First, let me just tell you that Vincent Laforet Directing Motion training (get a discount there too) is worth going to, it may or when your ability to watch movies without seeing every bit of motion and how they made it, but if you're a filmmaker, learning these skills will be very important to you in the long run.
We had the opportunity to interview Vincent before the two are started, And you can hear that entire interview on our planet5D podcast episode number 11 here.
A couple of days ago, the folks at mZED, the promotional group for Vincent's tour, invited me to attend Vincent's training in St. Louis.
I was a little hesitant to go because of the interview that we did with Vincent; I was afraid that he was going to ruin my ability to watch movies ever again because he said on the podcast that we'd end up focusing on the motion and not the story – HA! He had gotten several comments from people saying that that's the way they left the training, but I can say that I can still watch movies without getting all wrapped up in the details. That doesn't mean that Vincent failed, it just means that I'm superior to him ha ha.
What I do notice when watching movies after attending, is that if I force myself out of the story and think about it, I can seen many of the things from Vincent's training right away. It has definitely made me more aware of lighting and emotion and the details behind how a particular scene was shot. It was especially effective in that they had a complete set in order to re-create a scene from “schindler's list.”
I completely enjoyed Vincent's ability to translate what you seeing on the movie screen into simple, easy to understand, well defined terms for movement and motivation.
He started the day by defining some words commonly used in filmmaking from a director's viewpoint – which of course isn't just for directors, it is for the entire team to clearly understand what they need to do to satisfy the director's directions.
Having done a training event myself, I really appreciated the way Vincent had broken the day into blocks of time where there was sit down learning and then some of the ‘crew' (paid attendees) were re-creating scenes from famous movies with real filmmaking gear (which included DSLRs by the way) – it wasn't set up for us to just sit and listen to Vincent drone on and on and on about his directing prowess all day long (yes, I'm being silly – don't take me literally people HA).
As you can see, with the photo of the set up of and the screen grab just above, the training was very fact it and looked incredibly close to the original scene. It was awesome seeing two actors as well being directed by Vincent. One of the actors was local, And the other was on tour with Vincent, See you got to see how Vincent worked with someone new to the environment.
And as Vincent worked in the front of the room with a small crew, we got to watch on monitors throughout the room what was being shot by the cameras and the crew from the audience. That made it very effective and we didn't have to crowd around one or two small monitors somewhere.
At the end of the day, there was an exciting giveaway of several big prizes. Vincent awarded me a brand-new copy of season one of the TV show “Alf” because of a joke that happened on our planet5D podcast episode number 11-you should go back and listen to that!
Overall, I feel it was well worth the time and if I were to of paid for it would've been worth the money. Most of the people that I spoke with who attended also would've said the same thing. It is awesome that attendees will also get a downloadable version to go back over later. I think that's a great idea!
Any potential issues or problems? Well, I can see that someone who is working with very small budget projects and relatively inexpensive gear may be a bit disconnected from the expensive gear and the high dollar projects Vincent has recent experience with and discussed in depth.
It was incredible to see him talk about his experience, but at the same time, you might wonder exactly how you can apply that to something like your small low budget project.
The obvious answer is that everything he was teaching is universal to all filmmaking projects (including things like weddings and corporate videos), but I can see where someone might feel disconnected.
Would it keep me from going? No! There is much to learn here for all experience levels.
Of course we all aspire to be able to do projects like that and we do learn from what people like Vincent are sharing so don't let that make you not go… there's a ton to learn in the Directing Motion tour!
Another thing that I wish all events like this would do… have someone on the team find out where food is available for the lunch and dinner breaks. It would make it just a little nicer if someone at break time would be able to help attendees know where they can go to get food/drink/bathrooms. It is just something that is a little nicety that would make the event just a tad easier to attend.
Overall – awesome training – some beginners may struggle with some things like acronyms but Vincent's style includes all skill levels. Loved the live exercises (even tho not everyone gets to participate), and seeing the final edits of the scenes shot during the day was awesome! Congrats to the guy doing the edits (sorry I forgot his name). There were a lot of shots to get thru and to have an edit completed by end of day was awesome to see (tho it would be good to see him beef up his presentation energy a bit).
It is especially cool to know attendees will get the download of the day to re-watch. Adds to the value a whole bunch.
If you're interested in seeing the remaining dates, visit the Directing Motion blog post for a discount
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)