be able to answer some of these things ahead of time. Um, so let's see how not fiction the Industrial Design Agency how their story arc maps to this story arc. So not fiction is, um, the beginning was they are. They were individual designers, okay? And so there's two of them and they're a couple married couple, but they weren't agency yet. Their individual freelancers. That was the beginning of the story and then the ending of the story that they became a successful design agency. So they started their own business, and the happy ending was that they were successful and they had all these great clients. So that was the ark in which I was trying to work with it. So then let's map out to the rest of it. The conflict or desire in this case was that they wanted to do things their own way. And so that's what what got them started with creating their own design agency. So that was the pivotal moment. And then they ended up going on this journey where they were. They went through the struggle of starting a new venture. And if any of you have started a small business before, you know how hard that is. And so that was the journey that I wanted to show in the video. And then finally, what was the the peak of it was that they started landing new clients and their clients came back. So that was when they knew that they were successful. And then that's the new world. Now there this successful design agency.

Ratings and Reviews

Chrystelle Hadjikakou

Being a beginner in all things video, watching this live class left me excited to try out a lot of things on my iPhone, not to mention I learned loads. Cielo showed us the full process from shot listing to gear to preparing the shoot and then shooting and editing, which was very enlightening, also I want to thank the people who were on the chat, because sharing tips and tricks was great too! Thank you for the awesome work!


This class was great! Cielo offered really good information. It was probably more than I needed since I am a beginner, but it inspired me to try and use it for the simple reasons I took the course. But it also showed me what is possible and how I can eventually upgrade what I am doing. It's good for people who are really into photography and telling the story of entrepreneurs (which is so important these days) can use their photography skills to help business owners stand out whether it's your side hustle or main career.

Greg Bird

I just finished the class and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is perfect for someone like me just starting out and I recommend this class to anyone interested in making mobile videos. I look forward to diving into the more extensive editing course next. Thank you!

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