How to Block a Shot like a Master Director

When it comes to directing, the fine art of blocking and composition is a skill set that separates a good filmmaker from a great filmmaker.

Blocking is cinematic choreography. Simply, it’s the precise movement of an actor in relation to the camera.

Think about it – who decides where and how actors will move during a scene and when and how they will deliver each line of dialogue. Answer: The Director. And how the director answers these questions will significantly shape a movie.

Most aspiring (and even some seasoned) filmmakers overlook the power of good blocking and they do so at their own expense – as well as that of the audience.

This superb video essay from Dan Fox delves into this much overlooked and under appreciated directing skill, and how the clever staging of actors and camera movement can enhance a cinematic moment and reel your audience in.

If you’re a budding filmmaker that wants to direct think carefully about every scene in your film. Think about different ways to direct, ways that don’t just involve a shot/reverse shot formula.

Seek inspiration from the films you love and don’t simply point the camera at ‘talking heads’. But above all – don’t be boring. Remember you’re telling a story and your direction is how you weave that story. If you’re asking people to spend their time and money – you better entertain them!

Watch. Enjoy and learn.


How to Load a Film Camera – Arriflex 16SR

arriflex banner

Howdy ya’ll!

Recently we discussed 10 Lessons Every Filmmaker Learns When Shooting On Film and as a follow up to that article, I thought I’d piece together something on how to load a Film Camera – specifically the Arriflex 16SR.

arri sr v.2

Arriflex 16SR

It goes without saying that digital cameras are superb, but for many filmmakers (including myself) shooting on film is still something to aspire towards. And if you’re one of those filmmakers thinking the same, then you need to know your way around a film camera and know how to load it.

This isn’t meant to be a pro-film/bash-digital article — everyone has their opinion and they’re entitled to them — this is purely and simply a walk-through on the best techniques for loading film with some handy does & don’ts, if you are interested in giving film a go… or generally just interested. (more…)

10 Lessons Filmmakers Learn Shooting On Film


 “Why every Filmmaker should shoot a project on film at least once… while stocks last!

Film vs. Digital… the old debate (argument) continues, but today we’re putting all that aside to discuss something more constructive than pixels and noise vs. emulsion and grain.

I want to share with you 10 Lessons Every Filmmaker Learns When Shooting On Film… and therefore why every Filmmaker should shoot a project on film at least once… while stocks last! (excuse the pun)

"Good ol' Arri"

“Good ol’ Arri”

You Learn…

  1. It’s Not That Hard
  2. It’s Not That Expensive
  3. Discipline
  4. Efficiency
  5. Patience
  6. To Trust
  7. Film Is Flattering
  8. Film Has That Filmic Look
  9. Film Separates You From The Crowd
  10. Film Is Fun

The first thing anyone who’s worked with film will tell you, is that “it’s a totally different experience”. Some of that is bravado (this industry is full of posers and you should aspire to not be one of them), but some of that is the truth.

So let’s look in more detail at these lessons and what makes film so “totally different” (more…)

The Mysterious Disappearance of M.M.Bayliss – 16mm Short Film



The Mysterious Disappearance of M.M.Bayliss is an homage to classic Victorian ghost stories and the weird tales of the Twilight Zone serials.

A young man is woken one night by a set of haunted keys that float before him. Guided through his empty house by the possessed keys, he discovers a dark room hiding an even darker secret. 

This short film was shot on only 800ft of 16mm FujiFilm (Eterna 500T) to achieve the distinct and unique aesthetic audiences associate with the classic ghost films of the past.


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