I first met Alex Buono when he came through Living Arts College where I was teaching at the time. He had come to razzle-dazzle us with a Canon Filmmaker Workshop for our Film Students. He even brought some DSLR toys and some Zacuto toys and let everyone drool all over them. And by everyone, I mean me! I may have actually licked a Zacuto Viewfinder. The restraining order was SO worth it!
Anyway, I judge Workshops the same way I judge Sermons — by how many notes I’m able to take during the lectures. And how many LOLs there are. But mostly the notes thing. Now, Alex Buono is no Pastor, but he is a filmmaking evangelist. And I filled notebooks with info from his 3 hour presentation.
Alex is a Director of Photography, see. He sat at the feet of other Cinematographers like the inimitable Conrad Hall. (using “inimitable” just got me 170 points in this ‘WordPress with Friends’ game I just made up. You’re losing.) So, having sat at the feet of some masters, he values the hands-on, mentor jedi-padawan methodology! He doesn’t hoarde knowledge. He plays well with others. You might say he’s our own Phillip Bloom: Americano Style. And in keeping with the Starbucks analogy, his ideas are Venti. Very Venti.
Why should you care? Because he’s going on Tour. Not as much a Taylor Swift-y kinda tour as maybe Cirque de Soleil. Possibly less clowns. And less girls that fold in half and fit inside of teacups.
What will you be learning at this hands-on extravaganza?
The Daytime Cinematography Workshop provides an on-set learning experience, giving you a behind-the scenes look at the process I use in my filmmaking. I’ll show you how I deal with working in a fast turn-around environment like Saturday Night Live while still delivering my best work, so that you can do the same no matter what you shoot— from commercials, movies and documentaries to weddings, corporate videos and live events.
We’ll start the day with a short film script and totally break it down; I’ll show you how I scout locations, design shots, put together my lighting plans, and select my gear package. Then we’ll actually shoot a few of the scenes. I’ll pull my crew from the audience and demonstrate exactly how I set up camera moves, light a master shot with matching coverage, and work with audio. We’ll take the footage all the way through my normal on-set workflow, from the camera all the way to the edit using the latest footage management tools. Finally, we’ll end with a look to the future of 4K delivery, discussing vital 4K considerations both on set and in post.
And look what he’ll be showing off during the dinner break…
Between the Daytime Workshop and the Evening Seminar, we’ll have a hands-on hour to give you interactive time with the gear. We’re assembling some of the most buzzed-about new technology from NAB, including the new MōVI stabilized camera gimbal(!) along with the incredibly efficient Hive plasma-lights, the latest rigs from Kessler Crane and the entire lineup of Canon Cinema-EOS cameras. We will also have a 4K media management station setup so that you can walk through my workflow process for yourself. This is the same gear that I use in my own work and that I will be using throughout the workshop so you’ll see how I work with it, and then you’ll have the opportunity to try everything out for yourself.
And then there’s the evening session…
The Evening Visual Structure Seminar starts with anoverview of all the tools and techniques that I’ve learned by shooting with both DSLRs and Cine-Style cameras at the SNL Film Unit.
Next up is Visual Structure—to me, this is what cinematography is all about. Inspired by the ground-breaking work of visual consultant Bruce Block, you will learn how to identify and control the seven core visual components of any image: SPACE, LINE, SHAPE, COLOR, TONE, MOVEMENT and RHYTHM. Using examples from my own work as well as from my filmmaking heroes, you will learn how the visual masters of filmmaking use these techniques to create their signature styles: from Stanley Kubrick (one-point perspective), to David Fincher (control of tonal range); from the Coen Brothers (shape motifs) to Wes Anderson (flat space and limited color palette).
If these concepts affect you even a fraction of how they affected me, it will completely change the way you shoot and watch films. With these principles, you will know how to enhance any visual storytelling experience – be that a movie, a commercial, a documentary, a wedding video—you name it.
And if all that weren’t enough, look again at that picture above at how well he stands next to expensive cameras!
But, BE WARNED! There are only a select number of seats available for these Workshops. The price of the full workshop is somewhere around $295.
Right now, Alex is running a special deal for the CHARLOTTE, NC workshop! As a favor to me, he’s offering the Full-Day Charlotte session for $249 instead of $295!
All you have to do is email me for the Discount Code at firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, Charlotte, only!
And by the way, the other cool thing you need to know about Alex is that he’s comfortable with guerrilla style documentary DSLR run and gun as well as large union crew feature film Red-Alexa-4K+ setups. Your notebook will be filled with film goodness and digital trickery.
For more information on the Visual Storytelling Tour with Alex Buono check out their website.
Then make sure you check on the closest location for you to partake. It just so happens that he’s coming to Charlotte, NC so I have to travel all of 14 minutes to get a day-full of world class film knowledge dropped into my skull meat. What’s not to love?
So go check it out, sign up, and comment below or email us here and let us know if you’re going. And after the event, let us know your thoughts. At Wired4Film we’re huge into building better filmmakers. Craftsman. Not Crap-man. Let’s make a movie!