Topic: Help with cinematography!

So I have been thinking of working on a big project for a while now and I want it to have decent cinematography and a good story. The only issue with this is that I suck at both. I have been trying tests but I'm not sure what to test exactly. I have been looking around youtube for some really smooth brickfilms with great storylines and more than decent cinematography to see if there is anything I could work on. Basically what I am asking is for some brickfilms that look really nice, both in aesthetics and plot. Some examples could be Fried Circuit by ForlornCreature, or Released by Abraham Feldick.
I just need some inspiration and motivation, but it is hard to find brickfilms like these.
If you could even just tell me what some things are I could work on that would help a lot. Here is my channel:

Thanks guys!

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Re: Help with cinematography!

Hey there buddy!

Do not be worried, and think you are alone! I am sort of in my own situation like yours but a little different, as right now the story is my main concentration, I am also going for a longer brickfilm and so far am really enjoying the ideas I have.

Its a great way to gain inspiration by watching veteren brickfilmers who have taken this field before and are experienced in cinematography and story.

Before I give the links, the best advice I can give you is to plan small. Don't go for a whole bunch of ideas and try to settle upon one, it can be a nightmare. Try and stick to one idea and if your happy with it go with it!

As for the story, ask yourself simple questions;

What genre do I want this film to be?
What is the main plot?
Who is the protagonist?
Who is the baddie?
Is it a serious film?
Do I have a story I'm happy with?

simple questions like these can help you kick off.

Now onto the films list!

Unrenewable - This is the first film that comes to mind, and is a huge inspiration as to why I started brickfilming! You may have seen it or you may not have. Its by none other than Smeagol himself. It tells a really great story of a detective, and the cinematography and story is fantastically presented and visually enjoyable. If you want to get more concept and learn more about the film watch the second link with annotation!
link 2 (With annotation):

The magic portal - This brick film is another great vid I would recommend you watch if you haven't seen it its one of the first brick films to have ever been made. It doesn't have an actual story/dialog however the sets and designs are just so fitting for the scenery and its become so popular and well reconized for being one of the first brick films.

Lego Biblins Weg - Brickfilm (HD)
- Now this is another really great brickfilm, although it is in german the cinematography on this brickfilm is astonishing! You will see amazing techniques and large detail in all and every individual set. Theres also some great techniques you can learn along the way while watching this film! Would highly recommend it, to get more of a visual feel of it.

Henri & Edmond - Plastic Love (brickfilm LEGO) - This film is a really cute and interesting brickfilm, it tells the story of love between Henri & Bridgette. It has quite a twist at the ending! It is visually amazing, with awesome camera angles, and views! The set designs are exquisite!

Henri & Edmond - Droits d'auteur (brickfilm LEGO) - Another great brick film and the same creators of Plastic love. This is a really great story about how Henri & Edmond get into a situation with a copyright song, and they go on a crazy chase to escape justice! Its again visually stunning and the story is well developed, I have watched this a few times!

Because theres sooo many great films it would take a large while to write it all down. From now I will just post the name and links! mini/smile (This in no way means I am more fond of the above then the bottom, as films pop in my head or as of most recently that I have seen, I write them down it was just a helpful way to help you out on deciding which film has what, but all the rest are still very recommended just as the above!)

Clone Training Center

Lego Star Wars "The Ruthless Plan" Part 1
Lego Star Wars "The Ruthless Plan" Part 2
Lego Star Wars "The Ruthless Plan" Part 3
Lego Star Wars "The Ruthless Plan" Part 4
Lego Star Wars "The Ruthless Plan" Part 5

Battle of the Brick: Built for Combat - The Movie

That's The Way It Goes! - A Collection of Short Stories by Walter Benson (LEGO Brickfilm)

Theres a whole bunch more, but this is from the top of my head, this is honestly great to begin with. Just watch them over, see how the scenes/sets are made. Grab ideas, write down tips and techniques as you notice them.
To anyones great film I have missed I apologize if I forgot it!! I honestly have a large number of brickfilms I have really enjoyed watching over the years!

Hope this comes as some kind of help/assistance to you bud! And best of luck!

May the force guide you!


Last edited by Divine (January 16, 2015 (03:11am))

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Re: Help with cinematography!

Wow, this is a very broad subject, but I'll try to give a simple answer without having a wall of text (which may be hard to do! mini/tongue).

For a story, we cannot tell you how to write a story, or what to make. You have to come up with that yourself. If you make up a story, don't use it if you're unhappy with it. Do something you want to do. I recommend that you think of a point you want to convey, and base a story around that (for example, if you wanted to tell the audience that they should drink less coffee because it's addictive, then you would make a film about how the world loves coffee, and there are only a select few people who know the truth about it, and they have to inform the world that the coffee is brainwashing them and all their money is going to some old men who want to control the world). Your movie doesn't necessarily have to have a point to it, but it's best to give the viewer fulfillment or something to think on after watching the film. A film without a story is un-fulfilling, and the viewer will fell like he wasted his time on the film. Though, let me correct myself and say that your film does not need such a strong and obvious point (like the coffee addiction thing), it could be something as simple as saying that family is necessity, or that water is so refreshing, or that animals can be friends too.

In short, come up with a story that is meaningful to you and go with it. And if you hate it, try a different story.

As for cinematography, I suggest that you just watch movies. No, not brickfilms. Movies. Brickfilms often don't have the best cinematography, so it'll be quite hard to find enough films with good cinematography to learn from it. Though, don't get me wrong, there are some awesome brickfilms out there with awesome cinematography. Though, nothing beats a professionally-made film when learning. You could watch The Amazing Spiderman, or Doctor Who, or even a good Hallmark movie! But cinematography is more than just camera angles (though, a great of it is camera angles), it's about making things look right to fit the scene, and mood. It also has to deal with the placement of lights to compliment the shot. I recommend looking up some cinematography and photography framing rules on the internet (like this one I just found). Also look up the Rule of thirds, 180-degree rule, and even some lighting tips like the Three-point lighting setup, and high and Low key lighting. Photography and film making have so much in common, because after all, film is just a bunch of photos played in a fast sequence (as you already know, after all, this is a stop-motion forum mini/lol), so look up lots about photography too.

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Re: Help with cinematography!

Cinematography is composition of camera and lighting. When I make a brickfilm I think of being a photographer. That what's filmmaking is, we are only set apart from still photographers because our pictures move. We are photographers, so think like one. Many people will be like, "you're not a photographer, you make videos!"........FALSE. I  will always stand by this statement. Not saying for you to use photography gear. There is a difference in gear for still photographers and motion picture takers. As a filmmaker you want your tripods to be (often, not always) heavy, with fluid heads, whereas a photographer would maybe have a preference for a carbon fiber tripod. Your filmmaking lenses should have aperture rings, with 200 degree focus pulls, whereas a photographer's lenses may require a shorter degree. All in all, set up your composition as a photographer, but use gear for filmmakers.

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