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Composition Rules and Lighting Gear Q&A

Lesson 11 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

Composition Rules and Lighting Gear Q&A

Lesson 11 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

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Lesson Info

11. Composition Rules and Lighting Gear Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Writing Your Story


Script Breakdowns and Shooting Schedules


Finding Cast and Crew


VFX in Pre-Production


Filming Gear: Audio


Filming Gear: Camera


Filming Gear: Lenses


Lesson Info

Composition Rules and Lighting Gear Q&A

What any degree rule? We should all know this guy and you know, talking about rules rules made to be broken of course everyone we talk about josh, can you fly this out a little bit? So it's not blocking the tv so much and every everyone would talk about you know you should break them I break them sometimes when you hold too tightly to them it's destructive oftentimes something like the one eighty rule can be broken broken very easily and well and you still get called out on it unlike the film school student that doesn't fully understand it yet you're like your brother one eighty yeah, we broke it intelligently but the one eighty is you have two actors, they're looking at each other, it creates a line right? And then you have that area where is that axe is your safe zone so you're gonna put your cameras on one side of the line if you have your master on this side of the line, the camera should be where they are if they're on the other side of the shoulder it's going to get really confus...

ing it's going to start looking at people are looking in areas that they aren't actually looking uh which here's an example so you have this holding to the one eighty degree rule to people looking at each other passionately in love clearly or not so now they're just looking off in a different direction probably me bending a c stand so now it looks like they're looking a different directions right? They're not they're both looking at something not each other anymore although in the scene they're clear they're looking at each other it's the same scene we just jump the one eighty and that's a really simple example but it goes for everything especially action action when you're moving very very fast and everything is just happening you khun disorient your audience so quickly in a bad way if you're wanting to disorient them great but if you don't stick at least teo you know some principles of this no when you're breaking it and break it intelligently you could break it on action we break it in proximity but we're breaking on action on you set up your geography it could work but if you're not doing it intelligently you're just breaking it because you're not thinking of it it's going to start getting really off putting for your audience don't you come here wanted to come here as well to operate do we have the shoulder rig you're just going to up and down this entire class I'm just gonna continue to pick on you no one of my favorite cases let's just fly that over here one of my favorite cases of ah breaking the one eighty was in um a michael mann film with russell crowe inside and the inside man the insider one of those movies what is anybody? Another name the movie it's escaping me right now. Okay, let's go with the insider. I'm sticking with it. Uh, so we're gonna really poorly one fly that out really, really poorly replicate sort of an idea behind that start committing face job we had to joshua's so it's getting a little confusing got it cool let's jump to go face him will go a little tighter to him let's, do it over the shoulder about medium close up. Okay, cool. So we have this scene right way got two characters talking. We've already set up the geography of the scene here's our villain here's our hero, right? I'm always clearly, uh and he thinks he might have the upper hand. He just told our villain something that gives him leverage but the villain starts delivering something that tells him that you know, he doesn't have anything in hand he's flipping everything on him. So we do we do that visually we start to truck this way so let's just walk across to the other side of the shoulder as he's giving his monologue that tells him everything visually we flipped the scene around on him, so we were on this one eighty and we flipped the whole world around because now he has the leverage not hand anymore and we change the one eighty we're not breaking it but we change it and now everything's going to be over there which is a really cool way to use it visually to help thematically tell your story that's pretty much all I wanted you for promised land do that yeah it's a great when the tables were turned I have stolen the hell out of that idea so many times yeah, but you know good artists borrow great artists steal you could step off size does matter contrary to popular belief the size of an object and frame should equal its importance in the story at that moment albert hitchcock adore him he is like the best filmmaking quotes just go on just google alfred hitchcock quotes and learned something it's just the dude was amazing he really understood the craft of film making and just reading his quotes has taught me a ridiculous amount, but that basic idea here is if you're doing a close up have a reason for the close up examples of that would be like lord of the rings with the ring we're hitting that close upon the ring for very good reason, but more often than not you're doing close up the faces and this happens all the time in any film we're getting a really tight almost like a close up of a face for no reason they're talking about dinner you know and I'm just like what's happening it's again it's like you know if you have a rock song and there's never a down moment to kick back in that's what that kind of doesn't that goes across all filmmaking you need hills and valleys close ups are one of the things that do it and when you do a close up on something you're telling around its just something you're telling them that this is very important whether they know it or not they're registering that that matters martin scorsese is like the king of close ups I think there's a video video just on scorsese close ups it's fantastic knows exactly when they use them to punctuate something so don't overuse close ups save it in your bag of tricks for the right time to punch in and let it mean something rule third this is a good one I love this one um the basic idea is you have a grid on your image right and across that grid you have three across three down some three sections of interest and then in the intersecting between all those are points of interest so you're going to align your image across those points of interest again this is one that I break constantly one that you should break but one that you should entirely understand before you start breaking it on what makes a really interesting shot this shot is a really good example of breaking it would have made for a very, very ugly shot. Wes anderson breaks it. What doesn't? Because he's creating cemetery if you look at it, he's balancing that frame so it's really the same sort of idea you don't have to put him right on these points is a matter of balancing all these sections of interest for may. So what this one? We haven't shoved all the way to this point of interest, and if we would have put him right in the center there's nothing over there to balance it would've felt very off very, very weird here's another one that's a little different sort of almost that idea of what sex and then I was talking about no one's on the point of interest, but we're balancing the left side with him, right? Dead center, we have the other prisoners and right on the other frame, we have these guys, so we're using all our sections of interests really balance the frame and create a very interesting for him. Another version, I believe this one place, so you khun watch it happen, and we're always playing on one side or the other, that one jumping from one point of interest to the other and it's fun if you get a film that you love visually get these bars I think we're gonna have these bars for download with the pack we just made them for you just download a film and pop it on that film and just watch it happen it's pretty amazing on you you learn a lot by doing that just watching with filmmaker did but there's another line there's other lines it's not just these lines you can create diagonal lines for attention so if you look here I'd put these diagonal lines happening right? Things are on skew because this is a point in the film if you haven't seen the film where he may or may not kill a person in front of him we kind of switch and the second he sees you know the weapon's knife we switch things and we create these lines of tension so we have everything else we have him stable but all on this background we're creating subtle lines of tension so you can start using those lines as well to go across the state screen to suddenly tart start telling your audience that something's off something's wrong everything is not quite what it should be and now questions I should've asked questions in between now and probably have thousands of questions we definitely have questions okay so mantles and want to know can you explain light specifications what they mean and what to look for one buying alight uh that is a very broad question um I'm not even sure how to boil that down to an answer like the two most important specifications that you need to be aware well it depends on what type of light your way like what we were just looking at it so you have t knows that are very, very soft but they're very expensive you have lives which are also expensive they're a little more harsh than aquino and then you have open face like we're talking about which don't quite dial in like for now the do but they're a lot cheaper so it depends on what level you're at how much money you have is going to dictate that ah lot for you uh can lights we actually didn't show let's show that real quick give me a can light do we have a stinger actually can you grab a stinger for me wei have time to jump back into something real quick right and why don't you jump up here and you could just hollywood this light for me going then and josh we've been the lights down again um so this is a clamp light from home depot it's six bucks and has a regular lamp uh light in it like that on ice giving it right about here pointing down at him switch over to tungsten hee hee pump out tio punch out to like a medium close up start can you can you get your chiseled self in here as well we're getting a very similar look teo for now light a tungsten light but it's a bit softer because this is a soft white glass so you got different flavors of bold that you can grab a cz well so you could get daylight bold you can get open face bones but you're gonna be a lot more harsh on you khun mix and match these guys to create different looks one thing that I love to do love so much to do is get a lamp put it next my actor let that be the key take another clamp light like this put a cooler light in it not a full daylight but a cooler bull and said it behind them or vice versa so I'm getting a nice subtle color contrast not like this crazy blue orange but like this nice subtle color contrast so we're getting contrast in the level of the light and we're getting contrast in the color of the light and we're doing it with a six dollar clamp like that's a lot of light right there from this little guy that's all we got going right now so you don't always if you don't have it like hate how people get discouraged and a lot of the questions that were even getting or talking about well, I don't have the money for the thing which I start doing his d I y okay it's a clean plate you know, people used this on major. I have seen it used on major film sets, so yeah, a lot of something. My my prop making shop in the slightly ten dollars clamp lights a slightly better one so much more. See, more durable. Yeah, much more significant clamp on them, but I use them in my shop, the shop lights, and then when this video time there's take the bull about put into her bulb. Good to go. Yeah, yeah. So they got even different styles of clamp lights like he's talking about this is the one of the cheapest you can go with. They get bigger, bulkier, you get a bigger dome for it. So you're going to get more reflection from that as well. And then just go to home depot and drool over the amount of lights you can try out. One thing that I did was I just went and I bought, like, just freaking cart full of lights, and I just tested one after the other to find the ones that I like. Soft, light, soft whites are some of my favorites, and then you can go through different wattage is to get more intense or less, I'm not really sure would want it, that is, but you can even you know alter it there and you could create entire scene lighting with just these I have found myself reaching for this light more than some of my pro lights sometimes so you could get five of these and have a like it and you're good to go cool you can take that apart for me you guys were good alright sorry we could get back to questions next question okay question from half muser what what would be your suggestion there's quite a few beginners that are watching in the workshop and so the questions keep coming up. What would you suggest for beginners with a very low budget if you could just pick one type of light which would you suggest buying first? If I'm on a really low budget I would probably go clamp lights I mean that's what I started with with things like clamp lights are those big work light so you can get from home depot that have like the two fixtures on it you know I'm talking about and it comes with a stand get for like thirty, thirty five bucks I built an entire like it that I used for a while before I switched over because for me it was audio camera lights in that order than rigging after that so I just building your set alight kit out of clamp lights there's nothing wrong with that if it works use it who cares? Whatever makes your film work if you can save your money on lights by going to home depot and building your own like we were talking about before shane too by force, you know little fixtures on, then take that money and put it elsewhere. Locations food for your cast and crew gas for your cast if they're driving long way hotels if you have to do that, you know, reroute your money elsewhere and start small after that. Low lights have really great kits for low budget type stuff. Led lights. You are really great as well. Great. So we didn't necessarily get into a conversation about color temperature. I don't know if you want you're okay. Alright, sweet. Well, do we have any questions in the studio audience? Yes, we do. We covered a lot. I know I'm sorry. Yeah, so just kind of add on to that. Like I've had a couple like some of those really heavy duty home depot work lights. And even though they are really bright and I like how affordable they are, they really do give this really orange tone that most the time I'm not really aiming for and when I'm using kind of more daylight, more cooler. Lamps and you know, it just doesn't work to use both of them. So would you, like recommend using a jail to kind of even it out? Or how did I get that it's finding ways to modify your lights, which we're going to show in a little bit on how you can use household objects to modify your light's not even these big things, like bed sheets, pillow cases, you know, bouncing off any kind of a surface toe alter what that lights doing, defusing it as well, because those lights also those home depot lights get some ugly patterns on it, so you just throw something in front of it to diffuse that break that up, and then you'll be all right. So it's a matter of either just the other lights, that or just that to the other light. So it's finding ways to just modify gels would obviously be your best bet, but those are really hot. So you also got to be careful how close you get because there's a burn right through it. Anyone else? Yes do does the comfortable ity of your actor ever determine what light you would want to use this early? Yeah, you're having them perform, you know, you got to because they can't be doing this. Obviously so if you have a light like this mole right there just as is or this open face as is just right here on your actor they're going to be doing this and that's not very pleasant and if you try to get him to do this or he's going to start watering if they have makeup there goes that but that's when you defuse it back the light off find ways to make it more comfortable for them and that comes with trial and error if you're going to dp your own films really good idea to just set things up go in front of the lights yourself see how hot it is how uncomfortable it is because you do want to make them as comfortable as possible because they're the ones that are bringing your film tto life you know s o that is definitely a factor is a good question I don't know maybe more of a statement but most of life that I use I use a lot of these different type of lights were different shows but more times and then I'm still going back to the original ones I built like five years ago watching film right I still have them I still work great that's awesome and sometimes it's even taking one of these and bringing it to set and setting that they're just appease the clients but I mean yeah, but I'm still using the d I y lights because and a lot of cases, they just are easier to use and they work better on bits, way cheaper, yeah, it's like the's clamp lights. Actually, we're going to show a scene. I don't know what they I think maybe tomorrow, seeing from tell it's this one, this one or that I did in the beginning and it's, I think eighty percent eighty percent clamp lights, this whole scene and it's a really long walks in the reason I did that because I can hide those you can't really lay that on the ground behind something, things they're going to go, you're going to burn your parents, wall that's pretty much it was going so I could take these clamp lights and mountain and hide them wherever I want, because they're so smaller of the different sizes hang him high and not have to worry about it, which also movie that it's not going to fall on someone's head, you know, it's a bulb, so I'm not too worried about this small, bold anything happening to it, so, yeah, they're fantastic like tohave to your kid, regardless of the level that you're out, I think.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

1080p Screen Insert
2.40 Aspect Wide Screen Template
Rule of Thirds
Storyboard Template
Storyboard Template
Class Footage - 1
Class Footage - 2
Class Footage - 3
Class Keynotes
Stark Assets
Guerilla Filmmaking Outline
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Samuel Befekadu

I bet this class will be awesome. the course is given by Ryan Connolly!! I have been watching this guy for more that 5 years. I just wasn't serous about film making then. but now since i love film making why not try to be one of them by learning form the best in the field like Rayn. he has been inspiration for a lot of film maker from his YouTube channel Film Riot. his way of teaching so funny and entertaining . I bought this course to learn Ryan Connolly's killer skill. Thanks creative live and Ryan Connolly!

Will Green

Great class! It starts at a very simplistic level and covers the full spectrum of filmmaking. I would not necessarily buy this course for advanced film students, however it is an amazing review for beginner students to intermediate students. I would love to see a BTS of a short film from start to finish. I've seen all of Ryan's BTS shorts and I would greatly enjoy a much more intricate play by play of the short. THAT"S SOMETHING I WOULD PAY A LOT TO SEE. An 18 hour compilation of prepro - post of a short would be awesome.

Jonathan Beresford

Love Ryan and everyone at Film Riot. Excellent course of the excellent quality I've come to expect from them. I just wIsh he'd act more. So funny.

Student Work