I've been remiss about posting, I know. But hey, life gets busy, right? I have so much to share with the latest things I've been doing. But one topic I want to touch briefly on is one of the most important things I've found when doing films (and really, commercials and web spots, too).
MOOD BOOKS. Some call them look books (though I always equate that with modeling).
These handy little tools are EXCELLENT ways to get everyone on the same page, display your ideas of tone, style, color, mood (hence the name) and what the influences of your film or video might be.
When I was in pre-production on THE GOOD FIGHT, I was easily able to show my DoP, cast, gaffers, sound designer, composer, grips, costume designer... you get the picture. Pretty much everyone involved was asked to look at it, so that we could make one cohesive picture. With The Good Fight being a western, I definitely drew inspiration from some of my favorite, more modern westerns like Unforgiven which influenced the look and feel of the film, and the remake of 3:10 to Yuma which had a huge influence on tone and mood, as well as some of the classics like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and specifically High Noon for the tension of what's to come and the look of the burden that Gary Cooper carried through the film.
But I also looked to some non-Westerns, as I did not want this film to really feel like a Western. I wanted it to be an emotional drama about a family that just happens to take place within the framing of a western. So, I looked to either entire films or scenes from films that I though captured the feeling, tone, look or mood that I was aiming to achieve.
I added stills (and a couple of clips) from the Christopher Nolan film The Prestige, because that movie has influenced my work in countless ways. But specifically with this film the colors, the feeling and the tone of what is happening in the scene was not necessarily something I wanted to replicate or copy, but to draw inspiration from.
Same with the stills and the clip from M. Night Shyamalan film The Village. I know, I know, but get over it. It had a nice scene, and that's the one I'm referencing here- the scene on the porch.
Anyway, I know this isn't a very dynamic looking post, as I can't really get all the pictures uploaded without having to go back and re-download them, and I just don't have the time for it. So, below is the link to the original mood book. Take a look, get inspired, get some thoughts, and start making your own for your next project (even client projects!)