I was introduced to the world of filmmaking by a friend of mine who was a cinematographer. She said, ‘Have you ever taken notes while you’re working on a big project?’
It turns out we could do more good using this shorthand method of keeping a notebook and writing down everything that’s going on in the movie.
You could have a shot of something, and just write down all these small details. As the director, just having a notebook is much more valuable than any reference you might have on screen.
When you’re shooting, when it’s a sequence where you’re not writing down on the screen, you’ll never get that information.
Now, I’ll say what’s true: No one has ever produced a good film without taking notes for the whole day. (In this case, that was my wife, who’s a writer, when she wrote the screenplay for ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ which was a big part of the inspiration for this entire series.)
And that’s a big part of the reason why I’m doing this series.
‘How To’ isn’t meant to be an online course. It’s meant to be an online community where a lot of filmmakers (who may not get on the phone, or through emails) can come together to share their ideas for the next feature, take questions and learn.
I’ll do my best to answer the questions asked during the course.
But before we get started, I want to point out a couple caveats.
First, I’m NOT trying to be a professor. Not at all. I’m merely interested in sharing my own ideas and letting all the filmmakers who’ll be using this course know how to build on them to produce better films.
Second, a great teacher (like Robert Altman) has to have a certain amount of humility and openness about his students. I guess I would consider myself more of a professor than a teacher.
Third, this is a self-directed course, so some ideas I’ll be teaching you. You’re expected to take the ideas I’ll teach you in your own way, and come up with your own. If you do it properly, you’ll find I’m a little more specific in what I recommend than others might be.
I hope you agree with me that this is a great place to start. There isn’t a shortcut to filmmaking.
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