Filmmaker Intensives: Visual Design for Film | Raindance Film Festival


Filmmaker Intensives: Visual Design for Film

Next date: Wednesday 3 February, 19:00 – 21:00
Four Wednesday Evenings
This course is Online only
10% concession rate available on checkout page. Proof of eligibility is required.

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At a glance:

– How to establish a visual design and aesthetic for your film that will serve the story,
– How to work with a production designer, director of photography, and storyboard artist,
– How to convey your story and characters in a visual way.
Master visually-driven storytelling techniques to make your script come alive in the camera, with a special focus on writer-directors and low-budget filmmaking.

What You’ll Learn

Week One: Lifting Your Story off Page into Image 

With research, references, and script analysis, we’ll look at the visual languages you can use to support the narrative: the sensory detail, images, textures, colours and so much more that tells the story beyond dialogue. We’ll talk about where to go fishing for sources of inspiration and show you creative techniques to help you develop and focus your ideas. Assignment: Collate visual research for your project and a ‘non-verbal’ story reflection

Week Two:Technical Planning: Storyboards and Shot Design

Especially in the low-budget filmmaking world, planning ahead is everything! It saves you time and money, leaving you to be more free and creative on set. In Week 2, you’ll learn storyboarding techniques that anyone can use (and overcome the fear of drawing badly), camera/shooting language, quick ways to plan blocking and camera placement, discover ways to make your shots unique and dynamic. Assignment: Storyboarding a scene from your project

Week Three: Psychology, Authenticity and Detail: Design as Character

Who doesn’t love a handy narrative hero prop and a costume that has emotional charge or helps the storyline? We’ll talk through achieving period detail, using symbolism and metaphor, and dive into the character of props, sets and location in the story. Costume is a chance to give your characters backstory and context, a chance to show so much information, to confuse or deceive. We’ll work from basic principles up so you can develop your characters through their costumes and communicate your project to your team in clear, structured but creative ways as they develop. Assignment: Focused costume/prop/set research for your project plus prop breakdowns

Week Four: Pulling It Together

Now that you have a solid style plan and library of references for your project, we’ll put the final pieces in place so that you can collaborate and prepare for your shoot, covering useful breakdowns and ways to communicate clear visual aims with your team.  We’ll focus on mini and micro-budget filmmaking, how to think creatively with limited resources, how to get around common obstacles and ultimately plan for and build your vision! Assignment: Prepare for your shoot with costume/prop/set breakdowns and floor plans – adding to your package of design research, mood boards, shot list, and storyboards for a complete, organized and unique visual plan.

What you’ll need

A script/story idea you’ve been working on that you’d like to start developing visuals for. Internet access for research. Pen and pencils, smartphones, collage materials, and/or digital techniques can be used in class to work on your project.

Every student can receive a twenty-minute personal consultation/tutorial with the tutors to feed back on your project.

About the Tutors

Amanda Stekly

Amanda has worked in production design for 15 years. She graduated in Set Design and post-graduate Film and TV Production at Cambridge School of Art. Teaching has been an integrated part of her work.
Her own work is highly varied. Art installation film, shorts and features, live performance, festival design, high fashion seasonal launches, exhibition and gallery design, pop-up installations, web series, live-streamed events and structural spacial design.
All are about informing the viewer. And all, without exception, are collaborative and tell stories.

Elizabeth Schuch

Elizabeth E. Schuch is an American/British storyboard artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as an award-winning designer and indie director (“The Book of Birdie”.) As a specialist storyboard artist, she’s created boards for feature films (“Wonder Woman”), as well as television (One Strange Rock, Britannica, Inside the Human Body, Life on Earth From Space), commercials (Nike, Samsung, Hugo Boss, Sony, Landrover, Sotheby’s) and specialist art for projection and 3D (Star Wars, Mary Poppins, The Kingsman, BBC, TED Talks.) Elizabeth is a member of the European Film Academy, and a Berlinale Talent. She has a BFA in Scenic Design (DePaul Theatre School) and a MPhil in 2D-3D Visual Effects (Glasgow School of Art.)

Did you know?

  • Raindance members save up to 30% on this course? You can join online >HERE< and start saving immediately
  • This course is FREE for our HND and postgraduate/MA/ students
  • The Raindance Guarantee: If this course fails to meet your expectations, let us know at the break and we will make a full, 100% no-questions-asked refund

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