There are very few times in my career when things just clicked. Those times when someone you met shares a golden nugget of information or something you find changes your complete philosophy about something, but that just happened to me yesterday. A few weeks ago I get an email from about 5 different manufacturers that I am subscribed to including Kessler Crane, Zacuto, and Canon about a class that was being offered by Vincent Laforet called Directing Motion. After you get a few of these you start to almost think of them as spam, but I decided to take a look. I admit I was skeptical about the class as I have been to a number of these classes where someone with way more experience than me was teaching something I knew I wanted to learn more about, but most times the ego of the person just repels me and I just have no interest in learning from them. Admittedly I have met Vincent on a number of occasions and I have never felt he was a very approachable person. You can’t just buddy up with everyone I suppose, but I digress.
Vincent Laforet ~ “I had 2 months to sit around after fracturing my arm in a dune buggy accident so I decided to watch over 600 of my favorite movies and take copious notes about how the motion of the camera was used…”
Now these weren’t just notes on what he liked, but what he didn’t like and why each director used camera motion to create emotion. This had to be paired down to about 50 real world examples of directors who used camera motion in one of two ways. Motivated and un-Motivated motion. To define this Motivated motion is that someone or something in the scene has motivated the camera to move. Consider the camera a piece of metal and the actors the magnet. If the camera motion is done Unmotivated this means one of two things, the director was taking you through the scene for a purpose, or it was a useless camera motion. Pan Left, Tilt Up, Boom Down, Parallax, Push in, Follow, Lead, Zolly (Zoom and Dolly combined), One Shot Wonders were not just terms, but dedicated camera moves with a purpose. Many of his examples naturally revolved around Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg who in their own rights have done amazing cinematography feats, so why not understand their decisions to use camera motion and why?
There were way more lessons I learned in this 12 hours course than what I can share on this post, but rest assured that camera motion will be applied and used to create the emotional connection I have dedicated my services to my clients for.