Filmmaking Masterclass

There are so many things happening in my life right now, I hardly have time on my hands for writing blog posts and such. But now I caught a cold, it is Sunday and it is raining outside. So I can tell you a little bit about what happened in the last weeks. (This is gonna take a while, so why don’t you grab a cup of coffee and have a seat?)

One of the most exciting experiences was being part of Filmmaking Masterclass in Majorca. (The other news will follow during the next days.)

Filmmaking Masterclass Majorca 2012, © Sven Henig

Filmmaking Masterclass is a series of workshops led by Philip Bloom. It started in 2010 organized by Nino Leitner and Sebastian Wiegärtner and took place in Las Vegas und Key West. This time the main focus was storytelling.

Being a tutor I did not want to do an “academic” lecture, so I wrote a sort of manifesto, compiling 8 principles of storytelling that I encountered over and over again during the last ten years in my job as a script editor. These would be things like “keep your ego out”, “What is your story about?” and so on.

And I think this strategy worked perfectly, according to the feedback I got. Maybe one reason is that these principles are universal, no matter if you work in film, web design, advertising or photography. And many of the 30 attendees (by the way: 27 men and only 3 women? We clearly have to work on that :-) did not originally come from the field of filmmaking or attended a official filmschool. But these 30 people were young and old, extroverted and quiet, and they came from lots of different cultural backgrounds (we had people from 14 nations, how cool is that?). I cannot remember when it was the last time that I met so many great and interesting people that went from being strangers to friends in one way or the other within only three days.

Filmmaking Masterclass Majorca 2012

But actually I wanted to tell you about the Masterclass: On day 1 we had an introduction round and then a little bit of theory. After a hands on on the equipment, provided in part by Marcotec and Vitec, the attendees split up in groups and created stories for short films. The starting point for everyone was “Someone picks up a postcard”. On day 2 it was time for shooting with professional actors, and day 3 was editing day.

One of the big moments for me was the end of day 3, when we came together for the screening of the finished short films. The attendees even managed to come up with different edits within the groups. But what I found really great was the fact that a bit more than 48 hours before this moment we had nothing – no ideas, no stories, just a room full of 30 creative people. Two days later there were real movies with stories, emotions and everything you need for storytelling. After 10 years in this job as a script consultant and script editor this is still a miracle for me: out of nothing stories appear, and ideally these small points of light on a screen are moving me deeply. This never gets old, and I still find it fantastic every time I see a movie.

But back to the masterclass: We have our own Vimeo Channel, where you can see all the movies – have a look at the different edits, it is really interesting what you can do with almost the same material. You can also see what was going on behind the scenes in this video by Roy Gabrielsen:

Filmmaking Masterclass Majorca / Mallorca 2012 BTS from Roy William Gabrielsen on Vimeo.

Footnote: I always tell people that the gear they use and the effects have to serve the story and they should never be used to satisfy one’s “gear fever”. Because no one pays for the latter at the box office. But for the former you will. But I have to confess that this Segway by the Marcotec guys is uber-cool – you steer it with your knees and have your hands free for the steadycam…

Filmmaking Masterclass Majorca 2012

p.s.: I uploaded my Hipstamatic photos to a Flickr set.

Comments 2

  1. Post

    Thanks! I also thought “We have to go back to the island!” – but not in a creepy way like in the tv series LOST :-)

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