to us, education is distilling a concept or idea down to it’s simplest form, and then bringing it back up to a point where we as filmmakers can make relevant and meaningful decisions to the stories we’re telling.
for instance, if someone asks us what specific light modifier should they be using for a particular shot? before we can truly answer that, they need to understand what each modifier is going to do. before we can teach that, they need to understand the qualities of light, and before we can teach that, they need to know what a stop of light actually is and how it’s measured. only after all that can we truly answer the first question in a way that’s relevant to the story they’re trying to tell.
we take that concept and apply it to all of our education. start what, move to how, and end with why. the idea is quite simple, but in order to make educated decisions as a filmmaker, you have to know what you’re going to be saying if you make a certain decision, and only then can you determine if that’s the right decision to make.
just providing the solution but not explaining all of the other aspects of the question will not provide a solid foundation to make the next educated decision on your own. whether we’re teaching about lenses, light, camera movement, storytelling or editing, every decision you make along the way matters and it’s our goal with education to empower you to make educated decisions at every step of your production. it’s going to mean more powerful stories, with each frame saying exactly what you want it to say.
while we’re educating, we carry this concept over in a number of ways. the first being live demonstration (either demos by us or hands on training with you) – the what’s and hows – the concept of light and what a stop of light is can be rather difficult to understand by reading a bunch of text. but set up a light, bring in a model in, and pull out a light meter and all of a sudden the concept becomes much easier to understand. in addition, while we’re there we can also talk about the inverse square law and just how it applies to light loss or gain depending on how you move your light – again, a concept that’s difficult to understand, unless you see it happening right in front of you. the same goes with the physics of a steadicam – we can talk all we want about how to properly operate a steadicam, but it’s all very moot until you’re physically in on and we’re teaching you the ins and outs while you’re flying a rig.
next we share finished clips – a concept is only a concept until you see it being employed in a real life film. look at how the light is shaped in this particular shot and how that light makes you feel about the subject. look at how this shot goes handheld in the middle and how you feel much more uneasy as a viewer as soon as that happens. look at how not every sequence needs to have a wide, medium, tight, and how much more interested in the details you become as viewer as a result of the back to back tight shots. it’s about showing the hows and discussing the whys.
of course, while we’re showing live demos and sharing clips, we’re also projecting accompanying text – it’s absolutely crucial to bringing points home and making sure you can jot points down in a way that will spark ideas the next time you open up your note pad or turn on your camera.
by the end, you will see a concept in a real life situation, you will see the concept employed in a finished clip with an accompanying explanation, and you will have a notebook full of words, phrases, concepts and stories that relate to the each concept taught. to us, that’s an educational event that’s going to put you in a place to take your filmmaking to the next level – whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or experienced filmmaker, there are takeaways at every step.
interested in attending on of our educational events? click on the education tab at the top to see where and when we’re speaking. while you’re at it, click here to enter a contest to win (2) tickets to KNOW by stillmotion and a one hour 1 on 1 mentorship with us. the contest closes tomorrow morning!
this post is a continuation of our educational post series. click here to view the first post.