Visual Storytelling: An Introduction for Directors, Writers & Producers
Duration: 2 days
Capacity: Approx. 20 participants
How do you tell a story visually? What makes a film a film, and not TV? We could say a "real" movie is one that's mostly comprehensible with the sound turned off. But where do we start? In this 2-day workshop, director Josh Appignanesi takes participants shot by shot into the heart of cinema by introducing the following issues:
- What choices make a shot tell the story your way? How do you use composition, framing, blocking of actors and their position to camera? Background, palette, costume, lenses, light, camera movement?
- How do you juxtapose this shot with your other shots through editing, to create suspense and involvement?
- How do you create a system of images that, by repetition and inversion, build tellingly into a moving and memorable visual story?
- Audiences are already saturated in the visual grammar of other films - collectively known as "genres." How do you refer to and exploit the assumptions every audience brings to a film in advance?
- What is it that makes a given filmmaker distinctive?
- How do you apply these ideas practically in your prep and on your set, getting your ideal shots as well as your coverage?
With inspiring film examples, practical storyboarding exercises, and analysis of participants' own films, this workshop will give you the tools you need.
Though introductory in nature, the workshop would also benefit those with some prior filmmaking experience. Part of the workshop will be dedicated to analysing participants’ own work. Participants are therefore encouraged to bring along an example of their own work - preferably a short film in DVD format with a maximum running time of 10 minutes. Josh will address as many projects as he can within the allotted time.
(Please note: It is by no means compulsory to bring a film for Josh to analyse. It's merely an option for those who'd like to get some feedback.)
"The subject matter and the level was exactly as I'd hoped. Neither too technical nor too basic. I make ads and short films with no training and felt I needed to venture beyond instinct. I wanted an introduction to the vocabulary of directing, hoping to learn the basics of how composition, action, choice of angles, shots etc feeds into editing and storytelling, and the course delivered just what I wanted. Josh is a great teacher who kept us all engaged throughout. His depth of knowledge and understanding is worn lightly and shared keenly, and he enthused the class with his love of the subject. Great examples, insightful explanation, inspiring exercises and lots of energy. It was a diverse group but Josh included everyone and was sensitive to different people's needs. A great intro to the magic – and magic tricks – of telling stories with moving images."
Frank, Participant 2019
Watch the trailer for Josh Appignanesi's latest feature, FEMALE HUMAN ANIMAL.
“Unnerving, riveting, and mesmerising.... The unity of Appignanesi’s brilliant cinematic vision and Aridjis’ compelling and vulnerable performance makes Female Human Animal resonate.” Hannah Clugston, Little White Lies