this month we were featured as the filmmaker of the month for Zacuto. you can head on over to their website. if you’d like to hear more about how stillmotion started as well as an interview with P. about many things that have happened on our journey thus far. it’s been a crazy story of weddings to Emmy’s and if you’re interested in hearing more about how it all happened, we definitely recommend checking out the piece. thanks to Zacuto for featuring us!
after the feature hit Zacuto’s site, we had this great question submitted through our blog.
“After reading the Zacuto Featured Filmmakers story on Patrick Moreau and the stillmotion team, I’m further interested in how Mr. Moreau engages in psychology to tell stories and helps him understand the characters as well as their stories, while enabling him to use his equipment to tell those stories in a more relevant way and to capture his subjects’ most revealing moments. I see that Mr. Moreau will be speaking at the Vimeo Festival and Workshop in June but at the moment this is out of my budget. What other options would an aspiring filmmaker and resident of Sacramento, CA. have to learn more about this topic? I’d really appreciate hearing from you on this matter. Kind regards, Dean”
there are a couple big ways i’ve personally applied my background in psychology to my filmmaking. the first is in how i approach filmmaking and how much i value the experience or journey as much as what ends up on screen. i look at a piece like what we put together for Old Skool Cafe and i believe that so much of the heart in that piece comes through so strongly because of the relationships we had with everybody involved. we genuinely cared about their story, they knew how interested we were in telling their story, and we always took the time to really listen and hear what they were saying. it can be so easy when it comes to filmmaking to move at such a torrid pace that we forget how we are relating to others and… how much that connection really lets us get closer, makes it easier for them to open up, and allows the conversation to feel so much more like just that – a conversation. interviews are a great microcosm for our whole approach. if you look at any ‘great’ interview, and by that i mean one that you really feel the story and their is an earnestness to it, so much of that comes from not just the interviewee or what was asked, but also the flow and how it was said. i would then add to that and say that i am always using my background in psychology to look at how we interact with our everybody in the stories we tell and see if there are things we can do to make the process more enjoyable or to create a deeper connection. the more everybody on set really gets and understands what a project means to you and why you want to be a part of it, the more they too feel connected and will do what they can to help out.
when it comes to tools and the actual filming a story in a relevant way, i feel like my background has made it much easier to really feel a person through the camera movement, lens choice, or colour, as an example. we often joke about relating the personality of a bride to a specific lens that feels like her. we care about all of the stories we tell and as part of that process we start feeling what tools really reflect them. taking that time to really ask questions and to listen before you decide how you are going to approach something was such a huge evolution for us and absolutely a huge part of getting us to where we are. i can remember a time when we would shoot quite a few weddings every year and we would pack the exact same set of gear each week. our approach didn’t change with each couple as we weren’t really taking the time to ask the right questions or to listen to them, in terms of who they really are, and so there was no reason to take a steadicam for one shoot and leave the slider, or vice versa. the more we get to know everybody involved in our stories, the more we can really start to get a sense of what shots, compositions, colour, movement, and lenses would be relevant. if you look at the Alvaro Quiros piece we shot for Callway, that is a great example where the compositions are more edgy, the colour palette more vibrant, and there is a lot more steadicam and energy in the shots compared to other pieces all because it fit who we knew Alvaro to be. even the soundtrack echoed his personality. compare everything in that piece to another profile we did on Gary Player, one shot only weeks apart and both for Callaway. there is a huge difference in how they were approached and it was a direct result of that listening phase and interpreting these people through everything we do.
if you’re interested in looking at these pieces side by side to get a better sense of our approach, here is Alvaro Quiros and Gary Player
as for your last question about workshops or other events to hear more about some of these ideas, we just announced EVO 5.0 which will be held in our California studio in November. if that is not your cup of tea, we’ll be launching an educational tour in the coming weeks and we’ll be right in your area. the whole premise of the tour is right up the alley of everything discussed here so please check back and hopefully you can join us in late 2012.