HBO’s New Documentary “Spielberg” Is a Must-See for Aspiring Directors

first_imgHBO’s “Spielberg” is more than a biography, it’s a mini masterclass detailing some of the most influential scenes in the history of American cinema.Cover image via HBO.Warning: contains spoilers!The opening scenes of HBO’s newest documentary, Spielberg, might leave you at a loss of words. You aren’t expecting the iconic, creeping sunrise of the entrance into the desert sequence from David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. Even more, you don’t expect to hear Spielberg say that it was Lean’s masterpiece that “set the bar too high” for the sixteen-year-old filmmaker — and that he no longer wanted to make movies. Fortunately, he didn’t quit.In fact, Lawrence of Arabia was a catalyst for the young filmmaker, who would return each week to watch, analyze, and dissect the film.It was the first time seeing a movie [wherein] I realized there are themes that are not narrative story themes, but themes that are character themes … David Lean created a portraiture; surrounded the portrait with a mural of scope and epic action; but at the heart and core of Lawrence of Arabia is “Who am I?” —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergIt’s the question “Who am I” that defines the arc of Spielberg’s career and serves as a focal point in Susan Lacy‘s newest documentary on one of American cinema’s greatest filmmakers.Video via HBO.What Can Aspiring Filmmakers Learn from Spielberg?The documentary is epic in scope: a veritable 2.5 hours of Spielberg unpacking pivotal scenes from films like Munich, Schindler’s List, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, as well as several of his lesser-known early films and flops.Aspiring directors, screenwriters, and cinematographers can glean strategies and approaches for creating memorable and relatable characters, crafting visual stories using the tools of the cinema, and how Spielberg thrived in uncertain situations.But perhaps more importantly, we see the man behind the movies. And for those of us who grew up watching those movies, it’s a dose of inspiration on par with rapture.On Visual StorytellingImage via British Film Institute.For me, directing is camera work. So I’m very on the frontline of that. I’ve got to set up the shot, I’ve got to block the actors, choreograph the movement of the scene, bring the camera into the choreography, figure out where the camera stops, where it moves, how far it moves … so I’ve always got my eye on the lens and that’s what I do. —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergIt’s evident, even in his earliest films, that Spielberg understands the medium; he just gets “camera work,” as he calls it. Moreover, he doesn’t rely on dialogue, music, or any sound effects to tell a story. In other words, he uses the visual nature of moving pictures and images to propel the narrative forward.To demonstrate this, turn off your sound, and watch this nail-biting scene from Munich.Video via YouTube.Without hearing a single line of dialogue, or swell in music, we know the following about the scene:The scenario (or location).The players involved.The stakes.The ticking clock.All of the things necessary for creating suspense.“Geography is one of the most important things to me,” says Spielberg, “so the audience isn’t thrown into chaos trying to figure out the story that you’re telling.”In this scene from Munich, Spielberg made deliberate choices about subject, camera placement, and movement. Not a single shot appears unless it earned its way into the reel — and thus propels the story forward. As audience members, we get a clear picture of who and where the players are — and in this case what would happen if the clock runs out.This is an excellent scene for directors and cinematographers to study.On LightingImage via I Can’t Unsee That Movie.Everything we do in this medium is about light and shadow. It’s how the cinematographer lights the actors, lights the set. —Steven Spielberg, SpielbergGood lighting makes your actors look pretty; great lighting tells a story. Schindler’s List is an excellent example of this. Spielberg, working alongside his long-time friend and go-to cinematographer, Janusz Kaminski, crafted lighting setups that emphasized the personality and emotions of the characters at different stages of the story.Let’s examine the approach taken to light Amon Goethe and Oskar Schindler, the story’s main antagonist and protagonist, respectively.Amon Goethe, played by Ralph Fiennes, is a Nazi officer who is inhumane and unapologetically cruel in his treatment of Jews. Although he’s an extremely nasty fellow, he is never conflicted by his actions. You’ll notice in the film that he’s always lit beautifully from the front, with very minimal shadows — his character (and conscience for that matter) was very clear.In contrast, Oskar Schindler was a conflicted individual. Beginning the story as a shrewd businessman and member of the Nazi party, he slowly begins to question the morality of his by-standing. During this time of inner conflict, his lighting is directional and from the side, creating shadows on his face (see picture above). However, as the film progresses, his inner conflict subsides, and he’s lit with more frontal, softer light, because he’s learning who he is.Find opportunities to use light as a storytelling device — not only a means to expose your shot.On Uncertainty and FailureImage via Whale Bone Mag.There are going to be moments, where you get to set, and you are not going to know what the hell you’re doing. It happens to all of us; you’ve got to guard that secret with your life. Let no one see when you’re unsure of yourself … or you lose the respect of everyone. —Steven Spielberg quoting his mentor Henry Hathaway, SpielbergFailure is not optional — at least not for filmmakers. What Spielberg teaches us is that, with a little creativity, failure can lead to great success. There’s no better film that demonstrates this than Jaws.You may have heard the stories of the shark breaking down and sinking … all of it’s true.The original script for Jaws featured the shark everywhere, and it called for the great white to be on-screen far more often than what we saw in the finished film. However, due to frequent breakdowns and mechanical failures, the shark was in repair for a majority of the 100+ day shoot.Therefore, Spielberg and his team had to get creative. How could they employ a device that suggested the shark was near without actually showing the shark on-screen?“The yellow barrels were a godsend,” says Spielberg, who used the props to indicate that the shark was near and ready to attack. Paired with John Williams‘s, unforgettable score, the audience knew exactly when the shark was about to strike … and we were terrified.“If the shark had been available visually,” says Williams, “it would’ve changed the whole psychology of the experience.”Image via The Soul of the Plot.Spielberg premiered on HBO on October 7.Looking for more filmmaking inspiration? Check out these articles.Navigating the Challenges of the One-Take Short FilmA Look Inside the Post-Production Process Behind “It”Interview: Director of Photography Jake Swantko of Netflix’s Icarus“Five Came Back” — Lessons from Famous Directors During WWIIThe Power of Shooting with a Shallow Depth of Fieldlast_img read more

Your Client Didn’t Abandon You. You Abandoned Them.

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now When you lose a long time client, it can feel like you’re being abandoned. You’ve stood together through what seems like a lifetime of battles and challenges, always finding a way, no matter how difficult. You had a relationship. Now it’s over.But it isn’t likely that your client abandoned you. It’s more likely that you abandoned them. One of the three following reasons is at the root of your loss. Study them, make changes, and prevent the loss of another client.NeglectThe most common way to lose a client is through neglect. Relationships require careful care and feeding. Ignoring your clients is a form of neglect.You used to call. You used to make appointments for face-to-face visits. You used to send articles that your client would find helpful in thinking about their business. Now . . . nothing. It’s been a long time. Too long.Neglect is form of abandonment. When you discover that your client has opened a new relationship with your competitor, they didn’t abandon you. You abandoned them.ComplacencyAnother way you can abandon your client is to become complacent.Remember how you used to ensure that all of your client’s problems and challenges were taken care of? Remember how you used to follow up to make sure that they were getting the results that they needed? Well they remember too. And they can feel the empty space where the salesperson that cared about them used to be.Because you have a client now doesn’t mean you are entitled to keep them. Just because you created tremendous value for them in the past doesn’t mean you have a right to their business in perpetuity.Complacency is a form of arrogance or a form of laziness, and either leads to abandonment.Failure to GrowYour client’s needs are going to change over time. They are growing and their needs are growing along with them. And if they’re struggling, their needs are changing too. In order to help your clients take advantage of the opportunities they come across, you have to grow. If they have greater challenges than ever, you have to grow big enough to help them overcome those challenges.If you don’t continue to grow, you aren’t going to have the ability to help your clients keep growing. If you are going to keep your client for life, you have to match—or exceed—their growth.Failure to grow is another form of abandonment. You force your clients to need a new partner?In all of these cases, you might feel as if your client abandoned you. The truth of the matter is that your neglect, your complacency, or your failure to grow was your abandonment of your client.QuestionsDid your client abandon you or you them?How does neglect lead to lost clients?How does complacency lead to lost clients?How does a failure to grow lead your clients to need someone new?How do you prevent abandoning your clients?last_img read more

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014: Games begin today, Sachin to play special role

first_imgVijender Kumar and Mandeep Jangra during a training session in Glasgow.The unprecedented success achieved in the last edition would be hard to replicate this time but a 215-member Indian contingent would nonetheless seek a top-five finish at the 20th Commonwealth Games which begin in Glasgow on Wednesday.India finished second behind Australia with a record 101 medal haul in New Delhi.The Games will have superstar sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica and middle and long distance king Mo Farah of England as highlights of the sporting extravaganza.India will be hit hard by the scrapping of archery and tennis and the reduction in the number of medal events in shooting and wrestling.India’s medal tally is expected to reduce drastically from the 101 (38 gold, 27 silver, 36 bronze) in 2010 and anything above 60 can be considered an achievement.India and Canada, who have sent a 265-member team to Glasgow, are expected to fight for third place behind Australia and England.India has returned with nearly 30 medallists from the last Games with the likes of Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Krishna Poonia, Ashish Kumar and Achanta Sharath Kamal set to prove their mettle once again.Shooting is still expected to contribute a major chunk of medals for India despite 18 events being dropped since the last edition. Wrestling could get win at least 10 medals.The men’s and women’s hockey teams are also expected to finish on the podium.India is also set to lose out in athletics, which yielded 12 medals, including two gold, in Delhi. With lack of preparation ahead of the Games and most athletes struggling for form, not much is expected. The country may expect four or five medals with Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda (discus throw) and Arpinder Singh (triple jump) among contenders. The women’s 4x400m relay quartet has an outside chance for a medal.advertisementIn badminton, despite the absence of Saina Nehwal, India is expected to do well with PV Sindhu top seeded shuttler in women’s singles.The Games will officially be opened by Queen Elizabeth II at Celtic Park. Sachin at openingSachin Tendulkar is all set to play a special part in Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the 20th Commonwealth Games.Tendulkar will make his presence felt during the ceremony as the Global Goodwill Ambassador of the UNICEF, which has partnered with the GlasgowCWG organisers and the Commonwealth Games Federation in a first-of-its-kind initiative to spread awareness about the childrens’ problems.Organisers are however tightlipped about the details of Tendulkar’s role during the ceremony.”There will be something special from Tendulkar, wait and watch tomorrow, Lord David Puttnam,” UNICEF UK Ambassador, said after a programme on the partnership. Indian coaches now allowed at ringsideIndian boxers at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will now be assisted by their coaches at ringside during their bouts.Kishen Narsi, India’s representative at the International Boxing Association (AIBA), informed that the world body has reversed its earlier decision byallowing Indian coaches to assist pugilists.”The Indian boxers are relieved and excited that Indian coaches will be allowed to second our boxers and be at ringside as per the information communicated by AIBA secretary,” read the mail.AIBA had earlier banned India coaches from ringside without giving any specific reason, but it was learnt that it resulted from confusion after the Indian federation’s exclusion from AIBA’s member list.But the world body seems to have realised that though the Indian federation is not a full member, it has provisional membership and has the right to take coaches to a tournament.The AIBA had already allowed Indian boxers to wear the national jersey, use the Tri-colour and play the national anthem in case one of them wins a gold medal during the CWG. Till then, the boxers were fighting under the AIBA banner ever since the Indian federation was suspended in December 2012. But AIBA had stated that coaches can’t be at ringside, a decision they reversed on Tuesday.The relaxation is only for the CWG as the AIBA has recently directed Boxing India, the provisional group to run the sport, to conduct an election byAugust 15 otherwise the boxers and coaches will face a ban from all AIBA-sanctioned tournaments.Eight men and three women Indian boxers are participating in Glasgow. The boxing competition starts on Friday but the pugilists have reached well inadvance to acclimatise. The men’s team has two practice sessions a day. Women boxers are excited since the discipline is making its debut at the CWG. However, their participation is limited to only – 51kg, 60kg and 75kg. At 2010 CWG, Indian boxers won three gold and four bronze medals.advertisementlast_img read more

Blackwater flaunts depth in win over Rain or Shine

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport The Elite still drew 16 points from Parks, who came up big down the stretch, going 6-of-6 from the free throw line in the final one minute and 29 seconds with the Painters threatening.Mike DiGregorio also had 16 while import Alex Stepheson posted 13 points and 20 rebounds. Roi Sumang also had himself a night with 11 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals while Mac Belo chipped in seven points and seven rebounds.“They played really, really well tonight as a team. We did what we wanted to do, we played great defense.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue PBA IMAGESRay Parks has been the consistent headliner for Blackwater in its campaign early in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.The Elite, however, have depth and they showed just that in a 98-92 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, toocenter_img PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Blackwater bounces back, holds off Rain or Shine for 4-1 record Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Blackwater had multiple players having significant impact with five players scoring double-digits led by Allein Maliksi’s 19 points.“What we want for our team is to not be just a one-man show,” Blackwater coach Aris Dimaunahan said in Filipino after steering his team to its fourth win in five outings.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We want everybody to contribute not just in scoring but if we let them play, they’ll contribute in every way possible whether it be diving for the ball, boxing out or defending top caliber players.”Parks came into the game having scored at least 20 points in his first four games in the PBA but Blackwater didn’t need its prized rookie to score as much this time with several players stepping up. View comments Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFPlast_img read more