Adorama Film School

Adorama Pro hosts a number of photography and filmmaking related events in their store located on W 18th Street. They send emails regarding the events at least once a week. I got this one:


“Join Dave Brusca for a special lecture style OnSet where he will show examples of how filmmakers use total immersion to draw out emotion from the viewer. See how framing, lighting, motion, set/wardrobe design, sound, music, VFX, and editing can help control the kind of emotion a viewer might feel.”

i RSVP’d since I am very interested in cinematography and filmmaking in general and it fit my schedule perfect. And the weather was amazing too!


I got there 15 minutes early. I checked some cameras out and then took a seat. The event promptly started at 12pm. Surprisingly, there were only 15 people in the beginning. At the end of the lecture there were about 25-30 people. Another surprising thing was that I was the only young person (under 25) in the room. Mostly, everyone else seemed like 40+. Strange. I thought more young filmmakers would be interested in these kind of events. But I guess I was wrong.


Anyways, the entire lecture was about how directors use camera techniques, editing, sound, lighting, motion and various other aspects of filmmaking to draw the audience in. We were shown clips from a bunch of movies as examples. We saw the mountain scene from Interstellar as an example of fast faced editing. Not a single shot in that sequence was more than 2 seconds long. That is fascinating! We saw Scott Pilgrim vs. The World as an example for using lighting to engage the audience. We saw shots from Wes Anderson’s film to see how he uses symmetry and asymmetry to tell a story.


The talk lasted for about 1.5 hours where we mostly us watched clips from famous movies. Another thing I wanted to mention was that the speaker could’ve done a better job of engaging the audience. He had notes on him, so he seemed to be prepared, but I felt like he wasn’t conveying what was going on in his mind to us. There would be a lot of awkward silences where he would be searching for words in his mind, and sometimes he wouldn’t even finish the sentence. Another problem was that the event space was in an open area. So we could hear the cashiers, customer service guys, and other employees talking in the back. And sometimes it would get really loud. B&H has a much better event space. They have a secluded room on the second floor, which is very quiet and has better audio system.

Regardless, I learned a thing of two about filmmaking, so I was glad I went. I had attended a similar lecture last year by a famous director Vincent Laforet. So todays lecture was a refresher.