My ‘Style’

There is no magic formula for filmmaking.

The type of filmmaker I want to be is one area where I have been able to think about since leaving university. I have watched lots of films for ideas, I have read lots of film theory books and study the craft of filmmaking to get the basis of a ‘style’ that I want to develop and use. I have been influenced by many filmmakers and I plan on incorporating elements of their style, techniques and themes into my films.

The below are some of the key/more crucial aspects I want to experiment and develop as party of my own style:

Terrence Malick – His films have been a massive influence on my life. I am a massive fan if his visual style. If one criticism of his films could be made he does not offer a strong narrative thread for the audience (often making it hard for them to follow). In contrast, I am planning to have a stronger narrative.

I want to use juxtaposition different images and sounds to experiment and create tension and drama in non-conventional ways.
This is perhaps the most risky and exciting element I want to develop.
I also plan on filming as much as I can outside in the ‘golden hour’ to make use of the amazing light offered for free!

Read more about Terrence Malick style and his impact here:

Yasujiro Ozu – I first encountered his films at university and plan to incorporate some of his themes into my films. One aspect I like and appreciate in his films is his use of ‘ellipses’ – the decision to exclude major events from the story (like not showing a wedding but referencing it).

For me, what happens dat-to-day is as important as the big events. Life is then ordinary, punctuated with the extraordinary. To the old cliche ‘its not where you are going but how you get there’ reflects this. The destination doesn’t matter, the journey and experiences shape us. In my films, I want to look at how we (humanity) are impacted and changed by the events and world around us.

I also plan on use visual elements from Ozu’s films such as limiting the camera movement (using longer takes) but I will use the camera for some dynamic affects…

Improv – In university, for my groups major production I was convinced to use improv as a technique. It seemed to work and it what fun. There are risks to using this (often the results are good or bad) but when it works the results can be amazing.

The technique also allows for more collaboration with actors/actresses as they can develop the character/scene in different ways, allowing for executing and unexpected results.

Small/Intimate productions – I firmly believe filmmaking is an at of collaboration and a small crew I should allow more flexibility on set. However, it is vitally important that the chemistry between the crew is good to ensure everyone is on the same page to deliver the best results. I have worked on larger productions (for example filming a street festival with over a dozen) and the seniors members of the production were very disorganised and would ‘discuss’ loudly their ‘creative differences’.

For my productions, I am planning on utilising at least a cinematographer, sound recordist/mixer, lighting/camera assistant and a runner. I have a great respect for each discipline and have a fundamental understanding of each.