Monday, 19 September 2011

Making Better Movies with Moviestorm

A while ago, we mentioned that Matt was working on a book about using Moviestorm to help practice film techniques. It's been a background task for about six months now, but at last it's getting closer to completion.

It'll be released initially as a series of short e-books, covering basic camerawork, staging, editing, lighting, sound, and miscellaneous techniques.

Each contains 15-20 exercises designed to help you develop your filmmaking technique. Whether you use Moviestorm, other animation tools, or live action to make your movies, you'll find these a useful way to focus on specific skills. Each exercise requires you to film a short scene in several different ways so that you develop familiarity with the various approaches available to you. You may be required to work within constraints such as not being allowed to move the camera or making the scene a specific length, or the exercise may be about filming a particular piece of story.

How do you get good at telling stories with cinema? It comes down to experience, of course, and experience comes through practice. So how do you get experience in film making, when it takes so much to make even the simplest piece of film? You have to find actors and crew, there are lights and cameras to buy, writers to bully, locations to find… and there are some scenes you just can’t film at all without a crazy budget. It’s a problem filmmakers have faced for a hundred years. But now there’s a solution, in the form of Moviestorm.

You see, Moviestorm doesn’t just allow you to make finished movies if you are already an accomplished storyteller. It allows you to grow your own talent by putting in movie making hours.

As I said earlier, in the world of filmmaking, practice usually involves a lot of equipment, money and mostly time, both yours and other people's. It's hard for most people to put in the hours. It’s a lot like a pilot who hasn't got easy access to a plane. So what does he do? He books time in a simulator. Even if a trainee pilot has regular access to a plane, he still books a lot of time in a simulator because it's cheaper and safer than using a real plane. He can practice whenever it’s convenient, and by logging enough hours he improves his skills almost automatically.

The same is true of any technical ability which has some art to it. The more you do it, the better you get. It's a creative muscle memory. It's the same with creativity and mastery of your storytelling chops. The more you do it, the better you will get. Shots flow to shots in a seamless hypnotic glide, because you know what you are doing and you know exactly where to go at any one time, in the service of your story.

This excellent series of books will guide your development. In each of the carefully structured and easy to follow exercises Matt leads you through all the movie making tricks you will need, from the most common to the most difficult. It's an easy regime to follow: just read what's on the page and do it. Then do the next one, and the next, and work your way through Pretty soon you'll be flying through them and your mastery of both Moviestorm and film technique will grow.

From the foreword by Phil South

The first volume, Basic Camerawork, will be published in early October, with the remaining volumes following monthly. These will be available free through Moviestorm.

1 comment:

Dex said...

This is fantastic! What a great way to help folks learn filmmaking, whether with Moviestorm or in the real world.

Can't wait to start reading these.

- Dex