Directing Motion Tour Sneak Peek: Breaking Down a Scene from Spielberg's 'Empire of the Sun'
As a director or cinematographer, knowing how and when to move the camera is an extremely important skill, and it's something that takes a lot of practice to get better at. One way to get a better sense of how camera movement can affect a scene is to dissect what the greatest directors and directors of photography have done with their films. That's partly what commercial director Vincent Laforet is doing with his Directing Motion Tour, which starts on May 6th. He's uploaded a snippet of some of the things he'll be covering during the workshop -- here is a coverage breakdown of a scene from Empire of the Sun, directed by Steven Spielberg and shot by Allen Daviau:
Here's how the idea of this tour started:
For a few decades now, I’ve promised myself that one day I would be lucky enough to have a big home theater, and that I would sit back and watch all of my favorite films and to break them down scene by scene… Problem is: I never found the time, and when I did watch them, I would more often than not fall right under their spell: and out went any chance of analysis.
Then something interesting happened, nearly 3 months ago I broke my arm and suddenly had far too much time on my hands with little to do but stay as still as possible and heal… what to do?
Well that’s how the Directing Motion Tour was born. I ordered nearly 100 BluRays of my favorite films and a few key TV series, and watched them while taking copious notes. In all I’ve already spent close to 300 hours analyzing my favorite films and scenes… and I have more than 400 examples to share that I will surely have to decimate down to the very best ones…
More from Laforet on the workshop:
And this won’t just be theory drawn from Spielberg, Scorsese, DePalma, Welles, Hitchcock, Cuaron, Gilliam, Darabont, Deakins, Daviau, Deschannel, Hall and so many more. We’re going to shoot this stuff live with some of the best cinema gear in the business for all of your gear heads… and you’ll be invited to be part of the crew. We’ll shoot classic coverage on a dialogue scene, a complex one shot wonder with intense blocking and timing queues, as well as a 2 camera hostage scene LIVE as a team, with careful tips and tricks along the way.
And the full introduction of the tour:
The Directing Motion Tour consists of two parts. From 9-4PM is the Daytime Movement & Direction Workshop :
The Daytime Movement & Direction Workshop will teach you to understand the fundamental moves that are available to you by studying the masters’ work, and will also delve into how different camera moves can literally make audiences feel different types of emotion.
From 6-9PM is the Evening Applied Theory Seminar:
The Evening Applied Theory Seminar will show you exactly what a director of a short film or commercial must know. We’ll review writing treatments, the pitch, initial storyboarding, reference selection, location selection, tech scouts, casting, schedules, and glimpse into budgets, and analyze how all of these items are used to further your number one goal: creating the best set of circumstances to tell a story.
Some screenshots from the workshop:
He will also be discussing the entire process, from prep to shoot, of his newest Nike commercial:
The dates for the tour, which starts May 6th and goes through July 13:
- Tuesday, May 6, 2014 – Philadelphia
- Thursday, May 8, 2014 – Newark
- Saturday, May 10, 2014 – Boston
- Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – Columbus
- Thursday, May 15, 2014 – Detroit
- Saturday, May 17th, 2014 – Indianapolis
- Sunday, May 18, 2014 – Chicago
- Tuesday, May 20, 2014 – St. Louis
- Thursday, May 22, 2-14 – Minneapolis
- Tuesday, May 27, 2014 – Denver
- Thursday, May 29, 2014 – Salt Lake City
- Saturday, May 31, 2014 – Vancouver
- Sunday, June 1st, 2014 – Seattle
- Tuesday, June 3, 2014 – Portland
- Friday, June 6th, 2014 – San Jose
- Sunday, June 8th, 2014 – San Francisco
- Tuesday, June 10, 2014 – Sacramento
- Saturday, June 14, 2014 – Irvine
- Sunday, June 15, 2014 – L.A/Burbank
- Tuesday, June 17, 2014 – San Diego
- Thursday, June 19th, 2014 – Phoenix
- Saturday, June 21, 2014 – Austin
- Sunday, June 22, 2014 – Dallas
- Tuesday, June 24. 2014 – Houston
- Thursday, June 26, 2014 – New Orleans
- Saturday June 28, 2014 – Nashville
- Sunday, June 29, 2014 – Atlanta
- Tuesday, July 1, 2014 – Ft. Lauderdale
- Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – Charlotte
- Tuesday, July 10, 2014 – Brooklyn, NY
- Saturday, July 12, 2014 – Washington, DC
- Sunday, July 13, 2014 – NYC
There are three different ticket packages available: $79 for just the evening workshop, $219 for just the Daytime workshop, or $295 for the entire day, which also includes a download of the event. There are also separate download and streaming options available if you can't attend.
For more information, head on over to the websites below.