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Erkki

Filmmaking

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Erkki   

Lately I'm trying to get into making extra short films/videos besides shooting photos. However, it seems exponentially harder and more demanding, as photography is just a tiny part of it. Any recommendations for learning material? I've been watching some YT channels occasionally, like DSLRguide.

 

Is https://www.masterclass.com/ a legit thing? A Werner Herzog class for 90$ sounds like a good deal, but for some reason they are declining my card, even if I go through PayPal.

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Erkki   

Good question. I'm not sure exactly. I'm currently stuck in not having a solid idea of what to shoot and what kind of films should I do. I want to make short films of maybe 3 to 5 minutes, but I don't have a lot of extra time so I don't want to just shoot garbage and then think what kind of film to put together from it (which is what I've done so far, mostly).

 

One idea I have is to do a very short city symphony film of Tallinn, a'la "The Man with a Movie Camera". But I only have some vague ideas what I'd like it to be like and I don't even know what to do to put together a plan of shots.

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Ben X   

I don't know if anyone will be able to teach you what kind of films you want to make...

 

If you want to do a 'city symphony' film, I'd say the best thing to do is think of stuff you find interesting in the city, go out and film it, then try editing it to a piece of music. Do you have a message about the city or a particular element that you'd want to highlight? If so, use that to hone in on what would be good to shoot. Maybe spend a day walking round the city getting ideas.

 

If you want to do narrative stuff, a good place to start is what resources you have - locations, actors, etc, then write something simple around that. 

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Erkki   

I know I can't directly learn all that from someone, but I can get inspiration from taking a class. I actually already took a real world 4-day class last month, and it got me moving forward, but it was kind of expensive.

 

I went ahead and bought this. I at least like to watch Herzog speaking (even though I think he was pretty vile when using animal torture in his movies), I might learn something, and I think the assignments will give me some momentum.

 

[edit] From the second lesson the first watch recommendations are mostly to early racist films like Birth of a Nation, The Mask of Fu Manchu, which I've avoided so far... I hope it gets better.

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Ben X   

Keep us updated! I'm definitely curious as to how good those Masterclass things are, as I've seen them advertised for a while now.

 

I'm guessing those watch recommendations are because those early films are credited with being the first to use certain editing techniques etc..?

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Erkki   

Ok, well, so far the Werner Herzog masterclass is a bit overwhelming. There are PDFs accompanying the short video lectures and in the first one they recommend NOT to watch the lectures in one row, skipping the assignments. And they give a suggested schedule of 7 weeks. However, the first week with 5 lectures seems to contain a tremendous amount of work if you really want to do the assignments properly and also watch the recommended films.

 

Firstly, the PDFs give some recommendations on what films to watch, and the first one recommends 7 Werner Herzog films (of which 2 I've already seen).

 

The second lesson recommends The Mask of Fu Manchu, The Beast of the City, Sporting Blood and Birth of a Nation. These are more of a recommendations, but the assignment is to dig into film culture of Iran, silent era Germany & Italian neorealism and finding commonalities. I'm not sure exactly if it should mean reading about those eras or also watching the films.

 

The third lesson assignment is to read The Peregrine, copy 5 pages by hand and then write 20 pages about something in similar style.

 

It seems to me that it will take me more than a week to do all this and then I'll be over the hump of week 1. Maybe I'm a bit overwhelmed because I almost haven't read any books in several years and the third lesson is all about READ READ READ. And I also haven't written anything for a while...

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