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The Master Course
Read the review at Learning Maya
What do Dreamworks Animation, Pixar, Disney Feature Animation, BBC and many others have in common? They all use Hollywood Camera Work. With this 6 DVD-bundle you get an in-depth look in professional camera work including High-end Blocking and Staging, rules for Framing and Perspective, explanation of all camera-basics like shot-sizes, -types, focal-length, image-compostion etc.
The 6 DVD-bundle comes in 6 separate cases and in general everything makes a professional first impression. A friendly female voice guides you through all of the sessions. The tempo all topics are being presented in is sometimes somewhat speedy, but that´s not a problem, since it is anyway highly recommended to watch the sessions more than just one time to really get all issues. And it's just fun to watch all the sessions and getting more and more an idea what a difference in storytelling good camera work can make. The video-quality is very good. The DVDs have an easy to navigate menu and all sessions are skipable.
The bundle is split into the following DVDs:
Volume I + II concentrate first of all on all the common basics like shot-sizes and -types, choosing the right perspective and framing, important classic rules of image-composition, as well as all the issues dealing with stationary cameras like managing the line, right-angle and parallel cameras etc. Volume III and IV concentrates on all aspects of blocking and staging scenes with multiple moving cameras.
In contrast to the first 4 Volumes, which present all topics in a more teaching and abstracted style, the last two Volumes V and VI actually set up complicated "Highend"-Scenes as projects, where all rules learned in the first 4 Volumes are heavily applied.
As you can see on the screenshots, the main concept behind the sessions is to show very abstracted and not facial-animated, resulting in non-emotional figures to be able to really concentrate just on the camera work. This was a very wise decision; the differences in good framing and camera-moves have never been so transparent and clear. All topics are being presented very in-depth, meaning you definitly learn a lot in a short period of time, which is sometimes too much, but, like already said, it is recommended to watch the sessions on and on to really hammer all the rules into your brain. The style the topics are being presented is very technical and not personal, which again is good. Just don´t expect a freaky tutor, that constantly gets off-topic, telling from his last film-project. With these DVDs just facts come out of the screen.
This DVD-bundle is great. It really teaches you professional and state of the art camera work that greatly helps you in the process of good storytelling. That´s also the main reason why all these sessions are not just useful for live-action camera-operators but for everyone - including 3d-animators - who want to tell a good story with images.
For more information or for ordering, go to www.hollywoodcamerawork.us.
Reviewed by: Boris Bruchhaus