Making Visual Music

      1 Comment on Making Visual Music

Something that struck me towards the end of the second day of the shoot for Albert, was that the story was a series of ‘waves’, or a succession of arcs of action. These arcs were the master shots, chunks of action, usually one complete act of motivation – from a character making the decision to do something then doing it. They were almost like musical phrases.

But within these master shots we were selecting moment to hone in on details – a close up of a face, hands doing something, handling props, or simply the prop itself. These were the virtuoso moments.  And in those moment of detail, we could decide whose point of view we were favouring – just how close did we want to be – how much did we want the viewer to identify or empathise with the character at that moment.

And what was really exciting was that we changed our minds – some of the shots from the storyboard that originally favoured one character became a face to face show down, with some delicious results.  If we’d given the actors gun belts it could have been a western.

I haven’t seen the rough cut yet (hint, hint), but it will be interesting to discover if that rhythm I experienced during the shoot has the same beat as the finished drama.

One thought on “Making Visual Music

  1. Steve Mansfield-Devine

    I, too, was surprised by the number of ‘beats’ we discovered as we went along. A beat is that point where an action becomes decisive and meaningful, and although you can (and should) write these into the screenplay, it’s interesting how they also emerge from the performances, the camera set-ups/angles, the blocking an so on. It shows that a screenplay is only a starting point and it’s important to be open to letting things evolve on set.


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