Jacob T. Swinney’s First and Final Frames videos show the collaboration of filmmakers. Unless it’s in the shooting script it’d be almost impossible to know in every film featured when these opening and closing shots came together to complete the arc of the story. I imagine the final results are the credit of either the screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, or editors (or some combination of those).
In less than an hour these hand picked videos I found on the Internet give you a sweeping overview of sound recording (mostly from the perspective of boom operating) for film & Tv—as well as webisodes, and video production in general. And, of course, it covers one of the most iconic pieces of equipment found on an set—the boom mic set-up which normally consists of a shotgun mic, boom pole, shock mount, windscreen/windshield, and an XLR cord or plug-on wireless transmitter.
And few things are as recognizable on a set as a boom operator with headphones on a set holding the boom set-up in the air. It’s a hard job— even when the boom poles these days are lightweight carbon fiber—and a learned skill. And on electronic news gathering (ENG), documentary, short films, corporate work, and low-budget features the audio person is often working solo meaning they are working the mixer as well as operating the boom.
It’s work that’s tough on the arms, hard on back, all for the sake of making the sound sweet to the ears. Hug a sound guy or gal today.
In keeping with Sydney Lumet’s quote that “moviemaking works very much like an orchestra” today’s post is a video that looks a little more into cinematography. Beyond having an appreciation for those that help translate screenplays into visual images, this video will help you think cinematically.
With an army of film schools grads, others workshops trained, and perhaps even more self-taught all over the world—with their own cameras—teaming up with one of them is a great way to get your words turned into short films, websiodes, and features.
Everyone aspires to do better work so keep an eye out for a cinematographer who has honed his or her craft working on award-winning corporate videos and commercials but would love to team up with someone like you to mix up their reel and help them move into more narrative work.
P.S. And for good measure here’s look at a few more lights and shadows by cinematographer Roger Deakins.
10 Cinematography Tips by Roger Deakins
Here’s an overview of cinematography by RocketJump’s Creative Director Mike Symonds:
“All of the individual contributions from all the different departments add up to a total far greater than their individual parts. Moviemaking works very much like an orchestra: the addition of various harmonies can change, enlarge, and clarify the nature of the theme.”
Director Sidney Lumet (The Verdict)
My last post was a quote by Sidney Lumet about how all of the film departments ideally come together to make something greater “than their individual parts.” So I thought I’d take some time in the coming days to find some excellent examples that show what various department on film & Tv sets bring to the production world.
The following comments are from five time Oscar-nominated writer/director Sidney Lumet (The Verdict, Dog Day Afternoon, Prince of the City, 12 Angry Men, Network):
“When I first meet with the screenwriter, I never tell him anything, even if I feel there’s a lot to be done. Instead I ask him the same question I’ve asked myself: What is the story about? What did you see? What was your intention? Ideally, if we do this well, what do you hope the audience will feel, think, sense? In what mood do you want them to leave the theater?
“We are two different people trying to combine our talents, so it’s critical that we agree on the intention of the screenplay. Under the best circumstances, what will emerge is a third intention, which neither of us saw at the beginning….[Arthur Miller] said that he loved seeing what his work evoked in others. The result could contain revelations, feelings, and ideas that he never knew existed when he wrote the play. It’s what we all hope for.
“…Of course, the original intent is present. But all of the individual contributions from all the different departments add up to a total far greater than their individual parts. Moviemaking works very much like an orchestra: the addition of various harmonies can change, enlarge, and clarify the nature of the theme.”
Sidney Lumet (1924-2011)
Pages 29-30, 46
“All plays are about lies. A misimagined or misdescribed situation is presented to the hero, and he must either uncover the lie that engendered it (Hamlet) or strive to create those lies he thinks will extract him from the situation (All My Sons). When the lie is revealed, the play is over.”
Theatre, page 61