When watching a film that's well-made, it's easy to forget that it's built from the ground up. This is especially fascinating when considering the quirky universe of Wes Anderson, who designs, builds, and captures every one of his films to meet the standards of a precocious perfectionist. Thanks to this Vimeo Staff Pick mini-documentary by Paul Waters, we get to peek inside the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt methods Anderson uses to craft his characters, sets, and shots.
Thanks in part to great information, fun animations, and helpful shot diagrams, Paul Waters' short documentary on Wes Anderson received the coveted Vimeo Staff Pick. It gives a thorough biography of the director that sets the stage for deconstructing his stylistic approach to making his films, which are often described as filmed stage plays.
Waters highlights several aspects of Anderson work. Costuming and set dressing has always been a crucial part of his films, and one great takeaway from that is that you can really add depth and efficiency to your storytelling by creating dimensional characters and sets through costuming and set design. Anderson is also known for picking music that communicates a desired mood, often using music from the 60s and 70s to capture a vintage musical aesthetic. And finally, the cinematography in Anderson's films is playful, kinetic, and, like I said before, is designed and choreographed like a play. This short doc, through animated shot diagrams, shows you how Anderson pulls off the shots that they don't teach you in film school.
Take a page from Wes Anderson's book (or a bunch) -- a master of visual storytelling -- remember how important the role of costuming, set decor, and music play in your film. Everything in a film tells a story, whether we know it or not, but unless we intentionally design and build those parts, we have no control over what stories they're telling.
What did you think of Waters' short documentary? What aspects of Wes Anderson's work would you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments below.