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Introduction to HDDSLR Cinema

Lesson 13 of 16

Pre-Production Meeting

Vincent Laforet

Introduction to HDDSLR Cinema

Vincent Laforet

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Lesson Info

13. Pre-Production Meeting

Lesson Info

Pre-Production Meeting

So what we're going to do next is jump real quick into, uh the idea of how to ensure that what happened yesterday doesn't happen again all right, what we're going to talk about now is the concept of preparation uh preparation is not is another word for pre production and, uh I think there's two key things that we saw happen yesterday okay, one is that no one really knew what was going on no one really knew was coming up no, I had really thought this thing fruit and that proved disastrous so no one knew where to set anything up. No one had ever done an interview before they did or many of you didn't uh you didn't know what the pitfalls that were coming at one point dale our dp start to move the camera to the correct position so that we weren't crossing the lion and I gave him a very nasty glare saying let them make that mistake so we could all see it and, you know, I was like, don't move the camera, you know, it's one of the key lessons I want people online people online were screaming,...

oh my god, they're breaking the line you know, they're crossing the line, they're breaking the one, eighty rule so a lot of people knew it and at the same time, while I was very obvious to them people online were saying what's crossing the line, what's the one eighty rule, you know, I don't know it was fifty fifty, but you know, some people notice and build up, and the other issue was that just because you're a camera operator, um or first a see it doesn't mean you just stand there and pull focus or move the camera. It means that you know, that equipment you know how to set up a tripod, you know how to get it to go a little higher or lower how to level the camera, you know how it operates, you know how to save the iast so you're going to come on set with the card already formatted and the dp will already have told you and exposure uh, nah preacher and an s o er the gaffer will already have spoken with the dp and the director and be working on the lighting because you can't be figuring out where to put the cameras and the chairs when you show up on set that should be discussed when you scout the location. So ideally you come in a day before or if the director and dpr too busy a bee line producer or his or her assistant will do a survey of rooms, take scout photos uh, be careful and look at if there's enough power if there's an air conditioner right above the main interview space or refrigerator that goes out every five minutes professionals who know what they're doing so that when you show up off you go uh showing up to a location last minute trying to pull off the interview er is a recipe for disaster, you know, picking this location where there's a train station uh that every five minutes you hear trains uh you know, tooting their horns uh is you know, it's it's not the ideal location but we knew that and we put a lot of work into the audio here and most of you don't know that almost every three or four minutes you know you can hear a train across the street um and also you know, you have to have what's what's important is the director cynthia doesn't need to know howto level a camera no, no she need to understand how the light the first a c doesn't really need to think about where the chairs were placed. Um the sound operator doesn't care about the one eighty rule. Okay? The key with working with a team is that everyone is a master at their own little um what's the word I'm looking for for the five diamond response well there's a it's kind of a political silo scott silo it's a very siloed way of working it's kind of like the military you know, there's, a hierarchy from up to down, and everyone works in a silo. The danger is when everyone's working or silo, and the left hand does not know what the right hand does. And that is why there is one director and one line producer people said, well, you know who I asked this question to. And the reason is the hierarchy is if you have a camera question, you go up for the hierarchy and eventually end up with a dp that dp will answer any camera related question. You know you want sticks, do you want a four hundred millimeter lens or a twenty? And the the lighting technician will say, do aida too k or a one k light to the gaffer who will then maybe say, well, you know what? Let me check in with the dp and asked what aperture he's thinking of shooting at because of the dp says, I want the shoe doesn't have sixteen that's, a very big, different light source than if he wants you to have to. And ultimately, when the dp doesn't have an answer, he's going to say, well, hold on, let me go up and talk with the director and see what he or she is thinking about how this scene should look. You understand that that works you'll never have a first a c walk up to the director and say hey uh where do you want the stick set up and you know what aperture do you want? Because some directors have no idea what an aperture is you know it's not their job um in the same way that on the most basic level what each and every one of you should do and any production that you work on is one have a storyboard which we're gonna talk about the second to have a shot list and then three have a call sheet we're not going to call she here today what a call sheet is is it a one page document maura times but often the you know most things that I work on uh always the pages I look at is the first page where it's lists the director the producer, the line producer's name and number everyone's email unless it's a very fancy director and producer don't want to share that email with the underlings um but the point is if you're working in a small production you should have one list with everyone's name their phone numbers, their email and on it should be the call time what time are we all supposed to be there? We all supposed to be at the same time? No there's no reason for the actors to get there at six a m when they're not going on stage to eleven so everyone is gonna have a different call time to show up at based on their responsibilities. You also better really well know not only what time we're supposed to be where you going, so have the address of where you're going. Have a p a go out there on the line, producer make sure there's parking for everybody give directions from the four five major highways coming in's people don't get lost think about all these logistics before you get there, because the worst thing you could do is plant is fantastic. Shoot and come the morning a shoot three or four of your crew members were lost. Another tour looking for parking, another guy's still sleeping in because you forgot the shoot was happening today and it's very simple it's just a call sheet tells you the time of sunrise and sunset tells you the weather to expect so you don't show up and freeze yourself because you forgot to bring a coat or, uh, what no weather gear on forgot your boots and at least at the very minimum, the call she doesn't usually last thing to go out that not on ly discusses all this logistical information it tends to also list a shot list and a location list, so at the bare minimum everyone in the crew has an expectation papa day might turn out that they're going to start indoors in the morning there's gonna be a company move which means everyone is going to leave that location together and go across the street or drive across town because you might have someone try begin the afternoon of the first location and he's like where'd everyone go you know and uh that's logistics so respect that part of it uh you know, excel spreadsheets will become your friend if you do this type of work then um we're gonna talk about storyboard next so last night I picked five people out of this class and we had a good talk about what they would want to shoot today and I said make sure that you guys discuss what it is you're going to shoot tomorrow and talk about not nicely just logistics, but make sure you have a good concept, you know, they came to me at the end of the night last night and said we want to x y and z and we wanted this camera moving what this lens and I just said hold on, hold on, hold on what's your thing about and I like blank stares from a few people and I was like, well, you know, don't get lost in the minutia don't get lost in logistics make sure that what you're doing makes sense a big discussion of what we had was what are the resource is you have at your disposal robert rodriguez became famous almost a decade ago by doing a film um on mariachi er very big action flick on an extremely low budget and he's done quite a few other films since and the point was the reason he was successful people the reason people paid attention to him is with a very, very, very limited budget he pulled off something is actually pretty good uh and it may not have been as perfect in terms of glitz and production values hollywood it was a solid solid film and the lesson he had to share with people was I developed my story based on what was available to me at the time so there's a scene with a truck in it and the reason that scene is there is because my uncle had that cool truck there's a scene where the barnett the reason there's a bar in it because my best friend owns that bar do you get the idea? Uh when you're working on smaller productions you might say you know I want a seven forty seven to takeoff over this building over here do you have access to seven forty seven? You directed the flyover that building at a particular time no nor can you have you know your street in front of your apartment building in manhattan closed down with a clip stop car crash with flames coming out of it you know let's start off with what you conduce and the research that you have at hand you could say you know I love to have you know a shooting scene and I want an actor that looks really menacing and the problem is the only actor you have access to it your twelve year old sister uh you know with uh pigtails and she doesn't quite look menacing so you've got to find the talent you've got to make sure that you have wardrobe that you have props and that frankly in the amount of time that you have to pull this off you can get all those resources together in one time you may have access to a uh an amazing car but you got to make sure that it's going to be available for you on the day you want to shoot because the actor may only be available x y z dates it's about bringing everything together it's like being a chef about realizing there's different seasons and that's different vegetables and uh produce are only available certain times of the year um you know going out to shoot uh the equivalent of um mad max in july in the desert probably isn't the smartest thing because you're going to cook to death but going to that desert in the middle of winter uh if it's not depending on where you are probably a smarter idea you know, going out to the amazon right in the middle, the rain season, you know, you get the idea, you've gotto logically think the's things through and more. The most important point I can share with you is find out what resources you have find out who is available and when and then when you have that, um either try to construct a story around what you have available or there's like different ways of doing it or you have a story you start off with and try to find the resource is for them, but in the end of all of that, once you've found all these pieces once everything is coming together, please take a moment to share your story as it stands with someone else or to try to pitch it to someone and say here's, what here's my short film here's what I'd like to shoot tomorrow if that person says, oh that's pretty cool! All right, good go for it if that person goes, huh? What or who cares? Don't do it and that's why I'll give a qualification to that? Never let someone you know, kill your dream because they don't like it, but make sure that you know if they are justified in saying, who cares or it doesn't make sense that in next five people you picture to also don't understand it you know it's always a fine line between that. So uh what I'm goingto have matthew here. Sharon and do you mind if matthew sits here for a second on the camera and go over your shoulder is great and if you don't mind taking his seat because as an editor I'd like you to look over the storyboard and make some comments so won't you guys switch seats real quick? Matthew um how did how did you get elected director yesterday? Uh, come on over here with the short straw. You pulled the short straw discharge that correct or did he just talking guys down? You pushed him into it. Okay, cool. So take us fruit? Uh, which everyone, these visa papers you want to go for first? Um, I'm actually going to start with our little shot list idea before I get to storyboard because that's what came first from our team brainstorm I'll try to stay out of the shadow there. Um, so ah, in our idea of trying to develop a story, a couple of us went out dinner um and like I said earlier, we just kept talking gear we kept talking how we're gonna light it, how we're going to utilize all these cool elements around us we've got this great fish tank over here, what can we do with that? Um guy in the studio has access to some cool cars what can we do with those of we've got some props from aa aa kind of antique asian antique store over here how can we use those and ah so we just started kind of going through what? Um what kind of shots we would need to tell a little story and then as we filter those we started to say where does this story have holes? What shots do we need to, um fill those holes and then trying to keep it within context of realizing we only have two hours it's probable we based off what we did yesterday we could probably only do maybe five shots if we're lucky so we tried to maximize um um reusing setups so that in one lighting scenario or one set scenario we might be able to do uh four five shots um to just make the transition of moving the tripod and maybe reordering the light very quick um and minimise the amount of time we're moving a camera from one support device to another so take us for your shot lesson and kind of what you you wrote down there without grabbing it um you want the chronological story or the and less than one minute take me for that shot less real quick okay, so we're gonna, um we're gonna have umm to sent two people here on a villain ah hero is going to be counting money ah we don't know why and the villain is gonna be approaching the hero many menacingly so we're gonna shoot um ah three um three environmental introductions to the scene so we're gonna shoot a close up of a fish tank over here macro lens there's bullet shell casings in the bottom of a fish tank so we're going to do some sort of camera move from the fished the bullet casings we're in a close up of the hero counting his money wearing reflective sunglasses um the sunglasses showing the reflection of money ah we're gonna have a shot yeah my shot list here is written in logistical order not fewer chronological order um shot of the villain in the backseat of a car um with a handgun putting it in her clutch purse slider shot of the villain stepping out of the car foot hitting the ground medium close up of the talent the hero counting the money you revealed the desk environment you start to reveal more of the environment of what where he is um shot of the villain going by the fish tank again playing mourning the environment um ah starting the the scene's very close up and moving to more wide shots as we progress um you you did a shot list first and then a storyboard we um I don't have my other notes here we did ah we did a shot list first kind of as a hybrid storyboard. So are shot list was a story word with no pictures fine um okay uh we just found it was the easiest way for the four of us to brainstorm together and not get bogged down and illustrating right um and then I took that uh that list that we came up with together and sat up in bed last night in the hotel and chicken scratched out some framing ideas that I could work with the dp on this morning. Okay, so now let's let's go ahead and go over to the storyboard there and I'll tell you the way that I do it uh I think everyone has different ways of doing it is, uh I will write a series of ideas down and key concepts and kind of a crawl chronological order of where I want uh you know, you could call it an ark where you know, stars from point a to b builds up to point b the peak of that ark and then falls back down to the conclusion and then I will start to draw to write some notes down as to write what are the key things that I have to work with one of the key elements that I need to hit at some point where the emotions and I'm trying withdrawn what are some of the ideas at that point I may write down a crowd of chronological order of of shots that I'm thinking about and then I'm going to go right into the storyboard and visually in my brain ah la times I do this quite closing my eyes and thinking about this stuff and kind of imagining how things are going to flow and I start to jot down some drawings on the storyboard etcetera at the end of it what I perceive tend to call a shot list is when the storyboards done I'll write down the shots a cz more of a you know a marching lista marching order for the crew to know what's coming up all right so I want to clarify that but why don't you take us very quickly shot by shot on your storyboards actually we have a even better one so uh if you wanna show the the initial version uh here is uh their version of their initial storyboard and what it says when I read it this is what's important is um when you get out of that other people will be reading this so if you go back the top left the very first box on there it says bond intro fish tank two bullets you see to infinity symbols with the arrow pointing down what looks like e t with four rectangles by him it says extreme close up macro on jib moved down so three seconds audio fully of bubbles okay, as someone who is reading this, who doesn't know what you're talking about? Um I don't get it and that's where um you know that this is great for you, but if you could go ahead and pan over to the finnish storyboard to the first shot list um you're going to have to at some point right this uh, down on a professional storyboard, it is a great investment to find a friend of yours that actually khun draw and do beautiful story storyboard art if you look at the making of the matrix, the film, you'll see that what I found amazing what they did is they shot that film based on what that storyboard looked like it's almost, you know, mirrored and what they didn't really help determine the visuals and that effect that they had in that movie and making it look like an animated siri's um so back down to the storyboard here it has a title uh it says fish tank and you can now see those air fish in a tank and it says e c u started learns from the language we talked about extreme close up tilt or move down or jib down, but I get it a fish to bullets anyone who sees that on the crew has an idea of what we're going to set up for the dp knows he has a glass to deal with because the fish tank the gaffer start to think of how our fish gonna be best lit. The camera operators are no, they're gonna need a macro lens. Uh, the grip knows they're gonna need a a nice, fluid head. Or do you want a jib down? Or do you want to tilt down like you say, make a decision? The sound technician knows that at some point is gonna have to get a fully of bubbles. You also see an arrow on the top left there pointing down that she doesn't show the motion of other what's in in the scene or of the camera, you go down to the next shot that says, uh, man counting money, you can see it's a close up of a guy's face from the right side. Um, he looks like he's eating a sandwich, but I believe that and his eyes have recently been gouged out that is counting cash. Um, I soon those air glasses, uh, vision says close up of man counting money uh, reflection in glasses. So now people reading us, we'll get an idea. Uh, that sounds of money shuffling so that's a good note for sound um there's, no dialogue in any of this, yet we have no screenplay that's fine but at least the prop artist knows they need cash they need sunglasses uh the gaffer and dp could start to think about howto light that so that you can see the reflection of the glasses and they probably will meet together with the production designer and art director and figure out what the best classes are to reflect this next shot hand uh puts gun in clutch clutch purse okay, uh side close up of girl uh putting gun in person back seat of car fully of car engine okay. Uh the next shot of the foot climbing out of car a slider close up from tyre to door opening and foot stepping out um and you do have on the left side here a right to left that I assume uh, shows the way the motion is moving or the slider you kind of decide on that generally I would write slider right toe left so you know the way the sliders moving and obviously when the slides were rightto left the cars move left to right in the frame. Um what does that say? Nobler paper my translator. All right. Um medium till down of man counting money at desk that sound of shifting and etcetera etcetera so we're not going tio go for every single shot but hopefully people that are watching khun see how going from this too let alone this this is not a great way to communicate with all the members of your crew and the absolute worst way would be to say it's all in my head up here okay you're gonna go from from a list to your rough draft to an actual story board and understand that when you have the storyboard when people show up we all have a chance to discuss it and we have a chance to talk about the potential problems we're going to face our needs in terms of equipment and lighting and audio and wardrobe and we're going to be in a really much, much, much better place that's why almost every single piece that's done today uh that's not documentary inform but even documentaries air broken down like this especially long form ones uh have different pieces. The next job in my opinion would be for the director and dp to talk about these shots and how they work together visually uh talk about lensing and the shot after that like a I'm gonna skip that I'm gonna have ed our editor it's absolutely common these days to bring an editor in early in the process and have the director in dp discussed these shots with them and have that say uh if you did this it was going to make my life easier when I edit this together or you know at here's the key here guys when you see a screenplay or storyboard the director is looking at it from his perspective through his uh classes or his vision the dp is looking at it from his perspective with you know regards towards uh form and color and shapes and lenses the gaffer's go think about it in terms of lighting uh the uh art director is going to think about setting in location and color's the wardrobe artist is going you know, think about what type of wardrobe people going to where the prop artist is going to see a bunch of things popping up all these things are questions that are asked in pre production meetings you figure out all the potential problems everyone voices their opinion, their concerns things that they like early on in the process and this is the key point here so that when you show up on set the day of the shoot hopefully there will be no surprises that's the goal everyone knows what they're doing everyone has been briefed the dp and gaffer have all the correct equipment the wardrobe have all the props that you need the director is relaxed because a he or she has already communicated all of his thoughts to his entire team and excuse me the director canal spend time speaking with the actors uh if they haven't already rehearsed themselves and you can see how suddenly the train went wreck we experienced yesterday becomes much less of a possibility and it doesn't matter how small your production is. You should go for these process this process every single time. So the next step, I would say after you go for all that is to actually mentally kind of cut through these storyboards shots forget everything that's on the right now that we have more information about it and see how the scene flows. Okay? And that would be a really good discussion for you, matthew, to have with with that here. Who's seen your story, but I have your hands look all the way through it and one of the two of you in a few minutes kind of walk for each set shot. This is the big disconnect here is especially with a photographer has become a director, that photographer she might be thinking every shot as a standalone shot and how beautiful it is and all the content in it. As that photographer becomes an editor and worked with someone like ed, the two of them are going to learn or she's going to learn from ed that's, not about each individual shot and how pretty each is, or how cool leeches it's about how the entire siri's of shots flow together or don't, and how ed sees this working and to make sense to him, or maybe he's, do you see any warning? I think the conversation I would have at this point it's just about pacing I mean obviously the payoff in this entire pieces this monster change there's a set up free to think there's some violent confrontation coming and then you realize it's actually romantic uh interaction between these two people so I would I'm thinking that there's gonna be a change of pacing at the moment of that reveal absolute so then it's I need to know are we rushing towards something and then slowing down and we've skipped a small step just uh in this is another key skill director should have is the ability in three or four sentences of telling what the scene is about and why we care so go ahead not in three or four sentences set set up the peace walk us through what happens and tell us the conclusion story wise from a store contextual story if you're you're pitching I'm I'm the guy with the money ok you've got thirty seconds to make me say here's five hundred bucks to go shoot this go for right because I'm gonna give you my money because I trust that you know what you're doing they were going to shoot the world's cheesiest jewelry commercial I'm not interested well it's better than the world's jesus cologne standard okay wow okay so go ahead all right so um we're gonna have a hero counting money and a villain approaching him and we're going to set up the viewer to think something drastically terrible is about to happen um so the pacing is going to be very quick at the start and then we're going to get to the end don't walk me through the story step by step walk me for the story this is a romantic comedy this is a drama piece this is a you know give me more of a context to make your interested and start to preconceived visualize what this is all about and I think the best thing to start off with is this is a thirty second what or it's a two hour something what is this and what's your end goal a thirty second short film angola and goal would be high second thirty second commercial so it's a thirty second commercial maybe commercial's not the right word they're trying to sell anything well it's a thirty second right? Yeah I'm down in the fives even that language you know whether it's a short or a commercial or you know, set the stage. So this is a thirty second short with a protagonist who is what who we think is a killer and another man counting money in a warehouse go on from there at first at first you're led to believe that there is this violent thing about to happen okay? And you're kind of drawn into the suspense and drama of that and as the story progresses you realize that this is actually a couple that's been married for twenty years and they're about to go do something to celebrate their anniversary okay great um at least that's better than when we started off with I'm still reeling over that comment though I know I don't mean that I don't mean just I mean that an inspiration I absolutely will be made to pay in very subtle ways you may not know it's coming for me but you know I hope it was worth it. Okay, so you know, every time you screw up something I will be very happy to point that out to the fifteen hundred or three thousand people watching well, according internet apparently I'm the worst boom operator in the world I got I got e mails it well that's just the beginning that day is still young okay, uh let's set continue on and, uh, walk now the person you've introduced the basic story over uh what? How you going to shoot this real quick? You know again it's about being short and concise and engaging someone you know so you see a fish bowl there's a guy there's a guy counting money you see a woman putting a gun in the purse ah, you see you're stepping out of a car the english you cut to a shot of the guy still counting money from her perspective. And then, um, the villain the woman walks past a fish tank. They're here reacts. Uh, he pulls the drawer out and pulls out a gun and there's now a showdown between the man and a woman. Somehow and you crossed out this shot. Which custom overhead, man a desk with the woman entering. Well, she's already entered, hasn't she? Yeah. That's. Uh, okay, correct. Title great. And then, um, he instead hands over a ring. All right, um, yeah, we're missing some explanation in this shot. Okay, so what I think we need to flush out a little bit is, uh, what it's talking about in terms of pacing because to me there's a big buildup, I guess I'm not really sure is being sold yet. Well, he's not by the storyboard and then there's this showdown that I can't I don't know what the showdown this yet you describe it to me and then there's this big reversal wanted to make sure you communicate that's all that you take over, right? So that's, what I'm hearing in all reality, what I would do first is scan or take pictures of your storyboard and then cut together each frame in the amount of timing were thinking he just plays out at all you're spending no money and we can save a lot of aggravation we just see if it cuts together I can tell you from experience that what I'm hearing from you is that we're quick at the beginning exactly but your first shot is a tilt down in a fish tank typically not done very quickly I don't see that as a half a second sean it could be depends on how you shoot it um so that that's a little tricky you have to work out, make sure you're shooting stuff that that works in three quarters of a second and what ed's talking about is this kind of setting a sort of a crescendo or d crescendo in pacing so you start off really fast and then you have to slow down what you're doing right now is starting slow going fast in going slow and if you're doing that with intent that's one thing but if you're not thinking it through ed's gonna have a very hard time pacing that in a good way and in the edit yeah because we're creating a piece of music if as it were so we want to have that kind of pacing work and then a bridge to you your big reveal the cheesiest cologne commercial I know he said it was a very bad cologne I meant to quote you direct sorry um out of context the other there's um a couple you know, when I look through this I'm like the guy in the world war two movie in the in the field with the bayonet trying to find the land mines um she she never takes it a purse with her and being inside the cards a bit complicated I in editing I could see the guy just just picture this with your mind he's in the office counting money we hear a car we see a car door open and the foot coming out we're one shot it's easy to shoot she's getting out putting the gun in the purse we simplified your shot list we've connected in time and place the two things she should be in cans could be in kansas he's in singapore we don't know but when we connect the sound and stuff them that were kind of having they're in the same place there's the same location and it makes a little bit easier to shoot but that's that's your bailey wake the shooting part um at least getting a person out of the car is going to work for me later because if we see it in the car and then it's magically with her later as a viewer never left the car yeah there's we're missing some there the second shot of her in a scene is walking by the fish tank and the focal lighting point it's going to be on the perch and one of the questions I have and I really scan for this story were quickly forgive me from making a mistake how do we establish that she enters his world so there's a car with a purse? Yeah she's in her car with her purse he's counting his money and then boom she's in the room um how that happened as a film maker um, just limitations of time here um I don't have a great answer for that, but you don't have a good answer that you fired. We figured we could do that with audio with footsteps of her walking and I guess and yeah, well, here's the million dollar question we haven't you guys can't see it live we have a setting here where you do have someone who could be sitting in a desk and we have this huge garage door so it's actually physically possible for a car to pull in here and all this action that happen it's a bit odd, but guess what? You know it could happen so all of your story could could work if you have some sort of establishing shot that shows the setting and I would have suggested that you know, the car garage door opens and a car pulls in no initially the shot starts on a wide shot of blake counting money because you're going to villain and then you cut to a wide shot or you know, stationary kind of building a little bit of tension and mystery and then you jump tours that macro shot you were talking about the fish and show the fact that there are actual bullet shells at the base of the fish tank which as the viewer would suggest this is not your normal guy not always you counting money but he's got these are not there I don't think the fifty calories they are fifty caliber bullet shells like a few hundred of them at the base of the uh, fish tank as a viewer, this is the first time I've ever seen bullet shells at the base of the fish tank and that adds layers to your story and elements that are kind of interesting cut back the exact same white shot maybe getting two shots for the price of one right you've got one where you just show him in this environment. The second shot has the card oral garage door opening and the car pulling in didn't take any more time in terms of set up to shoot the establishing shot and then having her be introduced into your world as she pulls in when this really cool cars I believe we haven't seen yet and then you go right back your storyboard where you have her foot coming out of the car the audience will make the mental connection between a car pulling in and a car door opening and a stiletto heeled lead coming out right. They'll jump there with you, whereas having a woman randomly show up in this scene with no correlation it's like he's two different worlds I don't exist the thing I would really liketo have is an editor, so we didn't paint ourselves into a corner is some elements of time to play around with footsteps walking her moving down the hallway because if we put it together and it's just way too fast she's magically transported one hundred yards in every cut you don't have to can ever have the car pulling you don't need the cards because he had the cards meaning to use it you can simply have solved the solution when I put you on the spot a little bit ago by saying all right, let me introduce cut of just a door opening and her walking fruit you hear the footsteps while you're on a shot of him door opens, she walks into your scene don't care where she was before clear relevant, you know she was in a car at some point I guess go that person it could be an interior door knob hand screwdriver yeah that's, that's all I need to get her in this somehow she needs to get in the building you know she could be outside with the thing a rope and look up at the roof that's that's enough for the viewer to thank oh she's a climber I think we're thinking she you know but I think I could sell that yeah, sure. Um the pacing still it would be great to cut it rough because there's a fair amount of tilts um those air using nice moves this is fast at the beginning I'm hearing you say um and then when we go to our room you know our change when we do our reveal and this is actually the romantic thing uh really just can't be two hands I need a lot more than that um I need eyes I need smile uh you know, a little bit of a sequencing would really be nice teo to make that cell and then the final shot's got to be a beauty beauty beauty shot okay it's for the purposes of this workshop I'm here ad asking for a lot maybe we can simply shoot the introductory sequence of you know blake counting money and her introduction into the scene all the way to the stiletto foot coming out of the car and that's it okay and maybe find out how to make that initial sequence really well shot will understand it's not a full length peace doesn't have a start of a conclusion but has a start and ends on something it's intriguing and that would be good enough for me. I think the moment you start to get into this shift where you think she's going to kill him. And now she's romantic and you want, you know, emotion and you want close ups like eyes I mean he's, right? You need all those elements, but you've got to know how much of a bite you could take out of this. And given what happened yesterday, I think setting up some establishing shots on blake and this environment and the shells and if we're going to have the car pulling it all, or at least her entrance and having her enter his world is a very good place to start. If I could just take one second to reinforce what vince is talking about about selling this story and engaging people story before the story exists in the visual world, shaun of the dead on the dvd, they go through an easel presentation of what the movie is gonna look like. And it's just as engaging is the film ended up being so that that's really, I think what you're looking for, it's getting tell me why why we should do this and what it's gonna look like when what happens. You know, people would show me their work when I was you know, only a photographer and they would say, uh, you know, here's a photograph of my work and I would always ask him a very basic question I wouldn't even open uh, their portfolio well, look at one picture I would just say before I look at this tell me why I care telling why should care you know, what's in here they didn't have an answer, you know? They hadn't thought about it and the photograph was plying not worth looking at so the same goes with any script, any idea is why do I care? You know, I've got, you know, seven hundred channels at home and you know, millions of websites to go to why am I can't take any time out of my really busy day to talk to you let alone view your piece for thirty seconds that's your job as a director is to be so passionate about what you're shooting you say hey, you gotta look at this you got this is gonna be awesome this is gonna be no one's ever done anything like this or this is such a cool thing I really want to do it, you know, you know, pay attention here it issues I'm really excited about it as opposed to, you know, the way initially described, which is I got a guy got this and there's a girl and there's a big twist then there you go give me some money to do it you know uh all right cool. So it's great feedback thank you and then um I still haven't forgot what you said uh we're gonna move on and uh I think is it I would personally uh probably reconvene really quickly and focus on that opening sequence and maybe re storyboarding it you will notice that uh they made photocopies of the storyboard and that everyone in the crew has once everyone's on the same page but uh I think you're a good starting point here in the opening scene and you may want to basically start with your entire first page only first five shots throw this away too complicated and um maybe insert one or two shots in this if at all and just shoot this one page uh from now till two you've got an hour and forty five minutes to get going uh I'd really kind of talk about this is a group will quick we can let the cameras roll and listen to the discussion is going on um and I think realistically in uh fifteen minutes you should be sending your dp out and your gaffer and your camera crew to start getting the cameras ready and I think we have the ability to bring one of these cameras back there as you go do that uh, they cut back and forth will see. And at um, thirty minutes from now, you should be starting to get ready to shoot your first shot at one o'clock on the dot. You've got one hour to pull off five or six, maybe seven shots, because at two p m on the dot, I could guarantee the crew back there is going to have lunch, so you've got one hour and forty five minutes. Um, grab your grab, the essential people that you need and let's get going on this first page, get a new. You can either cut these with pieces of scissors and line them up and reorder them and place one or two new shots and let's go for it.

Class Description

In this course, first-time filmmakers and photographers making the transition into video will be introduced to many of the core building blocks necessary to make their first short films. Students will come away from this online workshop with a good understanding of what tools they need for their productions, and when and how to best use them.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase









Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

I would recommend this class to anyone needing a refresher on video in a DSLR world, but I would imagine that some of the technical topics might be a bit too much of a deep dive in an introductory course like this. Not everyone is going to be creating staged events and so the attention paid to blocking and focus might be less interest. Overall, for someone who graduated in film/video a while ago, it was great to get up to speed on today's cameras and hardware.

Marvin Løvenfeldt

Seems like an update to this class is needed. he talks about the Canon 5D mark II. Several better cameras have come on the market since including several other brands, many better options in 2017.

Johnnee Lin

Why should I buy the class again to see it since I have bought the package ?