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Directing Motion, Pulling Hamstrings

On site this past Tuesday in Philadelphia for the kickoff of Vincent Laforet’s Directing Motion tour.

Something’s going down in the meeting room. Directing Motion Tour. Philadelphia, PA. May 6, 2014. Click images to enlarge.

This was a great day which included live action recreations of two scenes from Schindler’s List in the morning and some original setups in the afternoon. Throughout the day Vincent fills you in on how motion is created in films, how to use it to further the story and when best to use it. Directors cited include Welles, Darabont, Scorsese, Spielberg, Cuarón, De Palma, Hitchcock, and Hill. Selected examples are not just shown but broken down and diagramed so that you can fully appreciate what went into making the shots. The live action units then drive those points home.

The workshop’s concentration is truly on the craft and not on the equipment.

Vincent takes over at the end of the day to direct. Directing Motion Tour. Philadelphia, PA. May 6, 2014.

At the end of the day I was conscripted to be a nervous runner in a cops/perp scenario. All was fine until the 7th or 8th take when my hamstrings tightened up (guess the old elliptical doesn’t stretch them enough!) I toughed it out but it made for what looked like some serious overacting. Hopefully that footage gets buried deep in the Meadowlands when the tour is up near Newark.

Like Alex Buono’s Art of Visual Storytelling tour last year, Directing Motion has an evening lecture component. Vincent divides that between a look behind one of his commercials and a look at One-shot Wonders. I found the behind the scenes fascinating and well worth it to get a sense of the detail and commitment needed to operate at that level.

The tour is coming to thirty-two cities through mid-July and is well worth attending.