Cinematography For Directors [Ep 3 – Marrying Set Design w/ Shot Framing]

Cinematography For Directors [Ep 3 – Marrying Set Design w/ Shot Framing]

Cinematography For Directors is series of short videos dissecting the shot selection and framing used in nine specific scenes in the movie Drinking Games. HUGE thanks to Cinematographer Andrew “Tank” Rivara at TankLightsYouUp.com and AC Chris Falkowski for making it all possible!

My hope is that the ideas expressed in the videos help your decision-making process on your next film. Remember, these are just ideas, a jumping off point, a way to start thinking about picking and framing shots. Hope it’s helpful!

***Ep 3 – Marrying Set Design w/ Framing***
I discuss how we used a very low budget to our advantage, through clever set design and shot selection, and some ways you can apply these specific techniques to your own projects. Full text below.

***About me***
I’m an independent producer/director with award-winning features distributed in theaters, online and internationally. When I have a new project, I do a lot of Q&A’s and with my new feature Drinking Games, I took a lot of questions about the cinematography and shot selection. I thought this type of breakdown would be helpful to other directors like you, so I put in video form. You can check out my films below, they’re all available on Hulu, iTunes and Amazon.

Drinking Games
Hulu:
iTunes:

Turtle Hill, Brooklyn
Hulu:
iTunes:

The Graduates
Hulu:
iTunes:

***Full Video Text***
So if you’re watching this in order by now you probably have noticed the kind of creepy butterfly tapestry hanging on the wall in the bedroom. It’s one of those things that seems to me to be both beautiful and scary at the same time. Also obviously it’s a bit of a metaphor for growing up, shedding your skin and turning into an adult.

So although there’s a lot of action in the movie, the moments that really push Richard the farthest are those that happen with or about the money. We come back to this camera angle in the climax when Richard must save Melanie from Noopie for instance.

So it was important when they’re having their introductory argument when I want me calls Richard out for being distant after they’ve slept together, that the butterfly tapestry is visible in the background, and hopefully it feels like the third character in the scene judging Richard or at least reflecting what they’re both going through.

This is another instance where having a small dorm room was a real challenge. We pushed the bed out from the wall, also needed to use our 16mm Canon Prime lens in order to keep both actors in the frame- it’s a great wide lens that doesn’t warp around the edges.

Hope this was helpful.

Post any questions in the comments or email me at
ryan at believeltd dot com