As a sort of break from the madcap daily schedule of tutorials tutorials rendering rendering modelling modelling tutorials tutorials that entails working on my portfolio, I decided to do one of Emma Coats‘ drawing exercises “Drawing from Film,” in which you take a film that you like and draw every single cut. She recommended Spielberg or any movie you know by heart, and the only Spielbergs I know near by heart are Jurassic Park and Last Crusade, so I chose JP since I haven’t seen it in a while. I know she recommends not doing too much detail, and I haven’t really, but I wanted to at least also try to get the mood of the actors or the scene as well. I’m also trying to kick my bad drawing habits, and hopefully over the film’s however-many-hundreds of cuts I’ll be able to: my need to erase everything a hundred times, my attention to details that don’t matter, my poor ability to draw hats. Jurassic Park has a lot of hats.
I’ve never studied film and I am horrible at noticing things like direction in films, nor do I want to go into such a field. However I think all art can tell a story and the storytelling aspects of each shot or composition is really helpful to see from such a master’s perspective. For example, take a look at the very first scene in Jurassic Park. Spielberg allows for several closeups of unimportant background characters (whom he largely ignores in the following four or five scenes) to underline the nervous apprehension of the people in the opening crowd, and to better juxtapose humanity versus nature. The raptor cage comes seemingly right out of the forest and he keeps the left side (humans, the cage, bright lights, technology) and the right side (raptor, wilderness, forest, violence) very well separated in the ensuing shots, even when the cage comes into the human territory and the characters should be all turned around – the humans still face towards the right and the raptor to the left.
Of course, maybe he didn’t mean all that, but it’s still fun to think about! Anyway, you can check out my sketches of the first 20 minutes of Jurassic Park here. A great activity while you’re waiting for scenes to render!