Andrew Dosunmu is one of the interesting Nigerian filmmkaers working in the international scene. He started as a photgrapher and later directed music videos for Talib Kweli, Les Nubians, Angie Stone and others. His background in Art and Fashion Photography influences how he approaches filmmaking in an incredible aesthetic way ; how the frames,composes and unveils emotion.
We look at how he does this in his 2nd feature, MOTHER OF GEORGE.
Ok. So lets talk about camera movement.
Camera movement is part of the visual language of cinema, and a key part in the screen grammar in the artist kit of a Director, used to tell a story. Unlike in non narrative music videos where movement doesn’t have to be motivated. In narrative story telling , 99.9% of the time, there should be a motivation for moving the camera.
Some motivations are
Subject movement motivated : the subject within the frame is moving and the camera moves along with them to keep them within the frame.
Subjective Camera: this is when the camera sees as the characters sees, and also moves accordingly. This is mostly in POV shots.
Reveal or Conceal : this is when the camera moves to reveal or hide a character or information. This is best employed to uncover critical narrative details or actions which till that time have been off screen.
Actual Camera Movements
Dolly Shot: this allows the camera to move closer or farther from an object(or subject) . Dolly in or Dolly out, are also know as a Push in or Push out.
Crane Shot : this raises the camera vertically up or down in relation to the subject.
Steadicam Shots: Steadicam is associated with free flowing dynamic camera movement. It allows the operator freedom of movement while maintaining a stable and clean shots (free of wobble & shaking)
Handheld: When shooting handheld, it MUST have a narrative purpose. It should just be done because a tripod wasn’t available, or getting the shot as quickly as possible when shooting guerrilla style. It can be used to give a documentary style feel. But if not done right, it can feel tonally out of place and pull out the viewer from the film. If shooting handheld, consider its place visually with the rest of the film, and the purpose of shooting that scene handheld. Are you creating a sense of urgency? Chasing a character? Following a character? Portraying a psychological or emotional state?
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OK, So i decided to do another video essay and this time it’s on FRAMING . Using examples of films by Nigerian Directors .
Check it out. If you like what you see and want to see more. Click on the subscribe button, leave comment and if you want to you can support the making of more videos( they take time to make) on Patreon
You can see it with some notes on my guest post here
So, I have been thinking about it doing it for a while and kept on procrastinating, and pushing it off. Waiting for the ideal time and the ideal topic and thoughts to do it, but i just took the plunge and made it ; my very first video essay. Even after making it I wondered if I articulated my thought well enough or passed across the ideas,was it long enough, did i use enough footage,did i talk enough about ………………. but then remembered Guy Kawasaki’s saying
“Dont wait for perfection. Life isn’t perfect.Do the best you can and ship”
So here it goes , this is me Ship-ing
Long before the likes of Tarantino, Chris Nolan and JJ Abrahms become household names , and a release of their movie was an event that had people all over the globe waiting with glee. Steven Speilberg was and probably still is, the best known director in the world. Over the years the man has tackled a variety of genres, winning directing awards from almost every significant film body there is. From films of childhood wonder to alien invasion to resurrecting dinosaurs to War to love stories to adventurous archaeologists; almost every thing he touches turns in Cinema gold.. almost. While he has had a few turkeys, his body of work is nothing short of outstanding, and his contribution to Cinema and pop culture eclipses any failure he may have in his filmography.
Like many great directors Speiberg has many influences that impact his vision, to which he adds his techniques. Not a meer cut and paste, but a cinematic touch that makes it a thing of beauty on its own . He also has various themes that are present to a discerning eyes, similar to how Tarantino has a criminal underworld theme in most of his work, and JJ Abrahms has scientific mystery and un-answered questions.
I came across this video essay that analysis his work and shows some of his influences, shows how meticulous he is , and that directing is not just about calling action and yelling at your crew, but pulling your viewer into a world and taking them on a ride to remember
Im pretty sure any young director(in career) watching this , would hope to have a body of work in about 20-30 years to which someone would dedicate hours to create such a respectful and admiring video essay.