I imagine it's a much written sentence on the internet... but here goes anyway..
I am in love with Leonardo Dalessandri and what he can do with his camera.
When I watched The Watchtower of Turkey I cried. Literally cried... over the beauty of it, the visceral, sensory, poetic awesomeness that it is.
Watch it please....
No visual thing had ever moved me so much.
I've always been drawn to films that, to me, have a similar viewing experience; Moulin Rouge, Whiplash... even the sound design of Atonement, but obviously these films aren't half as intense as this one!
Anyway- I watched it and watched it and watched it... and I've been watching it for about 2 years now. I have always stopped myself from trying to copy it- I think you should do your own thing, find your own voice man...
But this film did inspire a bunch of similar films and people trying to replicate Dalessandri's style. One that stuck out for me was Loving Lanka by Sebastian Linda, who openly cites Watchtower as his inspiration.
This too is beautiful.... but it is chiller- it's not quite as slick, fast, or relentless as watchtower- but it still works beautifully.
I noticed that Linda had made a "making of' video... so I watched that, which wasn't so much a how to... but it did inspire me to go out and try some of the techniques he talks about with camera movement.... not really something i've tried before.
He talks about swinging/twisting the camera in and out of the shot so that you have these movements to match up with other clips and you can make invisible cuts... so I tried this. I went for a walk in Richmond last weekend and, very casually I should point out, tried it out.
The result is a newly styled Weekend warrior.
Now I know I am a million miles from the guys up there... and that's fine with me. I don't want to make something that looks like they've done it. I want to make films that have a distinctive style that's all mine. But I don't think there's any harm in learning something new and seeing what I can take from it.
It was challenging to change the way I shoot and I didn't think I would have enough usable stuff to make something, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got into the edit. I did try a hyperlapse and it was terrible... I think I need a lot more work in that area!
So I guess I'm going to keep trying these techniques and see how I develop from there.... and obviously just keep watching Watchtower once a month until I die!