Knowing how to shoot a sequence — which shots to get, how many shots to get, and so much more — is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of filmmaking. Following his acclaimed “Cinematic Masterclass,” world-renowned filmmaker Philip Bloom has just released Episode 4 of his new training course for MZed, “Filmmaking for Photographers,” which is aimed at established photographers but includes new techniques, practices and workflows that make it equally relevant to filmmakers.
Part of a one-hour episode, this 14-minute segment takes an in-depth look at one of the types of sequences filmmakers need to understand so they can be filmed properly and no one gets stuck in the edit bay:
From pre-production through post, the nearly seven-hour series includes six separate episodes, with the final two episodes to be released this month. Here’s a breakdown of what each episode covers:
Episode 1: Setup and Audio — In this first episode, Philip shows you what you will need to turn your stills camera into a filmmaking machine and get the most out of it. Then we look at the first major difference between stills and film, the addition of sound. Philip gives us an in-depth look at the various types of microphones and recorders and demystifies polar patterns to help you get the best sound possible in any type of location. We finish by looking at the art of foley.
Episode 2: Working with Light — In this episode, Philip explores light and the different approaches you require for filmmaking. We’ll look at filming exteriors, how we’re affected by factors like the time of day or year, the weather, the location, and how the movement of that great key light in the sky, the sun, affects our choices. Then we continue to look at interiors and explore how to craft the scene and mood of an environment to becomes a character of its own in your film. We’ll look at common lighting styles both photographic and cinematic, how to practice with them and see how they’re used to communicate beyond just what we see. Finally, Philip guides us through lighting people and the particular challenge when we introduce movement.
Episode 3: Movement — The biggest difference between photography and film is movement. It’s not just how we move but why. In this lesson, Philip explains the reasoning behind movement in filmmaking. We will look at the different styles of movement, from basic handheld to gimbals, as well as movement within the frame. We’ll then look at how lens choice mixed with angle and composition affects what we see on camera and our sense of movement. We will also look at different framing choices and how the 180-degree rule informs the entering and leaving of the frame. Finally, we will follow Philip as he plans to block out a large one-shot moving sequence.
Episode 4: Sequences — In photography, everything depends on that single image, however, in film no single image stands on its own. In filmmaking, everything we see on screen is a sequence, and understanding how we construct them is essential to filmmaking. In this episode, Philip explores how to plan out sequential stories. We discuss how the unique art and psychology of filmmaking can be seen, mastered and broken including the all-important 180-degree rule. Learn how editing starts before we even begin filming and follow Philip to see his process as he creates various sequences.
Episode 5: Story and Narrative — It’s stories that make us watch films, without them our attention span is very limited. As a species, we communicate through stories and have passed down our history and lessons for millennia. In this modern age where we have so much content around us, the story is even more important, as a good story will make your work stand out in a sea of noise. In the past four episodes, we have looked at all the key elements that differentiate photography from filmmaking. In this episode, Philip puts it all into practice in real-world situations, showing how we go about making entire films both personal and commercial.
Episode 6: Post-Production — One of the biggest differences between photography and video is the amount of time you spend in post-production. Philip takes us through key post steps such as preparing and organizing your footage, pacing, and timing in editing and working with audio, music, and color, as well as general tips and tricks to get the best possible results.