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Developing Your Own Shooting Style

written by: Andrea Smith•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/27/2011

Ways to develop your own shooting style.

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    Getting started

    Cinematic style-

    Finding your own shooting technique takes polish, bravery, and an individual attitude. Curtiz, Hawkes, Tarantino, Kubrick, Altman, Allen - they all have polish, bravery and an attitude all their own, which makes them great filmmakers. In order to truly gain access to your creativity, you have to understand what it is that you want to accomplish, and whether you are dedicated enough to pursue it. This article explores where to start, what to use, and good practices to help you find your niche.

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    Step 1

    Step 1- Study

    You have to know the rules to break them!

    Go to school, watch a film, take a class. The elements of good movies work in a formula that is impossible to get right without some training. Also learn from your favorite directors. Developing your style usually comes in the form of emulating or paying homage to someone else. It’s not a good Idea for a pro in the game for years to try this, but it’s great for a beginner. How will you know what you like unless you try everything around?

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    Step 2

    Step 2- Find your edge

    Some filmmakers are raunchy, some are ironic and some are poster children for angst. Find your edge, your personality and apply it. Give the viewer a taste of who your really are. When you find your personality and tone you want for your films, other creative ideas will be easily built around it.

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    Step 3

    Step 3- explore

    Dive in and give everything that intrigues you a try!

    Play with angles you think will work, and see how they turn out when you shoot them. You may not always nail it, but it’s good practice. Different locations will also help, if loved “Reservoir Dogs” find a warehouse to help emulate that mood.

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    Step 4

    Step 4- Extras

    I am not simply speaking of extra people, but extra "things" as well.

    Add more lights, more filters, more everything! The best part about developing your own style is giving anything and everything you touch your own spin. Play with new props you may have never used before, give the viewers a show, go all out!!

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    Last word

    One good idea to remember is that you always want to represent yourself in your films, and be honest about what you can do. In the film industry it pays to be a showoff!