Stuck in a creative rut? Let these epic shots from Deakins get you out of it.
It can be tough to get back in touch with your creative side. Thankfully, you can find inspiration just about anywhere, and as filmmakers, we tend to look at those who have done it before us a means of creativity.
Alfred Hitchcock. Orson Welles. Stanley Kubrick. Akira Kurosawa. Hal Ashby. When it comes to cinematography, there's a gluttony of voices you can turn to in order to trigger new ideas. As many of you know, Roger Deakins is one of them, and here at No Film School, we just can't soak up enough of his work.
One of our favorite supercuts of his was created in 2014 by Plot Point Productions, and it emphasizes a sense of space. A deeper connection between the story and the environment. It's an idea that can easily get lost in modern filmmaking. That it's okay to slow down the pace in order to let viewers sink into the world, before cutting to that close up. When it comes to creating those moments, Deakins' work is a masterclass on the subject. It's more than just hero shots. It's also visuals that link the surroundings to the emotion of the story.
Check it out:
Pretty fantastic, right? And since this video was made back in 2014, it doesn't even show Deakins' amazing work on Sicario, Blade Runner 2049, or 1917.
While there can be only one Deakins, you can certainly draw inspiration from his work. But keep in mind, it's those who think against the grain or break traditional rules that stand out.
As a creator, you want to evoke a lasting cognitive emotional response with your story. It just can't be about framing beautiful shots. That can only take you so far. You need to consider how pace, rhythm, composition, texture, and the quality of light can help tell the story.
We can't stress how important it is to explore those ideas in preproduction. While it's always exciting to go out and shoot, there's no need to rush. Plan as much as you can before you start shooting. It will better serve your story. Hopefully, this video can help you find inspiration for your next storyboarding session.
Where do you like to draw inspiration from? Let us know in the comments below.