From cinema to filmmaking: a journey to discover the role of the videomaker
Imagine we are on the set of a film: we are in a barred area of the city and the shooting is about to begin.
There is a lot of confusion around us, a lot of people are in turmoil: we can see electricians who are connecting electrical cables, gigantic cranes moving on our heads, a man who arranges the last details of the explosion. In the distance we see the director giving the last indications to the actors, the cameramen who support video cameras mounted on strange mechanical arms tied to their body and a person in charge of photography who discusses with them making strange gestures to recreate a sort of shot with the position of the hands.
We meet costume designers, make-up artists and set designers intent on arranging the last details of an extremely realistic scene.
Two or three people with giant poles hold up a microphone and, not far away, some technicians behind a mixer are trying some audio effects to be included in the audio recording.
There’s excitement in the air, it seems a large construction site, where everyone offers years and years of passion, studies and sacrifices.
After ten minutes, like in a puzzle, each person takes their position within the set: the director sits behind a desk on which there are mixers and monitors (it looks like a control cabin of the Star Wars spaceships!!!), surrounded by a group of people. Silence falls, tension is rising.
The director brings the megaphone closer to his mouth to say the fateful word.
It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for after months of hard work, the moment of truth.
We hear the command “Action!” from the megaphone After that, everything is magic!
After this fantastic journey on a set, I ask you: how many people does it take to make a film?
As we have seen, there are several people behind the making of films and TV series: we can count dozens of professionals (try to read all the credits if you have patience!!!).
Among these, there are at least 4 key figures, each of whom coordinates a part:
1. There is the director who approves and coordinates all the decisions of the film. His/her main task is to transform the script into cinematographic language, that is to tell everything we see in the film, and to do so it collaborates with all the other professionals in the cinematographic world;
2. the cameraman takes care of the management of the video camera, adjusting, for example, the brightness, movements, distances, focus, etc., in synergy with the director of photography;
3. The director of photography, as the name suggests, is responsible for the image of the film: he/she arranges the lights within the scene, puts the shots together with the director and, through the colors and the shots, gives a particular character to the images of the film.
4. Another very important figure is the sound engineer, who takes care of recording the noises during the scenes or the dialogues of the actors.
Then there are producers, writers, editors, technicians and special effects teams, make-up artists, colorists, and so on (I hope the film industry won’t get upset if I forget someone!).
So, who is the videomaker then?
To answer this question, we ask our imagination again for help, changing the scenario a bit: imagine that we are once again on the set but in a smaller context, as can be the creation of a video for a small company, a music video, a documentary, a short film to be disseminated on social networks. There are probably not many people on the set, also because of the lower budget destined for the creation of the video, there are only a few actors, a person with a video camera, and, if it’s within the budget, maybe there is a microphone and a second room.
Where are the sound director and their staff? Where are the director, the director of photography and their assistants? They simply aren’t there!
The work done by all these professionals is done by one person: the videomaker!
The videomaker is a new profession, which is developing thanks to the spread of technological means, the growing demand from the web, the presence of numerous online resources and truly valid courses to learn how to make effective and qualitatively valid videos.
The videomaker deals with the drafting of the script, the creation of the storyboard, the direction, the logistical organization of the shooting, the technical aspects such as lights, shots, camera movements, editing, effects, color correction, and everything related to the creation of the video, from the first request of a customer to the writing of the subject until the publication of the video.
As the demand and diffusion of online videos is increasing thanks to social networks, the videomaker is becoming increasingly specialized: there are videomakers who take care of shooting short films (they are also called filmmakers), others who have specialized in the creation of music videos, still others who work on corporate videos, videomakers who make videos of events such as weddings, depending on the propensities and possibilities of each.
The videomaker is, therefore, many things in one; for this reason it’s easier to tell what he is not, also dispelling some commonplaces.
The videomaker is not a photographer: although photographers and video makers have some skills and tools in common, the language used is very different from photography.
A videomaker is not a filming operator: the videomaker takes care of the entire phase of the creation of a video, while the operator is dedicated only to filming slices of reality or fiction, regardless of anything else.
In short, the videomaker is the one who is able to transform emotions into moving images.
Our journey to discover the role of a videomaker ends here: today our imagination has led us to a film set, to a smaller set and finally to discover the mysterious and fantastic craft of the videomaker, but there are still many things to know on the art of making videos.
In the next article we will find out how a videomaker can transform videomaking into his dream job, and daily feed one of the most important aspects for his profession: passion.