Working with light: Light clocks

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1y Oct 21, 2019

This is an extract from Episode 2: Working with Light. Part of my new filmmaking masterclass for MZED which I have been working on for the past year!

The first two episodes are out with new episodes every two weeks.

You can buy the 6 part course here: http://bit.ly/mzedbloom

Full description of the course:

The ultimate guide for photographers transitioning into film and video has arrived on MZed, with Philip Bloom's long-awaited Filmmaking for Photographers masterclass available to purchase now.

Following on from his acclaimed Cinematic Masterclass, this course is aimed at established photographers but includes new techniques, practice, and workflows that make it equally relevant to filmmakers alike.

The first lesson, "Setup and Audio" is already available and new lessons will be added every two weeks - see below to discover what you can learn in this incredible cinematic course from MZed.

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. Editing video can be very time-intensive, even for experienced filmmakers. In this episode, Philip takes us through key post steps such as preparing and organising 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. Philip will also explore how the film you plan, shoot and edit can be different, and how a flexible approach to this in your workflow process can elevate your films to a new level.

About Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom is a world-renowned filmmaker who, for the past 10 years of his 30-year career has specialized in creating incredible cinematic images no matter what the camera. Some of his most iconic work was created with Canon DSLRs.


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