THE MASTER COURSE
This page is a tiny sampling of the almost a thousand techniques covered by
The Master Course In High-End Blocking & Staging. Enjoy!
To see full contents, please visit the Chapter List.
The two chapters included here deal with two very simple but extremely useful moves. The first one - Pivoting - is to rotate a shot around a character, either to follow another character, or to reveal someone.
TRACK: CLOSE PUSH
A Close Push is in itself easy to do, and looks great. But there's a lot of meaning communicated in when and how we push, and if we do close pushes solely to create production-value, we can end up sending some very mixed signals and make a scene seem flat.
The purpose of this chapter is to have close pushes be as motivated as possible by creating a list of meanings to look for.
EXCERPT FROM "SCRIPT STAGING: NOT A SUSPECT"
One of the concerns of the course is to get away from storyboards, which force us to think sequentially and do very choppy blocking, and instead block in parallel with cameras that are aware of and complement each other.
In this excerpt from Volume V, each camera depends heavily on the others, which produces very cohesive blocking, and a fairly complex scene using only 6 setups.
BLOCKING WITH MODELS
Models are not just the most patient actors, there's a very particular reason The Master Course uses them: They are completely expressionless. As we work with dynamics between the characters and blocking camera moves, all emotions must be coming from the camera work.
Working with models is incredibly educational, because the effect of every technique becomes so clear. As soon as we separate the acting performance from the camera work, we get a much deeper understanding of how the camera work infers thoughts and feelings.
BLOCKING IN 3D
Learning Directing in 3D is a unique approach that is superior to any current method. Blocking techniques become extremely clear, we can quickly superimpose visual aids such as lines and field-of-view, and visualize many cameras at once when they're designed to work together.
3D is really the ideal environment for learning camera work, and makes advanced techniques obvious. Without the need for wrestling with diagrams in a book, we immediately get to see every technique, both from the camera's perspective, and how it fits into the mechanics of the scene.
NEW: Buy individual DVD volumes!
"Everything a Director needs to know about camera work is brilliantly presented. It's film school in a box."
Sam Simon, Writer / Producer / Director, The Simpsons, Cheers, The Drew Carey Show, Taxi, The Tracey Ullman Show, Friends. 9 time Emmy®-Winner.
"...Hollywood Camera Work is a true hardcore learning course. I give it a Must Buy Recommendation."
Digital Media Net - Review
"The Hollywood Camera Work DVD course is THE definitive reference for scene blocking & staging. It is clearly the most comprehensive & effective learning tool available to help filmmakers of any level increase the cinematic value of their scenes. It's brilliant!"
Brad Blackbourn, DreamWorks Animation, Head Of Pre-Viz, Kung Fu Panda (2008), Director of Photography, Flushed Away (2006)
"Honestly folks, it doesn't get any better than this. The Master Course in High-End Blocking and Staging is the benchmark reference for any discussion in this area."
Animation World - Review
"Hollywood Camera Work is hands down the most informative and complete DVD collection on the market. Basics to advanced topics are clearly
explained and easy to understand through use of animated previsualization style examples. The Master Course In High-End Blocking And Staging has changed the way I plan and execute my scenes.
David Weinstein, Director / PreVis Artist / Animator, Star Wars: Episode 2, Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions, Narnia 1 & 2, Monster House
"The whole program is wonderful! I've directed four feature films, produced eight features -- was the VP of Production at 20th Century Fox for 4 1/2 years and I still learned a ton from watching the videos!
I recently directed Behind Enemy Lines 2, and I would fall asleep at night watching your videos so that I would dream about the techniques! Great stuff!!"
Jim Dodson, Director, Behind Enemy Lines 2, Vice President of Production, 20th Century Fox
"HOLY SNAPPING PLATYPUS CRAP! These are amazing! I am REALLY blown away!!!!"
David Hague - Managing Editor VideoCamera Publications Oceania Editor for Digital Media Net
"Hollywood Camera Work is the ultimate 'When to, Why to and How to' instructional tool for directing and cinematography in live action or CGI. It should be required viewing in order to graduate from any film school. Where was this DVD set when I was going to film school? Of course, I had no way of watching it back in 1979."
Keith Alcorn – Co-Executive Producer / Director, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, The Ant Bully (DNA), Academy Award Nominee