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Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers

Book Description

To remain relevant and in demand in today’s visually driven world, image makers must learn to craft both still photographs and motion in order to attract clients. While there are many similarities between photography and cinematography, there are key aspects of shooting motion—such as sound and camera movement, to name just two—that are uncharted territory for most photographers. In Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers: The Fundamental Principles of Transitioning from Stills to Motion, Emmy Award–winning photographer and filmmaker Eduardo Angel helps you begin your journey to becoming as capable and confident with creating works of motion as you are with photographing still images.
Filmmaking Essentials for Photographers covers a wide range of tools, techniques, resources, and tips that offer practical input on how to transition to motion. This is not an in-depth book on editing, directing, or even lighting. Instead, the goal of this book is to cover the fundamental aspects of filmmaking from a straightforward nuts-and-bolts perspective. You will learn all about:

    • How to switch to a “filmmaker’s brain”: engage with a crew, understand the director’s and director of photography’s roles, and work with a script, shot lists, and storyboards
    • The basics of composition for motion: framing continuous shots, establishing a scene, and creating perspective and movement
    • The role of lighting, including how it is used to tell a story and how it directs the viewer’s attention
    • The crucial part that sound plays in motion, including music and soundscapes
    • How to use the right gear for the job: from cameras and lighting gear to microphones, rigs, and key accessories
    • The art and craft of editing: the post-production workflow, how to organize your assets, and how to deconstruct the editing process
    • Color theory and how you can use it to enhance the story you are telling
    • How to do more with less—no matter the budget

Increasingly, opportunities come to those who can create content for clients that need both stills and motion. To that end, the final chapter of the book covers those business opportunities that will open up to you with your newfound skills in motion: from multimedia projects, educational content, and interviews, to independent short films, stock video footage, and commercials.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction Transitioning into Motion: Why and Why Now?
  2. Chapter 1 Similarities and Differences Between Stills and Motion
    1. Understanding the Traditional Steps in Video Productions
    2. Learning to Speak Filmmaking
    3. The Five C’s of Cinematography
      1. 1. Camera Angles: Objective, Subjective, Point-of-View, Subject Size, Subject Angle, Camera Height
      2. 2. Continuity: Cinematic Time and Space, Filming Action, Master Scenes, Screen Direction, Transitional Devices
      3. 3. Cutting: Types of Editing, Cross-Cutting, Cutting on Action
      4. 4. Close-ups: Over-the-Shoulder, Cut-in, Cutaway
      5. 5. Composition: Rules, Language, Types of Balance, Attracting or Switching the Center of Interest
    4. Building the Visual Story
    5. Writing the Script
    6. Visualizing the Story
    7. Storyboards
    8. Shot Lists
    9. Budgeting
    10. Getting the Work to Flow
  3. Chapter 2 Switching to a Filmmaker’s Brain
    1. Eduardo’s Pre-Production Checklist
    2. Location Scouting
      1. Location Scouting Apps
      2. Location Permits
    3. With and Without a Crew
      1. Who’s Who in a Film Crew
      2. Random Thoughts on Working with Crews and on Film Sets
  4. Chapter 3 Filmmaking Styles
    1. Script Writing Styles
    2. Directing Styles
    3. Frame Rate
    4. Shutter Speed
    5. Setups
    6. Homework Assignment
  5. Chapter 4 Framing Your Shot: The Basics of Composition
    1. Objective versus Subjective Shots
    2. Point of View
    3. Shot Sizes
    4. Selecting a Perspective
    5. Breaking the Rules of Composition
      1. Breaking the Rule of Thirds
      2. Breaking Proportion and Scale
      3. Breaking the Fourth Wall
    6. Homework Assignment
  6. Chapter 5 Camera Movement
    1. Developing an Appreciation for Movement
    2. Handholding the Camera
    3. Tripods and Monopods
    4. Creating More Dynamic Compositions
    5. Choosing the Right Tool
    6. Choosing the Right Lens
    7. Homework Assignment
  7. Chapter 6 The Art of Lighting: Creating New Worlds
    1. Why Lighting is Essential
    2. Using Light as a Storytelling Element
    3. Natural versus Artificial Light
    4. More Lighting Techniques from the Trenches
    5. Eduardo’s Recommendations
    6. Homework Assignment
  8. Chapter 7 Why Sound Makes All the Difference
    1. The Ear, Not the Eye, Leads the Senses
    2. Using Sound Effects
    3. Licensing Music
    4. Working with a Composer
    5. Explore Different Ways to Capture Audio
    6. Eduardo’s Recommendations
    7. Homework Assignment
  9. Chapter 8 The Tools of the Trade
    1. Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Higher Resolutions
    2. Leveraging Smartphone Apps
    3. External Recorders
      1. Standard Features
      2. Longer Recording Times
      3. Recording Audio
      4. Standardizing Codecs
      5. Using LUTs
    4. Traveling with Video Gear
    5. Eduardo’s Recommendations
  10. Chapter 9 Shooting Interviews
    1. Interviews: Technical Tips
    2. Interviews: Practical Tips
      1. Interview Structure
      2. Before the Interview
      3. During the Interview
      4. After the Interview
    3. Homework Assignment
  11. Chapter 10 The Art of Editing Is Crafting a Story
    1. Creating a Post-Production Workflow
      1. Deconstructing the Editing Process
      2. Organizing Your Assets
      3. Syncing Clips and Sound
    2. Building a Sequence
    3. Selecting the Best Takes
    4. Additional Shooting, aka Reshooting
    5. Backing Up
      1. Backing Up on Location
      2. Backing Up in the Studio
    6. The Importance of Teasers and Trailers
    7. Eduardo’s Recommendations
    8. Homework Assignment
  12. Chapter 11 Color Theory and the Human Brain
    1. Using Color to Enhance Your Stories
    2. Viewing Environment and Monitor Calibration
    3. Exploring Color Correction Options
      1. My Typical Color Grading Workflow
    4. Eduardo’s Recommendations
    5. Homework Assignment
  13. Chapter 12 Distributing Your Work
    1. The DIY Approach
    2. Submitting Movies to Film Festivals
    3. Eduardo’s Recommendations
    4. Homework Assignment
  14. Closing Remarks On Cooking and Filmmaking