“Reading this article,” writes Bristol-based designer/cinematographer Matt Burwood, “will make you a better filmmaker”. That is the subtitle for an article he has published at storytelling website Medium.
“In this post I will show you how thinking more like a designer will make you a better filmmaker,” he continues.
“Filmmakers learning from designers?” you might ask. “Really?”
Really. I have seen how both creative fields relate, having worked with one great designer/art director who soon became a top-rate director, Warren Eakins. I learned heaps from Warren.
Designer/art director Paul Belford worked at the same agency at the same time and he has done some great little films as well as plenty of respected, award-winning adverts and designs. Paul is also a damned good writer on advertising, contributing a monthly column on important ads of the past to Creative Review magazine’s iPad edition.
So clearly I agree with Mr Burwood's assertion. Moviemakers have a great deal to learn from designers. And advertising art directors and copywriters for that matter. I won’t try to steal any more of his fire so the best thing I can say next is, simply, read his article.
What Filmmakers Can Learn from Designers
Designers are always trying to come up with the best solution. They’re ruthlessly self critical and always asking WHY?
This is because they know that the odds are stacked against them — there is so much competition for your attention that if their advert doesn’t engage you, you’re probably going to gloss over it.
Filmmakers are faced with the same issue — they must get an audience invested in their film. In fact they have a much harder job as they’ve got to keep you glued to your seat for anything up to 3 hours at a time.
The interesting thing is that many novice filmmakers don’t tend to think about their work from this perspective. Designers have no choice—if their design isn’t getting people’s attention then the client will be on the phone asking why no one is buying their stuff. But novice filmmakers rarely have this kind of incentive to put their audience first. This can mean they end up taking their audience’s attention for granted.
I think this is a problem — if you’re not thinking of how you’re going to engage an audience in your film then it’s probably going to suck.
Read full article on Medium “What Filmmakers Can Learn from Designers”
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(cover photo credit: snap from Medium)