The power of suggestion is used by movie directors in filmmaking to suggest ideas to an audience that might not be accurate. When directing films, filmmakers can use cinematic sleight of hand to convince audiences that the set is bigger than it is, or that the world is bigger than it seems, or that a certain truth is a reality, only to surprise the audience later in the film.
- It's important to remember that visual storytelling…is about creating illusions for the audience.…Perhaps the most common illusion in film…is that characters actually had conversations in real time,…when in reality we stitch together conversations…from pieces of multiple takes,…perhaps even filmed days or weeks apart.…Using the power of suggestion,…filmmakers can convince the audience of a false reality.…We see this all the time in movies and TV shows…that are set in one city but filmed in another,…like how iZombie is set in Seattle…but actually films in nearby Vancouver, BC,…or how The Killing was set in Seattle but shot in Vancouver,…or how Grey's Anatomy and Frasier…were set in Seattle but, yeah, you get the picture.…
But note how they create the illusion…that they film in Seattle.…They show stock footage and establishing shots in Seattle…and they talk about Seattle…in their conversations, so we believe them.…Stock video can really be a great tool.…In a film I made called When Harry Made Sally,…I got a few shots of me with these cheap thrift store…
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 Appropriate for all
Creating a Short Film: 04 Working with Actorswith Chad Perkins1h 49m Appropriate for all
Creating a Short Film: 01 Producingwith Chad Perkins1h 6m Appropriate for all
Creating a Short Film: 02 Writingwith Chad Perkins3h 17m Appropriate for all
Up and Running with DSLR Filmmakingwith Chad Perkins1h 10m Appropriate for all
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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