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Visual Storytelling: Basic and Triangle Coverage

Lesson 28 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

Visual Storytelling: Basic and Triangle Coverage

Lesson 28 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

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Lesson Info

28. Visual Storytelling: Basic and Triangle Coverage


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

Visual Storytelling: Basic and Triangle Coverage

Again, we have the establishing shot the master shot wide shot our medium shot close up pickups thie establishing shot is usually going to be that very wide angle that we're talking about a shot of the hospital than cut into the hospital master shot is used and usually gonna be that long shot it covers the entire scene as long as you got your master shot you have your scene, you get kicked out of the place, you still have it. Then we cut into our mediums and close ups on our pickups, pickups, there's a video that you guys should totally watch on video about david fincher and pick ups because he's the king of pickups is just pick up shots galore but they all do something they all mean something, which is a pick up shot I think it was something that I didn't need my actor for we're cutting in on something and it could be you know a way josh is the actor but I'm using my hand to grab it we do that stuff all the time somebody has a heart out we worry about the pickups absolute last cause y...

ou just find somebody with a similar similar hand the grill of filmmaking picture actually looks like my hand holding a slate it's not me kind of creep me out like you have hobbit thumbs to, uh so that's your that's your basic coverage when you walk into a scene if you have this, you absolutely have your scene s o after these then you started getting more special specialty shots and you start making it a little sex year but as long as you have this going in and this is actually we'll get into triangle coverage next as long as you have this type of thing, you're going to be good to go in what order for me that really depends it depends on the scene and my actors where they're at how far into shooting we are but say we have a very dramatic scene I'm probably gonna go wide first because I'm gonna let them warm up it's not super emotional in the wide that's fine, I'm not going to use it that much I'm going to use it to get into the scene I'm gonna use it to set my geography they know where everything is going to start cutting into my mediums and selene and my close ups and as you move that way since removed shooting the master we shouldn't wider then we cut to the medium, then we cut to the close up with each of those I want the close up to be the most emotional and pinpoint on the acting as possible so we're giving them a lot of room toe finesse it to get into the mode of it but if there's a scene where I think magic is about to happen, if I'm gonna get which sounds pretentious, but if you've ever shot on set, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I don't know how else to say it there's, sometimes just something happens and they just nail it. And sometimes that could be lost if you do master shot first, so it really depends. But rule of thumb is start wide. Let him work into it. It gives you plenty of time to massage them into the south, sweep into the performance, especially if they're new actors. They really uncomfortable under these lights. All these people looking at them, you start wide, let them get comfortable moving in the medium, but then get more comfortable punching that close up to get what you really needed. Triangle coverage eyes basically. Well, you know what? Let's, watch this. And then we'll talk about trying coverage, which is, has some audio could kick on the audio for this guy? Oh, yeah. E no. Yeah. That's just messed up. That was very grim would bring the mood down me s o we shot this at the end of the day I wanted a very, very specific look for this shot which is what we had very overcast lower on the contrast when we shot it I wanted to feel very bleak very grim and I wanted a certain look from the mother didn't want a bunch of reflections happening I wanted this to feel very very uh dark and serious I wanted you to feel the weight of what was happening I didn't want it to be a punch punch bang bang dude died I don't care sort of sea and I wanted you to feel it so it was a little difficult to shoot because we wanted that timeframe which meant we had how long we have to shoot this an hour I have maybe a little bit more that's a lot of coverage we also I did not have a shot list for the scene we do not have a storyboard for this scene so I'm going into a scene like this with his action which could be very confusing to shoot and I have to make it up in my head as we go making the shots as we go editing in my head as we go and come up with something that will be proud to show so how do we do that? We use triangle coverage which is like one of my secret sauce things which are now putting live on the internet, which is your master angle, is basically the basic coverage that we're talking about. You got your master angle, you got your first perspective, your second perspective and then specials also some pickups if you need them. I had to pick ups in the shot, which we're going to look at the shot again and talk about it, but basically, this is what trying the coverage looks like, like basically just the one eighty degree rule and work you have your first master set up, and then you have your two perspectives one of the first actor, the other of the second, and you're playing all those off right? And then you're using that idea of basic coverage medium wide and close up and all those spots. So you're getting medium white in close up in each of those triangles positions and you covering your entire scene toe have plenty of coverage to edit later, so I'm not having to think too much about it. I'm saying here's, my first perspective, my second, my third perspective and I'm covering the entire scene, so then I'm free to shoot those entire each of those perspectives from, say, a medium, make sure I have it. After that, I start dipping in the emotion of what's happening. I start feeling it with my actors, and I look like a crazy person, probably because I'm starting to do everything that they dio you should watch the behind the scenes on our youtube channel because I'm pretty sure by the end of it, I was half naked, my hair crazy, standing in the mud with them was pretty. I started out fully clothed, but somehow by the end I was very, very little. I don't know exactly what happened, but let's, watch it again. With that in mind, we're doing triangle coverage, we're doing three perspectives and we're just switching the focal length, right? And then we're having a basic shot to make sure we get it and they were getting in and we're getting emotional with the scene with our actors and removing when they move and we're letting the scene tell us where to go pan down on him, pan, back up on him and were kind of making it up on the fly, feeling it with them and as a director, if you're also the camera operator, you really can't do that, which is why I like to operate my own camera because of I'm director and I have somebody else operating camera for seen like this it's really hard. Have them nail those moments with me? Where is it almost comes like this dance with your actors was also sounds pretentious where you're getting into it with them, which I always like to talk about. The camera is the third actor in the room, right? So you're performing with your actors, you're getting into it with them sometimes I think I'm out of my actors dialogue while I'm directing, I'm sure that makes me look like a psychopath to so we're doing three perspectives, then we're doing what I call specials from each of those perspectives when I'm letting myself be free, follow the scene of what the scene wants to be moving around, and then we're getting pickups that we need, which is just going to be the shackles we'll watch the scene again with that in mind and as you see, we break the one eighty here we started entirely new one eighty, but we're doing it on action, so you never disoriented you know exactly where you are we're breaking them one eighty right on that action and it totally works that's our master perspective that's our perspective one pick up, master one master, pick up one, sir one two and that's a special and just feeling out the scene too backto one too one two and that's pretty much it we're going from those few perspectives and all we're doing is getting our medium close up and then just feeling and towards the end, this is definitely a special where I'm just following them with the action I'm getting into the moment moving with you see the camera moving with the punch to add that weight of the punch, the camera sort of feeling it too, which makes it feel a little more action oriented, also moving up and down when he's putting him in the mud because clearly he's not actually killing him, so we're giving him time to breathe as well. So that's also orchestrated his face is out of the water now, so we're just going through those threes perspective to shoot that entire scene and it's not that difficult to keep it in your head and lock it all down and shoot a scene that might feel very chaotic and very crazy and all over the place and you feel like there's ten thousand camera angles that were planned, but they weren't three perspectives, a couple different basic coverage principles and you just go with it. It was a good time to break good place alright, we'll just do a couple questions, then one of the questions that came out kind of like a big picture question is this is from the sea I think says bam bam would like to know what should you avoid when lighting and what makes bad lighting that is definitely gonna be to taste to some point multiple shadows is one of the worst flat lighting is another one making sure you know like we're talking about today where you know you're drawing your audiences I you're keeping that in mind you want your audience to follow focus on audience focus on this sir it's getting late man I was terrible at speaking earlier it's getting worse you want your audience and focus on a certain spot so it's about how you're going to make that happen lighting is one of the biggest points which is why we spent a lot of time on lighting today because even if you're not using actual fixtures even if you're just using available light like we showed before, where you putting this on you putting the sun on the side of your actress facing putting your son behind your actor in front so you can use available like the exact same way if you're inside like we did earlier open those windows that's aki where you putting it? So you're going to put the camera uh you know compared to where you want that like to hit even if you're not actually using fixture, it isn't using lamp fixtures in the ceiling at your house like we were talking about switching bulb's out so knowing where what angle of light you want to tell the story you want is also a big part of it and I would say the best thing that you could possibly do is watch movies with the sound off if you're talking about lighting what's your favorite movie, the sound off you see everything that I was talking to somebody else about that today was, uh but you just see so many different things that you didn't see before and you're able to focus in on the visuals with the sound on sound does so much for you emotionally, and it hides the cuts and you just get lost in it with the sound off it's really easy to dial in and pay attention on what they do with camera and what they're doing with the light. So that's what I would say to do, I think I think of it in terms of that something we're talking about today and just start studying things that you think you look beautiful, okay, great tips. Um, one more question this is from patrick, who said you were talking about how much you learned by being on the set of a film? Do you have any tips on how to maybe get on the set of a professional film production just as a viewer? And is that even possible? I haven't really been on many film sets I've been on some professional sets, but I haven't been on many motion picture sets, it's just a matter of being around people that are doing the thing that are pros and watching how they do it, and I don't think you even need to be on sets anymore nowadays, you have lacks bono did something that's released right? The art of visual storytelling I believe it's called anyone, which I want to watch because it looks amazing, he's a fantastic cinematographer, he does all of s and l's shorts really, really great also dead, green street hooligans, right solid cinematographer and he's got a whole piece out there, you've got vincent lingerie, who just came out with one you were telling me about directing motion, what we're doing right now, where you're seeing us on set right now going through the motions right now. So you're at a point that even if you're not able to get on a set ableto look into those behind the scenes moments, I mean, even all blue isn't even these movies come out with this fantastic behind the scenes stuff where you could see what it's like on the set, even online people like peter jackson's great about that so you can see exactly what it's like on set and really learned from that, but also if you look into peeing ah, a lot of pretty much everywhere you go, there's productions happening. Even it's, a commercial. Start working for free, just to be on and see how things roll and that's a really great way to do it, too. But if you can't get those positions with failed, if it's difficult to get a times, fall back into, you know, stuff like we're doing today.

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