New York Film Academy instructor and filmmaker Abraham Heisler provides an in-depth look into creating the visual feel of his short film “The Typist.” In the following video, he emphasizes the significance of storyboarding, pre-visualization software like FrameForge 3D, innovative methods, and other means by which to convey one’s vision to his or her director of photography and crew. This is a helpful how-to that will give you a glimpse into the making of “The Typist” in addition to better understanding the filmmaking process.
Hi guys, my name is Abraham Heisler. I recently completed a short film called “The Typist” and it’s highly stylized and has a look and feel to it that is pretty unique. So I wanted to share with you some preparations that went into creating that look in hopes that it helps prepare you for your own film productions.
So first off, I’m a pretty big fan of storyboarding. Storyboards help me conceptualize the way scenes will cut together and allow me to develop an overall visual pattern for the film. So for instance, my film is about a guy that is struggling to relate to people in the world around him. And I wanted to portray the protagonist in his own world with shots that are very symmetrical, neat, and organized, but contrast those shots with low and Dutch angle shots whenever he is trying to fit in. This is a visual theme I was able to experiment with while in the storyboarding process.
I use a pre-visualization software called FrameForge 3D. And what’s beautiful about this program is that you can create a 3D world for your characters to exist in and then you can select which camera you want to move around in order to find the best angles to tell your story. Not only does it allow you to experiment and play with ideas ahead of time, but it also creates wonderful, beautiful storyboard images that you can show to your director of photography, art department, and rest of your crew.
For shots that were difficult to achieve in FrameForge 3D, I went to the actual location and snapped photos or downloaded images off the internet and Google Maps in order to get a sense of the setting. There’s a complex scene in the film where the main character enters a hipster café and gets rejected by technophile enthusiasts for typing on his own typewriter. I wanted to play with the sounds of technology—iPads, iPhones, and other Apple products—and juxtapose that with the editing of sounds of the typewriter. In order to get the music and pacing right for the scene, I designed a quick schematic from the photos from the internet in order to give my crew a sense of what I was going for, so check it out.
I hope this has been helpful and you’re able to apply some of these techniques to your own filmmaking. Thanks for watching and if you’re interested in checking out the film or learning more about the pre-production process that went into creating it, please visit our crowdfunding campaign at pozible.com/thetypist. All the best!