My filmography mentor Niko from Sound Vision Studios, has been thorough and knowledgeable in regards to different camera brands and how to set them to get the greatest quality of shot day or night. He gives great advice for equipment to use with your existing equipment, he has shown us how to light and frame a shot, for instance documentaries typically follow a ratio of thirds to balance a shot, asymmetrically and cinematically. This means that the subject is brought about ten feet away from the background, the vertical half of their face and torso are split down the middle of the ? of a frame.
For lighting a documentary professionally: the subject is to look just to the side of the camera, this is the key light or brightest light, the fill light is on their short side (also the more minimal side of the frame), and a back light illuminates the otherwise completely shadowed background. He always leaves room for questions and reviews each lesson at the end of a session as well as a brief recap the following week.
Niko has also introduced us to editing using Final Cut Pro and had us experiment with some footage by Sound Vision Studios until we felt comfortable organizing, saving files and sequencing clips. I excitedly took fewer hours as a Cosmetology Instructor so I can take more of the opportunities Niko and Sound Vision Studios have tempted me with ranging from hair and makeup for music videos but for camera assistance, editing and boom operation as well.
I have had the opportunity each week for the last 4 weeks to have one on one, open dialogue, screenplay lecture with Ron Peterson. He has been an incredible help in guiding me to see a story in a four act structure each with its own threshold and conflict. It’s really incredible how much better I feel my understanding of story structure has gotten in this short time. Although Film Connection technically offers 10 sessions with the screenwriting mentor, Ron has offered to help me see my screenplay through to the final act and will allow me to seek his advice in the future.. He has given me a real sense of confidence for the future of my writing.
I haven't done my blog posts week by week because I have been diving head first into the content provided. There is so much to learn from other filmmakers from legends to the short storytellers on Vimeo using the same camera model and lens as me. I prefer to save my reflection after I feel that I have achieved at least three goals. I honestly never thought I could write my own short film until I started speaking with Ron Peterson, Niko Brabham and Elliot Campos and now I believe I will be able to write a filmable feature length film. Choosing film connection has been the most rewarding decision of my life so far!