The return of Shadows & Light. The Filmmaking learning event of 2016

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A couple of photos of the two piers I took at the event last year.
A couple of photos of the two piers I took at the event last year.

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Screenshot 2016-05-09 07.31.43In March last year we held the first ever Shadows and Light filmmaking education in one of my favourite places in the world, Brighton. It was two days of fantastic education and networking with filmmakers from all over the world attending. Well…its back! We have moved it to July to make the most of the light of the wonderful city of Brighton and maybe even have some beach sunshine!

The event is broken up into two separate days. Day one is in a lovely old cinema and it is a day of talks from some very gifted filmmakers. Day two is the practical workshops days where all attendees rotate round the different hands mini-workshops

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New year, new topics, (mostly) new speakers! There will be more information to follow about the exact topics but they will be fascinating and beneficial for sure.

This year, apart from myself and Nino Leitner returning, we have James Tonkin, Phil Arntz with many more speakers and workshop leaders to be announced. To give you an idea of one of the talks here is what James Tonkin will be talking about.

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High End Production with Limited Gear and a Production Team of Two: Keeping it Lean
Touring with the Rolling Stones for three months at a time puts a heavy restriction on the gear we can use – and we’re only a team of two. What choices do we make to achieve what the client needs?
  • Overview: my thoughts on gear and never letting equipment get in the way of the job.
  • Staying lean: which camera for which job – how I choose my equipment and how that relates to the end Cameras, grip, lighting, audio.
  • Shooting under pressure – managing workflow on a big shoot with a quick turnaround for a demanding client
  • Case studies showing how to capture the core ingredients of your story and how this dictates gear choices
This one is going to be even better than last year and as they are different topics if you are a Shadows and Light Veteran it is definitely worth coming again!
Here is the latest agenda!

Agenda

 2016 Agenda

(Please note that this is a working draft agenda and subject to change)

Day One, Monday, July 11th 2016 – Presentations

Session One 09.00-11.00

Phil Arntz
High Energy Filmmaking. Action, high frame rates and aerials

  • How I got started, career overview and tips.
  • Case studies of Action Sports and High Speed Filming techniques. Picking the right focal length for work and how it will affect your subjects and what you can convey. Breakdown of productions. Immersion with wide lenses, conveying speed with long focal lengths, follow cams, and more.
  • Creative techniques for filming with drones. Case studies for getting the best cinematic shots out of your drones. Getting uniques shots that only a drone can make. Planning. Piloting.

Session Two 11.15-13.00

Speaker TBA
Team of One Filmmaking. In today’s market many filmmakers work either on their own or in a very small team (perhaps one other). Lessons learnt from hundreds of solo shoots.

  • Balancing business and filming. How to establish a sound pricing model. How to grow your business by getting new clients and building solid client relationships.
  • The importance of having an established, efficient workflow. Case study from pre-production through to post-production.
  • Case study: editing workflow
  • Collaboration: how and when to work with other freelance creatives

Lunch break

Session three 13.30- 15.00

James Tonkin
High End Productions with Limited Gear and  a Production Team of Two: Keeping it Lean. Touring with the Rolling Stones for three months at a time puts a heavy restriction on the gear we can use – and we’re only a team of two. What choices do we make to achieve what the client needs?

  • Overview: my thoughts on gear and never letting equipment get in the way of the job.
  • Staying lean: which camera for which job – how I choose my equipment and how that relates to the end Cameras, grip, lighting, audio.
  • Shooting under pressure – managing workflow on a big shoot with a quick turnaround for a demanding client
  • Case studies showing how to capture the core ingredients of your story and how this dictates gear choices

Session four 15.15-15.45

Critique of Attendees’ Films
Philip Bloom

Back by popular demand! A very popular session in 2015; ahead of the conference, attendees will have the chance to submit their work to Philip. In this lively session, a selection of films will be chosen with which Philip will critique and provide feedback, looking at editing, shot selection and more.

Session five 15.45-17.15

Panel Discussion: Specialisation vs Generalisation
Philip Bloom
Nino Leitner
Phil Arntz
James Tonkin
Our panel of accomplished and experienced filmmakers will discuss the issue of specialisation: DP vs Director vs Editor vs Producer vs Camera Op… Even if it’s desirable, is it even possible these days to have a specialisation? Is being a self-shooting PD the only option? If you don’t specialise, does that mean that you’re not a ‘real’ filmmaker?

  • When is it best to be a one-man band?
  • If you can have another person on the shoot, what should their role be?
  • Sound recorder vs assistant.

End of day one: awards, raffle and party on Brighton pier 19.00-23.00.

 

Day Two, Tuesday 12th July, 2016 – Workshops

Throughout the day, all four workshops will run concurrently from 09.00 to 17.00. Attendees will attend all workshops, rotating through each workshop as the day progresses. Each workshop lasts approximately an hour and a half.

Rotation One: Principles and Practice of Lighting with Phil Arntz

FV_logo_wb copyLighting in different Environments: working with minimal light andavailable light.

Harnessing the power of lighting. Using lighting effectively is an essential skill for any filmmaker, but is actually an under-used (and ‘under known’) resource. This session will help good filmmakers become great filmmakers, enabling them to achieve consistent results.
Sponsored by F&V

  • Part one: working with available light. Attendees will learn and practise where to place cameras, where to place lights, how this affects lighting for wide shots and tight shots.
  • Part two: working with minimal light. Again, attendees will learn and practise where to place lights and cameras when working in a minimal light environment. What lighting choices to go for, working with a kicker and more.

 

Rotation Two: Sound Recording –  which microphones are right for your film?
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In this seminar on audio, you will learn a variety of sound recording techniques across multiple situations. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from a professional sound recordist demonstrating a variety of mics. The seminar will investigate what mics to use in which situation and why you use them in that situation. The seminar will take place in a controlled environment and attendees will monitoring the different qualities of sound achieved by microphone choice.

  • Overview of equipment.
  • Microphone selection.
  • Multichannel recording, microphone techniques.
  • Location recording.
  • Avoiding the commonest mistakes in sound design.
  • Improving your sound recording and how it can enhance story.

 

Rotation Three: Cameras: Little & Large and how much to charge with Tom Swindell

“All voices arSony_logo-5e valid. All cameras are valid. All filmmakers are valid.” Tom Swindell, DoP
In this workshop, Tom will lead attendees on the application of cameras in the real world of freelance film production from corporate promo pieces to broadcast. The workshop will cover some of the different types of cameras that are available to filmmakers, plus the creative, practical and technical considerations behind camera choice.

  • Which cameras for which job? What you should be charging for different kinds of shoots.
  • Multicamera shoots.
  • Side-by-side camera demonstrations.
  • Practical problems with big cameras.
  • Practical demonstrations of working with different frame rates of different cameras.
  • What about when you do need the big cameras – what are the technological considerations that should be driving the decision to go bigger.

 

Rotation Four: Interviewing Techniques – how to get the best out of your interview subjects with Philip Bloom
Sponsored by Movcam
Getting to grips with technical aspect of filming interviews is one thing, but what about the ‘human’ side. This can be trickier than the technical aspects and is crucial to getting the ‘nuggets of gold’ that are the backbone of your film.

  • In this session you will learn and practise how to deal with interviewees who ramble and stray off subject. You will also learn and practise how to deal with awkward or shy interviewees.
  • Different approaches to interviewing: looking down the lens vs looking at the interviewer.
  • The session will include role play exercises with Philip, breaking out into separate groups to practise and role play with one another, followed by a period of further practice and feedback with Philip.
17.00 – Workshops finish and conference closes. See you next year!

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Testimonial Film – Shadows and Light, Brighton 2015 from Shadows and Light on Vimeo.

Shadows and Light Day Two from Shadows and Light on Vimeo.

Shadows and Light 2015 – Pre-event gathering and the first day from Shadows and Light on Vimeo.

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