Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Lesson 15 of 37

Example: Story Building

 

Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography

Lesson 15 of 37

Example: Story Building

 

Lesson Info

Example: Story Building

So I'm going to show you a sample right after that intro that I showed you, the three characters, they all drive to a location, you see that they're all driving in the night and it says The Pearl. I'm gonna pick you up as soon as that drops out, this is like the very next scene that we see. (speaking too far from mic) Well, thank you. (laughs) (chattering people) Okay so just follow me here for a minute, hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Good, hi, how are? Hi. Hi, how are you? Don't rush it. Alright, so can you hear that your pitch has dropped down a little bit? So we're just gonna listen for a moment, okay, ha, ha. Ha, ha. Ha, ha. Ha, ha. Okay, that was a little better and it's not just about voice, you know, it's about really understanding how it is you're communicating with the world, you know, "I notice how your hair is, "I like the color of your lipstick, "where did you get that necklace?" The bird-like, chatty movement of the head, I know that everybody wants ...

to sound like a woman and my job is to help you find the sound of your own female self. So you know, a couple of things happen here, one is that we can't just be in the car at night and then be in that workshop, like we, you know and really the first major, next thing that happens is we're in this workshop with a bunch of trans women, that are learning about how they need to change their voice, but we can't just arrive, go on this journey at night and all of a sudden be there, like, and in photography, we totally could, we get like a shot in the car, a shot on the road, a weird, moody shot, into a workshop, we would totally get it, in video, you kind of need to like get somewhere and so all of these other little things function as like little, mini parts of the story, we arrive in this parking lot, you see some people milling around, you get a sense of what the location is and then before we're even in that workshop, we're outside a door and you like hear voices happening inside, then we're inside, you see around, you see one or two of our characters from, that you've met previously and then something happens, which is that like there's a reason that scene is in there, it's not just 'cause it's good looking, in fact, it's not nearly as pretty as some of the other stuff, but that scene serves a purpose, it's like okay, here we are, we're in this room, people are together, there are a bunch of them, they're all kind of middle-aged, they all don't totally know how to talk like a woman, you know, these are all people that are early on in their transition, these are all people that are maybe living double lives, just like some of the characters we learned at the beginning. There's like information that is being conveyed in this scene and you ease into it, you kind of get in there, you're outside, before you're inside, you're in the hallways, before you're in the workshop, you kind of establish, oh, we're in like a convention-like setting, there's you know, putting on of some laminates, people milling around in the hallway and then her last line kind of serves as the way out, she says, "I know not everyone, "I know you all want to sound like a woman "and it's my job to help you figure out "the type of woman you're going to sound like "or you're going to be," and we watch one of 'em kind of twirling their hair and looking a little bored and we're out, it's not that everything has to have huge introductions and huge exits, but we can't be like, the second she delivers the most important line, like, oh, okay, we got it, boom, we're out, it's like we need to kind of, like I said with the pulling of the frames of the photograph, it's like we need to kind of get into this, we need to find that moment of perfection, where everything comes together and it's like, "Oh, this is why we're here, "this is why we're in this room, this is what I'm learning," and then we can't just drop out, we gotta kinda, okay and come in for a kind of softer landing, if that makes sense. Would it be helpful to watch it one more time with this in mind? I was just gonna ask you that, yeah, Yeah, why don't we-- just click back and-- Yeah, why don't we watch it? Then we can watch it. One more time with that in mind. (speaking too far from mic) Well, thank you. (laughs) (chattering people) Okay so just follow me here for a minute, hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Hi. Good, hi, how are? Hi. Hi, how are you? Don't rush it. Alright, so can you hear that your pitch has dropped down a little bit? So we're just gonna listen for a moment, okay, ha, ha. Ha, ha. Ha, ha. Ha, ha. Okay, that was a little better and it's not just about voice, you know, it's about really understanding how it is you're communicating with the world, you know, "I notice how your hair is, "I like the color of your lipstick, "where did you get that necklace?" The bird-like, chatty movement of the head, I know that everybody wants to sound like a woman and my job is to help you find the sound of your own female self. So these scenes, these like little mini stories are the building blocks, not everything needs to be accomplished in this one scene, in fact, it shouldn't be, they're just these tiny, little building blocks and it's, you make one scene, you haven't accomplished something, it's there for a reason and then you move on to another. You don't always know when you're shooting it, you don't always know, not everything that you shoot, you should be looking around and saying like, what is the function of it? It should just be kind of milling about in the back of your head. Oh, again, you don't end up with 800 hours of footage for a 90 minute film, because everything you shoot is relevant, some of it is not, clearly most of it will get thrown away, but you should be thinking about you know, definitely when you're thinking about scenes, no matter whether it's gonna fit into your film or not, as you're shooting it, you're like, how do I frame this as a mini story? How do I get in here? What do I accomplish and how do I get out of here? I was wondering how much groundwork did you have to do to be able to shoot that sequence with all of the other women in there? That's a great question, so the very first year I stumbled upon this story, I just very much walked into it by accident, I went to go hiking in this town, where this convention happened to be going on. So for one year, also, because it's an annual event, if it was happening all the time, the timeline might have been different, but for one year, I just worked on getting access, I met these people, I bumped into this place, I thought this is a really incredible story, that I know I wanna come back and do some work on, so I tried to, like I met the kind of committee, that runs this event and I worked on just establishing, could I come back? Would I do it in a way that like, you know, if anyone didn't wanna be on camera, that I would communicate that to them, they could communicate it back to me, that I was very comfortable with avoiding people, not pushing people beyond their comfort and it's a slow process, you can't just show up at a convention like that and like, you know, it's these very kind of slow baby steps, so the first thing we did was just find very willing participants, people that were totally comfortable being on camera and then we'd kind of expand a little, first we were just focused on them and then we'd kind of take one more step back and be like a little wider with the focus and a little wider and eventually people kind of understood what we were trying to do, we kind of knew the situation and the players and we knew who was easy to work with and who would be a little bit more camera shy and we kind of navigated that way. We're talking about certain types of storytelling and Heather Walsh has a question about can you talk a little bit about being on video assignment for a newspaper or a news agency, where you have a short amount of time to tell the same story, how do you approach that type of storytelling? Yeah, great, so you know, in all of this and this is why I kind of keep on reiterating that this applies for long form and short form is that even when it's a tiny thing. So I just had a really short thing the other day, like an incredibly short assignment, basically a 20-second long video and now, can you create a huge story out of that? No, but in order to do that, I basically had to like write down some storybeats, okay, we meet this person, they're here, then they go to this thing, we have a couple of shots of them there and then they come back and they go to bed. It was still not just like pretty shot, pretty shot, pretty shot, pretty shot, it still was like, alright, if I only have 20 seconds, but it's a video, a video has to kind of live in the world, unless it's completely experimental, but like video has to kind of live in the world of story, so if I only have 20 seconds, what are like the five storybeats? Same thing for a newspaper or a magazine short assignment, think about like, alright, what is the story? If I were in an elevator, I would say, this is a thing about, blah blah blah, first we're here and then we need this thing and then this happens and then it ends this way and then try to. you know, it's one thing to be able to say it, but then you've gotta go and shoot those elements, so that you have that material, so that you can cut it together and make it that. Any other questions? I think we're good right now, Okay. let me just double check, yeah, and just a side note, I wanted to give a shout out to Danielle Ali, who says, "Thank you so much for answering my query earlier, "it's amazing to be able to learn how to make things work, "which otherwise could result in lost opportunities," this was the question about the styles maybe changing over years, she says, "Regards from Pakistan." Oh, honey. So global audience and we always love taking care of those shout outs. That is very cool. Okay, so some of the stuff that I'm talking about, in terms of, especially when it comes to scenes are about, you know, thinking about scenes as like little, tiny, mini stories, but a lot of that is also achievable, if you start to think about how to shoot for an editor, which is what we're gonna do in our next segment. So what we'll talk about next is how to kind of get in and out of situations, 'cause it's one thing to again, be thinking about some of these things, it's another thing to just execute it and if you think about these things as little, mini stories, that have entry points and exits, but that isn't actually translated through your camera, then your editor can't make it feel that way.

Class Description



Just because you’re a photographer doesn’t mean you can’t shoot compelling video. If you have a digital SLR, you have the equipment. If you’re a photographer who loves to tell captivating visual stories, you have the passion and the necessary skills. It doesn’t matter whether you want to create powerful short films about global issues or take videos of your friends on vacation: all it takes to start being a successful videographer is strong photography skills.

Join VII Agency photojournalist Jessica Dimmock for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to storyboard to create a strong narrative
  • How to properly capture sound and voiceover while on a shoot
  • How to shoot for an editor and to think with the edit in mind
Jessica has traveled the world in the pursuit of powerful stories. Her work has been published in publications like the New Yorker and Time, and has been exhibited in galleries around the globe. Her skill with a camera allowed her to pivot into videography, where she created music videos, short projects and feature films. Becoming a filmmaker as well as a photographer opened up a new form of media for her stories - and doubled her day rate. Draw in new clientele and start expressing your creativity in new ways!  


Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

I have been waiting for a course like this. Purchasing it was a no-brainer. Taught by an accomplished professional in the field, with a strong track record of high level work, Jessica Dimmock, I feel, is exactly the type of instructor Creative Live should be giving air time to. I have watched other Videography classes on Creative Live, and this was the first one that I felt was worth purchasing due to how much info was being shared, in a very methodical, easy to follow (but not dumb downed) fashion.

a Creativelive Student
 

This class has left me feeling very encouraged and inspired about getting into videography. Jessica has made some great work, in her short career with video, and was able to share what she learned through those experiences. She started out as a photographer and has now incorporated video into her skill set and it seems to have expanded the diversity her opportunities and has enriched what she produces and shares with the world. I look forward to doing the same thing in my own way. Thanks CL for another wonderful class.

tandooridan
 

Simultaneously broad and deep, the information Jessica covers and the way she delivers it really give you the feeling you can jump into video right away. Professionalism in every area, from prep steps to workflow in the field to clean organization and processing, inspires confidence in the value of her methods. She clearly learned most of this in the field over years of work, which means the rest of us now have a huge leg up on our first projects. Thank you so much!