Blocking for Directors: Mastering Space

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Description

Shot syntax. Covering a scene. Thinking in terms of sequences. The master shot sequence. Montage.  Pacing. Jump Scares. Tension. The one-take master. Steadicam, handheld, the static shot. Working with a dolly, working with a crane, working with a drone. Rehearsing on set. Blocking to the light. Block-shooting. Continuity. Eye-line and screen direction, Cutting-styles. Leadership styles.

Hands on exercises: we will block several scenes in class.

Day 1: SATURDAY

  • INTRODUCTION TO BLOCKING
    • Order from Chaos
    • The Call Sheet
    • The Purpose of Blocking: priorities
  • ELEMENTS OF SHOT SYNTAX
    • Shot Sizes, Framing Choices, Focal Lengths, Screen Direction
    • Master shot sequence, Shot/Reverse Shot
    • ‘The Line’ what it is and when to break it.
    • Building tension. Foreshadowing. The Jump Scare.
  • EXERCISE A: TWO PEOPLE TALKING
  • EXERCISE B: THREE PEOPLE TALKING
    • The split look, eyelines and screen direction

 

DAY 2: SUNDAY

  • EXERCISE FEEDBACK, TIPS & TRICKS
    • Use of a steadicam/crane/drone
    • Working with cars, PMP, Trailers, Greenscreen
    • VFX Work
    • Directing styles
  • EXERCISE C: MULTICAM 2-CHARACTER ACTION
  • EXERCISE D: MULTICAM TABLE CONVERSATION
  • ADVANCED TOPICS
    • The Opening Shot
    • The Jump Scare
    • Building Tension
    • Original approaches: Examples

 

About the Instructor

Jeffery Lando is a director, writer, editor, visual effects supervisor, and producer, known for Savage Island (2004) Thirst (2010), House of Bones (2012) and Roboshark (2015). His latest movie, Suspension, won Best Director at Montreal HorrorFest, and was just released by 20th Century Fox as one of the ‘8 Films To Die For’. His first feature film as a director, Savage Island (2004) won best feature awards at The Strasbourg Film Festival, Fright-Fest and ShockerFest. Since then Lando has directed a further 13 films, produced six, written four and executive produced six.

In addition, Lando often supervises postproduction, color-grades and creates special effects on his own films and others.   Before plunging fully into filmmaking Lando went to Carnegie Mellon where he studied artificial intelligence, philosophy and computer programming; later going on to NYU to study film and cinematography. He started his career as a cinematographer in the New York indie scene but moved to Vancouver in 2001 after shooting a dozen features and scores of short films. Lando brings together an expansive creative and cultural vision for his auteur genre films that combined with his electrifying visual style and comprehensive technological understanding put him right on the “bleeding” edge of contemporary filmmaking. He is a Canadian, American and French citizen.

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