Camera movement can be a powerful way to help tell your story in a video project. It can also ruin a video if the movement is unmotivated. That is the biggest takeaway we got from Vincent Laforet’s Directing Motion workshop in Washington DC.
Vincent is an incredibly talented Director and Director of Photography who has shot commercials for the likes of Nike, Mountain Dew and Volkswagen.
We showed up at 9:00 AM and immediately started to watch and breakdown scenes from some of the greatest directors and movies of all time. Directors like Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Alfonso Cuaron, Francis Ford Coppola among others. We would watch a scene and then Vincent would show it again and break down the camera movement and why it was there and what it added to the storytelling aspect of the film.
The rest of the day was broken down into blocks of live shoot demonstrations and more film study. After dinner Vincent took us through some one shot wonders. A one shot wonder, in case you are wondering, is an entire scene shot in one take with no cuts. Shots like the opening scene of Goodfellas and an amazing 12 minute scene in Children of Men.
After the one shot breakdowns Vincent went into a complete breakdown of his commercial for Nike, from the very first emails from the ad agency, through filming. The amount of work that went into this commercial was mind-boggling. Vincent and his team spent 10 months preparing and planning for the shoot which lasted only 3 days.
We left at 8:00 PM and walked across the street for dinner. It was a long day but we were pretty pumped about everything we saw and learned and immediately began discussing how we could take what we learned and start applying to our client’s video projects.
Here’s the trailer to the workshop.