In the short film The Assurance, the motif of blur was used throughout to signify confusion, and how blur turning to focus represents clarity of thought and confidence. Motifs in filmmaking enrich the themes and ideas expressed. Specific examples of the blur motif in The Assurance are given in this tutorial on how to direct movies and using motifs in film.
- Perhaps my favorite motif in The Assurance…is the use of blur,…but it didn't start of as a motif,…even when we shot the film.…A lot of the time when you write or direct honestly…themes just have a way of showing up,…you might not notice them right away.…It's certainly the case with the blurriness…in The Assurance.…When I made the opening credits,…it just felt like there should be blur in each shot,…so I shot them with a shallow depth of field,…and then added even more blur in post-production,…and I honestly didn't know why at the time,…it just felt right.…I also added somewhat random blur…to this shot of Golhaten's helmet.…
Blur is also featured prominently when Cordea…learns about Teoni's power,…and later when she's discovered,…and there were a few shots that turned out too blurry…because I had to beam the camera up…and I was off on the focus.…This shot of Cordea wondering at night,…and even this important shot in the night scene.…Now, in every other case where a shot was this poorly done…I would either use another take,…
Watch and learn how to shoot a script, using visual motifs, atmospherics, framing, and different types of shots to tell the film's story. Find out how to give direction to your crew and be a good leader, while staying on budget and on schedule. Plus, get tips to improve shots during retakes or in post, and to become a better director, storyteller, and communicator.
Note: Like the rest of the Creating a Short Film series, this course was shot during the production of The Assurance. It offers a unique window into the actual struggles and challenges filmmakers have to overcome to get films made. Find the rest of the courses in the series on Chad's author page.
- What a director does
- Interpreting the script
- Scouting locations
- Choosing the tone and theme of the film
- Using motifs
- Shaping the story through visuals
- Being a good leader on set
- Respecting budgets and schedules
- Planning shots
- Moving the camera: on a tripod or dolly or in handheld shots
- Using rolling takes
- Framing shots
- Adding atmospherics
- Directing in post-production
- Becoming a better director
Skill Level Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 04 Working with Actorswith Chad Perkins1h 49m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 01 Producingwith Chad Perkins1h 6m Intermediate
Creating a Short Film: 02 Writingwith Chad Perkins3h 17m Intermediate
1. Preparing for Production
2. Themes and Tone
3. Shaping the Story
4. Running the Set
5. Planning Shots in a Scene
6. Getting the Shot
7. Improving the Shot
8. Directing in Post-Production
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