This weekend I began to build the workload for this next assignment. As a reminder I'm looking to understand the role in which a layout and story artist duties overlap. So, for this project I started of thinking that this would be a great chance to layout and stage it in the way the Coen Brothers would. So, I began by watching Barton Fink, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, and True Grit on Friday to better understand how to utilize the environment, for how the acting should take place by the father and daughter duo in Paper Moon.
On Saturday, I created a shot analysis for the sequence above, to work out way Peter Bogdanovich's choice for certain camera lens and their emotional impact. Which reminded me that Roger Deakin was responsible for most of the films the Coen Brothers have made to date. So after digging around, I discovered this great piece by Premium Beat's Johnathan Paul entitled 10 Tips from Master Cinematographer Roger Deakins.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
SIX TIPS FROM DEAKINS
Luckily for us, Deakins loves connecting with other cinematographers and giving advice whenever he can. He does most of this through his website forum where he answers questions and give tips, tricks, and general advice. Cinematographers from around the world flock to his site hoping to learn more about their craft.
We’ve pulled a few of our favorite cinematography tips straight from the cinema master’s mouth. We believe these useful tips will aid you as you embark on your career or your next production.
1. Learn to Be Selective
Video from Cinefii Channel
2. The Importance of Lighting
3. Embrace Documentary
When working with documentary film, you have to be quick on your feet. You’ve got to find the action and frame it at any given moment. This is definitely something that has aided Roger Deakins throughout his career.
"You work with the light that’s available and create something with what you have at hand. It teaches you how to be quick in terms of setting the frame and finding the angle and reading what’s happening – reading the development of what’s going on in front of you."
Video from AFIFEST
4. Stay With the Character and Story
Video from FoxSearchlight
6. Find Your Style
Image: Deakins on the set of The Village
It’s likely you have one or two master filmmakers that you just absolutely love, but make sure you aren’t just copying what those filmmakers do. Incorporate their techniques into your own style while working toward finding your cinematic voice.
You can’t learn your craft by copying me or anyone else. I hope what I do can do is in some way inspire others but I would be appalled if I though my work was being studied as ‘the right way to do the job’. – Roger Deakins via Revl8.
SUBMISSION AND CAVEATS
Well... taking on the challenge of trying to pull of storyboarding in the blocking style of the Coen brothers has been fun. However, I feel I spent to much time doing research when I could have been working on backgrounds. The character designing, plotting of blocking and camera angels, and acting portion of my research went quickly. Yet, I needed at least 10 solid hours to work out background designs and bring them to life; which I hadn't planned on. The major reason for the time is due to the amount of polish I wanted to showcase, as well as moving from paper to Wacom was a bit of a curve.
So, for this assignment I decided to focus just on Pray and his lines. Once, I have time I'll focus on the other character's and board their preformances.
For my next assignment I want to continue to pull from my influences and try to showcase my interpretation, since I'm putting this work into my portfolio. But, this time I plan on simplify things first and using character designs that have already been tested on the big screen. Anyway, here's the final version, that I'll be revisiting to polish up more at a later time. Enjoy!
Also, here's a little bit of wisdom that I learned from Craig "NEVER ask for extensions to your deadlines. Let the higher up's be the only ones who do that..."