Director of Tim Ferriss’ Book Trailers Discusses How To Think Like a Director

by Keith AlvendiaLeave a Comment

Interview with Adam Patch, Director of Tim Ferriss' Book Trailers

As cinematographers in charge of the image (and often many more aspects of the production) we can easily forget that the work we strive to emulate is a collaboration of many departments. One of the most important roles is the Creative Director and Director – the two people that focus on the concept and story.

First ask Why

These roles are so crucial because they focus on the “why” of your filming and not just the what or how. The why is, “Why should I shoot this shot from this angle and not that? Why should there be images depicting sadness in the beginning of this video and not later on? Why would my viewer care about this topic and why will certain images draw them in more than others” All these questions are thought about long before the shoot begins.

In run and gun, you don’t always get to do this preparation but you definitely should have all this in mind as your guide when shooting. All of these things are done brilliantly by Adam Patch, Director, Designer & Animator extraordinaire. He created Tim Ferriss’ stupidly cool book trailer videos and so much more. Much thought goes into each and every shot that could potentially tell the story.

Think Like A Director

Watch Adam's Reel below
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If you’re shooting a promotional video for a school (or just starting to make polished commericals) and you know the answers to some of the above questions then it will help you to determine if you should shoot a classroom and focus on the children, or the teacher. Should you focus on happy children or bored children? Should you get close up of books or the children’s eyes? The list goes on.

Often we get distracted with the tech side of things. “My Canon 5d mark III has raw now – all that juicky dynamic range and ability to work in post! This is gonna be the greatest piece ever!” Slow your roll there my friend, there are at leat 15-20 things that you need to do right before RAW will do anything for you. Harsh but true.

As the ones holding the camera, and often alone, if we can harness that mindset of “what images do I need to tell this story? what is my overall goal with today’s filming?” then I will naturally be forced to ask, “why this and not that?”

Not always do we find ourselves filming where there is a Creative Director or Director involved. In which case, if we want our work to stand out it’s up to us to grab the reigns and get Creative! Think outside the box on what visuals can tell your story and always remember to ask “Why will this shot have the impact on my audience that I would like?”

Visit for full interview.

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)

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