boasts one of the strangest origins of any training tool
I've ever heard of. Certainly the strangest origin of
any training tool that has been adopted by as many parts
of filmmaking society, from microfilmmakers to the Hollywood
Hollywood Camera Work was a massively labor intensive
creation that started out as a project to train only one
person: Per Holmes.
Holmes started out as a young filmmaker, then made it
big in the music world as a producer of platinum-selling
super groups. After dong that for awhile, he returned
to his filmmaking roots to direct music videos and became
obsessed with cinematography. So much so that, in the
late '90's, he dropped out of music altogether in order
to perfect his personal cinematography. The only way he
knew to do that was to shoot and shoot and shoot short
film after short film until every technique was drilled
into his head. Or rather, he intended to shoot every technique
he could find into a series of many short films, and then
he planned to watch each one of those short films over
and over until he had every technique drilled into his
the human elements of short films got in the way of Per.
He was continually reminded that actors grew tired of
holding their cues, would wander out of framing, and would
expect to take periodic breaks in order to get things
to eat. All of these tendencies of human talent put a
serious crimp in Per learning all the best possible shots,
angles, and blocking to become the ultimate cinematographer.
in 2003, Per discovered 3D modeling and rendering programs.
At last, there was a way to showcase every single shot
that was regularly being used in film without exhausting
human actors or running afoul of SAG!
the work involved, Per realized that this would would
be a grand unifying course of cinematography that could
help many people. With that in mind, Per spent the next
fifteen months (and over 4,000 man hours!) creating 3D
models of people, cameras, cranes, dollies, gibs, and
props and composing the ultimate DVD training tool for
blocking and camera work that he could imagine. He discovered
an extra benefit from the 3D models: camerawork most speaks
for itself when a viewer is not distracted by actors'
expressions or body language.
that this massive encyclopedia of cinematographic lore
wouldn't prove overwhelming to newcomers, he created a
streamlined introduction that would get inexperienced
camera people up to speed on things like sight lines,
the 180 degree rule, and proper film blocking, after which
it would then dovetail into the more advanced techniques
he had been striving to master for so long.
he was finished, he had created over ten hours of training
material that covered nearly every aspect of professional
camerawork from the ground up. Spread over six DVDs, Per
had indeed created the ultimate training guide. Not only
did the DVDs relate to the actual camera operators and
cinematographers, it gave a common language that directors
could use to exactly describe the shots they were looking
for from their DPs and camera people as well.