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Creating an Interesting Frame Part 1

Lesson 18 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

Creating an Interesting Frame Part 1

Lesson 18 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

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Lesson Info

18. Creating an Interesting Frame Part 1


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

Creating an Interesting Frame Part 1

We'll talk about making an interesting frame obviously we're going to talk about lighting with one light but first let's talk about creating an interesting frame first thing you don't do this shoot against a white wall we've been doing all day eh so let's do that let's shoot against a white wall you want to fly the cameron let's go ahead and get the kino over here sam jason you guys want to do that let's bring that over let's get a back light going well up there courtney you guys want to get that happening? We're also going to actually use a cookie today so bill you want to start making that ahead time uh josh let's set up right here that's good yeah uh let's go yeah let's step behind the tv so everyone can see stuff let's go let's go and do this side let's flip that back light over here so we're gonna go opposite sides of our talents faced with the key in the back light so we're getting more interest that way we're not just putting everything on one side josh let's fly it sharing here...

joshua fly charon actually know what I'm just gonna have you stand away about the chair I'm going to get this set up to about hi it's good another let's get to another c forty seven on the side another one on this side so it's on nice and secure do you have your uh yeah t shirt do have t shirts good let's go ahead and kick that on it's got a foot to the side as well tungsten on that I don't think that's plugged in is it sam let's grab a whip and get that going. You know what? Why don't you get that on the stinger? Actually, sam axl, can you run this guy? So why they said that up you go on foot to the side raise it up a little bit and I've got bill cutting a cookie which we're going to use in a second which is just foam core you wantto kind of show what you're doing there, bill so just have him this very vanna white d yeah, so I'm just having them cut those slits in the foam core again, which we got for like a buck, which is the standard knife you could buy cookies or you could just cut them yourself. Go ahead and go ahead and continue. Yeah, I would recommend using a cutting surface, not floor or up in the air and also a straight edge. Perhaps I would agree with all of this counts I don't have either of those it's good standing I'm gonna have to stand so let's go let's let's stay a little bit low so let's go just below eye line uh you wanna get to hands on that that's good let's let's back it often let's go back about three feet that's also get behind him a little bit more that's good that's good you can go ahead and get that on but before we turn it on good great all right, I want to get that a little bit more behind him even still josh you're gonna be looking off that way that's good let's come back just to touch about a foot more towards that wall just trying to wrap it around the air just a little bit let's move these lights. You got to want to get these lights kind of wrangling right here is fine. We get stage those here cough again let's truck that in just a touch to say two feet it's only good that ballast for your wages. Okay, let's bring that you saw it too, right? Yeah, I know I took something else right where we're getting that from this guy. All right? Let's get a c stand and a flag and we're gonna try to flag the light off of this is kind of a big sources that's gonna be a little bit tough actually, you know what let's flip it sideways too so we can control it a little bit better let's not worry about that flag actually, we're just gonna flip this sideways we're gonna pull this in honing in on him a little bit more so we're just using the barn doors on the actual kino here to try toe control what's happening on the background so we're you know, flattening everything out there we bring this in to create just a sliver of light that we're just getting on our talent only then we can move that around a little bit to refine it and pull it a little bit more this way there we go just can you step up just a touch let's get right there let's go a little a little bit towards me lets go by foot. Yeah that's looking really nice. All right, let's, get a c stand um and the balance can you grab me a pony? Clinton we'll bring that right here. We're missing an arm so let's get one with an arm so get him to take that one back. She has hollywood this for me real quick so I could see what this is looking like let's try to bounce that so we can get that onto his face. Put it away and back it's not going to wear we go so you could see how much we're filling in there nice contrast but still pulling out detail, which is all we're trying to do just pull out a little bit of that detail all right, so let's get the c stand on this guy and we're going to do I think we could bring it down a touch do write their spring right in bring that back that's good right there let's go ahead and get a sandbag on that as well. Don't let that fall a little let's just truck it in, right, there's good. Let that fall see if we're still getting our that's looking nice cool right here for me. I jumped on one uh one ball bearing we got now let's go back let's drop that back foot straight back. Can I get you to move off frame? No, not you. Sorry, walter. Cool. Let's uh, let's think the guides off? Actually it's a little distracting between guys not the guys you saw how I did it, right? Yep. Good way. What we got probably one of my favorite things about ki knows is the I light you get in the actors, I I just love the quality of that, especially when you could get a nice long strip in the eye. It just looks so good. There's someone when you see that island well, if we're going to be able to get know, I like with something like this with josh, but when you see a shot with no I light versus highlight it brings the active life because that's a thing like everything about your actor filming your actor, your actor's performance as all the eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes one of the things I direct the most is less from the face more from the ice, less from the face, more from the eyes, especially more than likely when you're starting out, you're going to work with actors that air typically on the stage and what they're taught on the stages that free things really meg, because people are in the stands but film is very intimate it's right here, it's all from the eyes so you as a filmmaker are doing your job to bring their eyes toe life in them as an actor are doing their job to perform through their eyes so it's a give and take from both you guys and then I light is something that really brings your actor to life, which, again, it is a rule that you could break for great effect. You have a villain, take those eye lights out, make him lifeless, just put one highlight and start toying around with that idea. So getting really, really simple things that do massive uh, subtle effects to your audience is emotion that's set up ok, cool, so it's an ok looking shot, but we're just on a white wall, so it's looking pretty boring. So one thing that we could do is use a cookie like we were talking about before. So let's, get this guy set up on a c stand that has an arm. We got a pony clamp on this guy already, bill, which we could probably use let's. See, you wanna maybe wrangle this let's, fly this out of here? Since this doesn't have an arm, you wanna grab that for me? We could actually morning. We could actually take it that way. Just get it off set entirely right, knuckles to the right, but I want to get it from this angle. So if we need to maybe move this guy in a dim it that's fine, but let's, try to get this guy on the wall here from this angle, so we're going to set up a light, hear this in front of the light following, uh, let's go with this three hundred right here for the light. I got kind of got a kind of going toe. What kind of language was I just speaking? I think I was just starting my rap career. Uh, so I'm going to try to keep all the lighting coming from sort of the same angle in the background here, so we're not having all this cross lighting that's going to start looking weird since his back lights coming from here I'm going to motivate the light of what this cookie's doing from that same direction kind of blending everything together nicely I'll start can you wrangle this cable right here? Not such a mess one hundred two yes let's go ahead and do that so we can have a little bit more control so we're gonna talk about this? We got a three hundred watt area light right here which is also a friend ellen so folks, it a bit we have the cooking that bill just cut at a foam core, which is just these these slits here I'm going to throw this on a dimmer so we can keep it more controlled. We have more options. I usually try to keep all lights on set on dimmers with some gels next to them to cool them off if need be just so you have a lot more room to move around, especially if you're on a small area having like, you know, one k right here it's been intense. So having that dinner is going to give you so much control to just move fast instead of having to scream it moving back, moving forward you just throw a gel on it and go he's gonna sandbag for this guy? No, look, we're bagless josh are, uh walter rather and bill when will I get you guys to finagle with this to kind of get the look we're looking for want right behind josh so we're gonna bring it up and down let's let's bring the intensity up you got that there you go and let's I wanted a little bit more teoh right? So if we have to move this guy we can and let's get that around this stand way about framing all adjust the light keep the framing how that we had it okay, we got to get those shadows also bring that up a bit that's good. We're gonna move it in this way of it that's good and sort of lets just this to be a little more level so it's not making so much of a narc let's take it down just a touch walter let's say ten percent good right there uh, too much too much split the difference bit more right there. All right, josh right here let's go off with the uh, cookie all right, let's swap these batteries out. So we lost battery for this monitor here, so just take a second swap that out so we could see what we're doing. I blame walter to josh, do something, do something entertaining go we're going to do two things we're going to see what the cookies doing on the background we gotta question actually yeah so this is pretty stylized someone's looks like film noir is that something that you do in your films and try to shy away from because it's too you know it's too slick or something I tend to be over stylized I like pushing things I really like forcing a spirit and experience I'm guilty of what they call mickey mouse music on I make you know no excuses for it it's you know basically all the music is very on the nose were punctuating moments to tell you exactly how to feel I really like that ride of the audience some people like to rope it back and give more realistic tone so I do tend to be more stylized I absolutely would use that sort of thing this is pretty much everything we are doing is a little bit accentuated to kind of drive the point home you would want to rope it back a little bit make a little bit more subtle because this is a very stylized moment but with this exact setup as is with the background busy and what a normal house would look like you add that this is not going to look half a stylised it's looking the stylized because we're on a blank white wall so it's like how to live in that up if you're doing some kind of interview or something like that start breaking up lights and modifying lights so it also is dictated you're content if you're doing sort of a very realistic you know drama this would be really odd halfway in there some kind of family drama everything's looks like available light and all sudden wham this shots what just happened so it's also very much dictated by your content and I find what I'm making anything because I do run the gamut of you know comedy or something that we're going to show I think tomorrow which is an ad that we did that's very glossy and high key which is not my usual thing that I d'oh I run the gamut of that and I find that once I have my material my material kind of tells me what it wants to be and often even when you're writing that'll happen if you write you know exactly what I'm talking about you start writing the thing and what you thought you were going to do you stop because the characters don't want to do that they want to do something different it's like this weird thing happened we were like oh clearly this is what was supposed to happen I was wrong so after a while even directing editing the project starts to you know make its own decisions in a weird way which sounds really stupid and pretentious but it's kind of true so the material of the script the story will dictate how stylized or how pulled back you need to be any other questions before we do we have this fixed way might have the restart everything okay? Any other questions why we yeah question came in what is the difference between a whip and a stinger uh for may I call a whip anything from a light so right here this guy going into the stinger would be a whip so the whip is what I'm putting on the light itself the cabling coming off actual light and a stinger would be an extension court again there are differences in you know, the terminology depending on where you're from or what I was taught that's what I call it but some places might call it something different how we doing with that still okay, I feel in my heart that it's going to work now any other questions why we're setting this up do you have anything? Yeah, absolutely. Uh let's see here question came in from locust and who wanted to know how do you light or shoot a scene that on lee uses shadows what will you need light for shadows I honestly don't know how to answer that. Okay. Does anybody have on idea of what that means? Start those are like super yes, you know, choosing your contrast if that's the idea is if you're just shaping heavily with shadows it's just using your contrast, getting rid of this bounce we have this bounce here toe take away some of that contrast, which is what we're talking about yesterday so it's like add one light make that light intense really dark in the side of your actor's face and start playing with the shadows that way create shafts of light like we're talking about a cz well, I mean, if you have a house and you have this one window, then another burst like threw those in your actors walking through these chefs of light creating a really interesting look and lots of shadows absolutely everywhere if that's what you meant yes, I'm guessing that they're talking about like an old sword fighting movies where they're going along and then it shoots to the wall and it's just you have the silhouettes, the shadow you know we could we could do that right after this shot it's very, very simple, but er let's go ahead and we got this on let's frame it up real quick since we finally got this bag and let's kick it on so that's with and without let's go with that again and with and again the slightest easiest little idea. You know what let's move in a little bit too right here let's make this more contrast and I wish we didn't have that daylight spilling in because we'd have amore contrast background but we do have that daylight, so we're just working with it because again, when you're out doing this stuff is kind of how it works you might not have all the flags needed to really start breaking that up let's punch in a touch let's just go to the top of that lens let's let's truck let's go right say I'm going to say a foot of you take this here and up just a touch let's go foot and a half up way alright let's lose one of the bowls as well let's click click off one of the bulbs nice okay let's go to forty eight see what that looks like, bill it move that we're gonna go left with it to fill that little area there now let's, go back! I'm shifting the shutter here instead of the iris because we're not moving around a lot, so we're not going to get a choppy look so I'm not worried about that. So it's given take with my exposure to figure out where I want to go? I know I want the background very much focus so I don't want to touch the iris I don't want to touch my eyes so because we're in the sweet spot so my next place to go to will be a shutter again it's not gonna affect it because he's not going crazy and really I find that I fluctuate personally between forty eight, seventy five without any issue, any sort of notice things once you get in the ninety range and up that's, when you start really, really seeing it and it could become distracting if used inappropriately. Josh, let me get you to turn your whole body. Yeah, little more let's truck, this guy straight that way, let's get kind of level with him this way and I mean, so we're gonna go about four and a half be that way. We're good on cable. We're just going kind off that question playing. We shout a little bit, go a little bit further. Let's, take that up, touch the intensity on that guy. Cool, josh. I mean, just kind of have you looked down a little bit like you're just contemplating life. What have you done with your life? We get you look more here, okay? And I'm having him look there because we're getting this highlight and it sounds little cream, like, really your act is going to do that. Yes, they are. You're going to give them their looks, and you're gonna tell them on one points on this line, I'm gonna have you look right here. So here, he's thinking and then we bring him over here, keep coming little further. And we lose we lose that I write so again coming back to us and I really loved duality and stuff being of two minds playing with that because that's what we're doing all the time in almost any film that you look at that's happening in the character making a choice and I kind of like to play with that visually one of the easiest ways to do it is with lighting I did it a lot and my film tell but you can also do with composition using mirrors I use that a lot in my film tell but say he's looking here he's a two minds he makes his choice were filling it out a little bit right? So were visually kind of showing what he's doing mentally just by having your actor shift at the right time so let's just go right here and let's go up you want to help him let's go up let's get right here actually you know what let's go down but let's do like four inches and jason just a little just bring it in on him just a touch I'm gonna say five inches and now we're like really over style izing the frame here we're really kind of going crazy with this one again once again just bringing it back to dr driving very over stylized film joshua have you you know what? Stay right there actually like that we're gonna look right right here and that we finally got rid of the I light so you see what I'm saying when we have no highlight right? So maybe he's in despair we've got no eye light and then we have, um kind of tilt his head up and there's this right so you can play with that sort of thing too, but maybe we want himto look here and we do want that I light so let's drop this down a foot and I'm gonna have you put him up against the right frame instead of the left and let's move it back straight back, sort of at an angle. Good that's. Good right there. All right, josh right here. And let's built about three inches that way when we got there with us at the scrim bank. Wait, you can't just grab it and there you go. You have a white wall, you let's cut off the cookie. You know, I think we're kind of killing some of our contracts from a fuck let's. Get another c standing here, let's float this one in here. You want to grab that, sam, you want to grab me some black wrap on a pony clam, actually there's one on it let's, just move that guy right over here, ryan, someone earlier called you the breaker of c stands that's me we need to get that sign in here where's my sign I think we need to put the sign right on the desk I will I'll have a show of strength later on again I'll rip a phone book in half or something later on and then josh will describe be screaming helping people now I'm curious if anyone gets that reference I've doubted teo all right, so we're gonna so good you could see the tv so you're just gonna float it where it needs to be perfect actually alright let's kick that back on so we can get our framing back how we want it go a little bit this way josh we get you look how it's happening look and, uh like maybe an inch forward good. All right, now we have a super stylized frame that I'm kind of loving right now let's kill the cookie well, it's interesting one light phone court you know and that and we don't need these pro lights to do this. We could do this with anything. This could easily be a can light that could easily be a can light and that could easily be a can like usually when I use cookies I'm using a can like so things that are intensely cheap you're really living a praying you're creating something really interesting, really dramatic let's turn it back on and there you go the hero shot josh is about to hit someone with a hammer or something of the like that's awesome. So that's you know generally how you would use a cookie it doesn't have to be the shape of blinds you know what let's do one more thing with it let's bring that and the cookie over here so you want to help him do that let's kill this guy let's bring it just off to the side there saying we wanna help him to that or aksel um axl, can we get this guy I want it I want it right here on this wall wanted kind of on right here. Just a slight slight spat splash we're going toe before not on a dimmer can we get on the dimmer way have a democratic marine can you grab us a dimmer let's get this guy on the dimmer and we're gonna be right around right around this area you fly this attic it just right over there somewhere just out of the way a little bit let's take the fusion off of it for now but one thing that you could do because we might use it so one thing I often do instead of just taking gels down, why don't you drop that light there let's get the c forty seven back on it watch watch how hot it is in everything okay, instead of taking c stands off of it, let's kill that, uh, taking the jail completely off of it and getting rid of it, I usually just take the top two off, let it fall because you don't know what you're going to do that so if you're working with the cinematographer often times, they're gonna want to sit there because they let me see that without the diffusion don't go taking it all off and he's like, you know what? I like the diffusion, and now you're gonna have to re wrangle everything, so just doing that much just so they could see if they like it or not. And then you could flop it back in if need be also see stands on the shirt like this guy, so if you're on set, if you're the dp or if you're helping the c forty seventh, what did I call it? C stands, I think that's the third time I called you seen sense and bend them, I usually just look ridiculous and have sea sand lining my shirt or my assistant will have the c stands everywhere. I'm like, oh my god, have I said, see, stand every time I feel like I feel like you guys having me see forty sevens uh we'll just all over the place was all usually use him and lose him and so she's like no one here's another one er let's flood that a touch didn't that way down give me twenty five per cent of the light on it and then you could see your frame so I just want it kind of you know at the bottom quarter of the frame let's get this guy going didn't put that on yeah this guy on a dimmer no I want to take that down up up a little bit right there let's get a c t b on this guy let's go light try to find a quarter the lightest one you confined in there all right we're gonna have to pan that up you got gloves too much let's take it down right there on let's uh let's drop about ten percent off that is that all the way down right that's what good are you spotted or flooded area fully flooded flood more right now now let's go ahead and pan that fix you're down a little bit so I kind of want it a little bit over shoulders kind like mid neck keep it coming up you know what let's go a little higher right that little are right there uh keep losing it take that up. You know what you could you could just raise the stand as well if that's giving you trouble just look off that way for me look right here more more let's frame him a bit uh bit more ah too right let's just do a slight pain with them looking that way so let's stay with him let's roll on it that way people can have all right on let's give it a little more chin room thinking and action cool that that same thing same cookie but using it in a totally different way just back up this is the last thing we'll do it the cookie and then we'll move on let's kill that light let's move this a little bit more towards josh see if we could get this working for us just a little bit like a foot maybe okay, so you can also use it for little special effects there's no wall here I've done this a few times there's no wall here to speak of but right now we're telling our audience we're going to need to go this way bill let's go this way about six inches and let's frame him a little more uh left so right now I'm telling my own and said he's in front of a window right and he's not there's nothing there but now I can also tell my audience that there's a car arriving and he's watching it happen and then I could end it on an interesting frame like that just by moving your light up and down we've created, you know, someone arriving. We don't. We don't have the car, we don't have the window, but our audience knows exactly what's happening. We had not effect of a car car, just pulled into the house, right? So easy solutions to issues.

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