Visual Storytelling Tour

SimonKJones ModeratorWebsite User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
Hello chums! I stumbled across the Visual Storytelling Tour earlier while perusing Vincent Laforet's blog. It sounds like a rather marvellous touring training unit run and hosted by the cinematographer from SNL:
Have any of you had the opportunity to take part in this? It's touring various cities around the US currently. I'm quite tempted to fork out for the DVD, even though it's pretty expensive.


  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    edited July 2013
    Simon I took it.  THATS the workshop I did on Tuesday when it came to San Diego.   I did the full crew experience and it was great.  That's what prompted the become a better filmmaker thread.  Instead of buying the dvds if you would be willing to pay for shipping back and forth you could borrow my dvds.  I got a the normal full day dvd included and then I won the visual story tour.  They said they were authoring the dvds and they will ship out in the next week or two.  ALSO, Saturday is when they are in LA I believe... so if you know one of the hitfilm guys out here has a burning desire and burning cash he could always go.

    Oh and It came with the visual style book which I haven't delved into.
    To see the movi in action was great.
  • Sci Fi Ecstasy Channel
    Sci Fi Ecstasy Channel Website User Posts: 48
    Very cool. It's a shame I just found this thread. This workshop was in Phoenix on the 14th.... Bummer.
  • Keegan
    Keegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    I'll be at the San Francisco evening workshop if anyone else is going!
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Keegs are you going for the full session?  If so, are you going did you register early enough to be part of the cast and crew?
  • Keegan
    Keegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Nah. Just the evening workshop. Didn't know i'd be in San Fran until a few weeks ago, so all the full session stuff was sold out :p
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Well the night session is pretty good because it can really add depth to someone's directors skills.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Michael - ah! I hadn't put two and two together, even though I'd seen your other topic.
    Hopefully he'll come to the UK with his stuff one day, though given his busy schedule that seems like a slim possibility.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Yea he is doing this while SNL is on its summer break.  At least you guys get a lot of Philip Bloom tours over there.
  • Keegan
    Keegan Website User Posts: 294 Just Starting Out
    Okay - wow. I expected to learn a lot during the seminar but almost my entire outlook on film-making has changed because of it. It really helped show me what separates a professional production from an amateur one, as well as what separates a good movie from a great movie. 
    A good chunk of the seminar was focusing on the fact that you don't need a huge camera with a matte box and a sled and thousands of dollars worth of lights to get a professional, cinematic look to your film. In one demo, he re-lit a scene using a $36 (€27.1) rig.he bought at Home Depot (An american Hardware chain).  He also spent a good hour going over how to get the absolute best results out of your DSLR camera. 

    On a slightly related note, When I was in San Francisco, I happened upon a book called Master Shots Vol 1. Its this amazing tool for beginning and moderate filmmakers that shows you step-by-step directions on more advanced camera techniques. Here's the Amazon Link. If you click the 'Search Inside" button below the picture, you can see a lot of the examples for free, so its worth a look!
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    I went and im still reeling because it was a great seminar. 
    I actually bought Master Shots Volume 2: Shooting Great Dialogue Scenes and I like the book because it gives ideas but I feel like its too try to just copy every scenes (they do break down some of the thought behind why the scene was set up that way) but does not talk about the over all film you are trying to create.  So you can copy a bunch of shots from famous people thanks to this book but never have your own voice as a filmmaker.  Though after the seminar I would say this book is a great complimentary tool... just like The Visual Story book that his lecture on visual elements is based on.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Philip Bloom has the best quote which applies to so much in filmmaking.
    "I am going to give you an analogy. It may work, it may not. So if it totally fails I apologise!
    You have a large room to paint and you are painting it white. There are some hairline cracks on the walls on top of the dirty walls. One coat of normal paint will cover most of it but not all, a second coat will be needed, but if you stand back and look you will mostly likely not be able to tell that not all the cracks are filled in. It looks great to the casual observer. Also, you have been hired to just give it a quick spruce up with one coat as that’s all the owner wants. It’s being sold, he doesn’t want a fortune spent on it. He just wants the job done quickly and efficiently. So what do you do?
    You have available to you the following methods of painting the room but must select only one:
    1: A roller with one-coat paint that fills in those hairline cracks
    2: A large brush with one-coat paint same as above
    3: A medium to small brush with one coat paint same as above
    4: Light polyfilla to fill the cacks. Sanding paper. A small  brush to be used with undercoat and normal paint that requires 2-3 coats on top of the undercoat
    In an ideal world I would combine a roller using “Dulux one-coat” which gets the job done fast and the medium to small brush for those awkwards spots. This will get the job done brilliantly despite adequate being all that is required. I have no desire to do things that are just “good enough”, I want it to be as good as I can get it in the alloted time and 1+3 would do it for me.
    But I have to choose one so I go with number 1 and i am just really careful on the edges to make them as close as possible. So be gentle on those bits and you will be ok….
    Alternatively, you could go completely the other way and use number 4. Utter overkill for the job, making things really slow and painful. Probably taking 10 times longer to do and yes the end result is great but will only ever be viewed from a distance so totally waster as it looks no better than option 1, yet you put yourself through this thinking the most precise and controlled option is what is needed. It was not."
    -Philip Bloom
    When it comes to making film its very easy for people to want to do go all out and use every option to create a "masterpiece."  Even if you are working on your own pet project learning how to chose the best options and balance out the desire to go all out with reality.  Does every rock that's going to be never seen in great detail need a custom model high rez model? or does this vfx desert need 1 high rez rock in the front and some low rez filler in the back? Do I need a Black Magic Production Camera when I am only doing internet videos?
    I personally have had to force myself to think like a producer and limit the tools and the techniques I am going to employ and its saved me greatly.  Justice kept getting delayed because I was trying to do everything so perfectly that I kept scrapping things in post.  I pretty much wanted to use Da Vinci Resolve and qualify every color just so it could be perfect.  Its hard to step back and realize the important limits that you gotta put in place.  At the end of the day we think of classics as these great pieces of film that we will always remember but if you get candid interviews with the director and or writer you find out that there was a lot of stuff they were not happy about how it turned out.  You can spend years trying to craft everything perfectly and never come close.
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