Who is this for?
This course is for filmmakers who want to make money producing films for businesses and non-profit organizations. I use these methods successfully to make great stories for my clients. My clients are annual accounts. This means they have a marketing budget that they invest with my company every year to get their messages out to their audiences and help them grow.
Who is this NOT for?
This is not for filmmakers who just want to make free films that they can share on facebook, twitter, and vimeo so their friends think they’re cool. I’m in the filmmaking business and I get paid to tell stories. This course teaches you how I make those films.
So let me tell you more
Thanks for taking a look at this filmmaking course. Unlike other popular online film schools, this premium filmmaking course features my methods of how to film, how to edit, how to interview, how to light interviews and B-Roll, and how to shoot b-roll, plus much more. My focus is to help you make films that make money. For those that don’t know me, I started out as an event filmmaker in 2000 and built my company up learning and screwing up until I shaped my style of filmmaking. 10 Years later I had earned 19 international creative awards along with being voted one of the top event filmmakers in the world (multiple years).
Around the same time I created a 2nd company called Pennylane Visuals which is now my full service video marketing, storytelling, and consulting agency for businesses and non-profits. My clients include Time Warner, Canon, Warner Bros. Make-A-Wish, Habitat For Humanity, Marriott, Rodemics, Roland, and more. Our flagship films are StoryFilms (the ones I will teach in this course). These emotional stories are constructed from powerful interview techniques and compelling visual B-roll to tell a focused story for a specific audience.
By 2017, 79% of internet traffic will be video and businesses know video is the most powerful form of marketing on earth. Yes, that thing that we do. Companies and non-profits spend 10’s of thousands of dollars every year using storytelling filmmakers that can execute this well and I’d like to help you do this.
Here are examples of films delivered to my clients using the techniques I will teach you in this course: Watch My Work
What should you expect from this filmmaking course?
- Lighting the Interview: Powerful yet easy system to get the most incredibly lit interviews. Characters look great in soft light and I will show you how to get super soft light in a fraction of the time it takes most. I demonstrate this with one of my random filmmaking attendees on the fly.
- Audio Production: I will show you how to attain the cleanest and strongest audio by teaching you the complex elements in a simple form. Watch my work to hear the quality the audio consistently. I used my background as a live and studio sound engineer (pre filmmaker days) to accomplish this.
- Composition of Interview: I discuss my method to working in difficult situations (tough rooms) with challenging backgrounds.
- Art of Interviewing: Once your characters is setup and ready to interview, there is an entire art and psychology to getting compelling dialogue and conversation. I will how you how to make the most boring corporate clients come alive during interviews.
- Filming the B-Roll: The visual B-Roll is what we use the cover most of the talking head interview. Compelling B-Roll can transform dialogue into another world of emotion. My 90/10 rule (90% B-roll, 10% Talking Head) ensures your client’s audience engage with the story every time. We discuss sequences, directing, and lighting the subjects with different tools to create inspiring visuals.
- Editing the Interview: Jump inside my timeline and watch me in action as I cut through the interview with commentary as to why I keep or cut every line of the dialogue. I will share my super fast shortcut method of how to edit video that saves me hours.
- Editing the B-roll: Using the same turbo cutting system, I will show you my method to madness cutting relevant footage for specific parts of the dialogue. Pacing and shot selection are important for ensuring the best sequence and story and I show you how I do this on the timeline.
- Music Editing: Understanding how music is constructed with set you apart from the crowd. Having a background in music industry as a songwriter, keyboardist, and music producer allows me to cut music in my sleep. I will show you how easy it is saving time and using some of my signature methods like big one, back editing.
- Coloring: Although this is not a coloring course, I dive into color correcting and grading your film using basic and advanced principles.
- Profiles and Scopes: Understanding profiles in your camera and knowing how far you can push it will make a huge difference in your films. We will cover the importance of dynamic range, how to dial in flat images to give you the most information. We will also discuss how to read waveforms and histograms.
Lighting the Interview
My favorite interview lighting. I believe that no matter who you interview, they will always look their best with high quality soft lighting. My method teaches you how to get an incredible and consistent look with lighting, no matter what room you setup in. In addition, this method is quick. Topics include:
- Composing interview shot
- Assessing room before setup
- Lighting setup
- 3 and 4 point lighting
- Color temperature
- Understanding IRE and different types of lights
- Shaping with light
- Proper exposure
Art of Interviewing
Watch as I conduct an unscripted and improvised interview with one of my attendees (randomly volunteered). Psychology plays a big role in extracting dialogue out of an interviewee. Watch as I influence the interviewee into answering questions that will shape your storyline I have already thought about. I’ll finish this section with a list of helpful tips to get the best results. Topics include:
- Working as a producer/interviewer
- Psychologically preparing your subject to comfort
- Choosing the right interviewee
- Interviewee’s wearing glasses
- Listening for the story
- Steering the dialogue without be noticed
- Editing in your head
- Secret tricks to getting emotional answers
- Working with nervous or difficult interviewees
Editing The Interview
Watch me interview raw footage to shape the stories. The process emulates going fishing for gold nuggets. Often referred to as “killing puppies”, I will sort through all the footage keeping only a small percentage of emotional storytelling dialogue that soon becomes the narration of my stories. Topics include:
- Workflow/Organizing to edit interview
- Watching and editing full interview w/ commentary
- Understanding how to tighten dialogue
- Building dialogue sequences
- Pacing dialogue
- Building emotional dialogue with music
- BONUS: Editing music to fit dialogue
Filming Supporting B-Roll
Watch me in action filming supporting b-roll (still stuck in the same room). I will set up various sequences during a live workshop to visually enhance the storyline from an interview filmed hours before. This includes how I light a scene/subject before shooting, method of direction towards subject, using angles to make not-so-pretty places look better than they are, etc. It’s about building relevant sequences that tie into the narration. Topics include:
- Setting scene
- Lighting scene
- Directing subject
- Using different camera stabilizers
- Building sequences within a scene
- Many scenes shown as picture-in-picture to show filming vs. screenshot
Essential Editing: B-Roll, Coloring, Editing Music
Watch me edit B-Roll footage that was shot an hour beforehand. The footage during this specific sequence is sped up to allow the process to progress. It involves trimming the fat (bumpy footage, setup, re-focus, re-position camera angles, etc) but it gives you a feel of how I clean up the footage for selects on the timeline. Afterwards I discuss (while editing live) how and why I choose shots and sequences to make the cut and how they get arranged to fit the overall story arc. In addition I will cover my method to color correcting and grading the final product and mixing music/dialogue as well as audio sweetening. Topics include:
- Cutting for content / Creating selects
- Organizing clips and sequences
- Timing to music
- Creating emotional visual editing
- Color correction / Grading
- Audio post production mixing/sweetening
Dynamic Range: Using Profiles and Scopes
I will discuss the importance of setting your cameras to flat settings so you can capture the best dynamic range of exposure and color. These techniques will allow you to set your cameras for the best possible exposures giving you the best picture quality.
- Comparing profiles on Canon 5D Mark III DSLR (including Cinestyle, the flattest profile)
- Comparing profiles on Canon C100 MK1 (EOS vs. Wide DR vs. CLog)
- How to use a histogram to set exposure
- How to use a waveform to set exposure
- The importance of filming flat
- White balance using RBG parade waveform on Canon C100
Essential Audio Production
I will show you important audio production principles that I follow on all of my commercial shoots. Understanding these ideas will raise the level of audio quality in anyones production. Clients can always spot poor audio and it could risk losing the job. Topics include:
- 7 key elements to ensure best possible audio
- Choosing the right microphones
- Acquiring cleanest audio from DSLR’s, video cameras, or field recorders
- Dealing with wind
- Wireless tips that are uncommon to most
- Mic’ing an interview
- Setting levels on Canon C100 with Rode NTG3 Shotgun Mic