Shot Breakdown


“What he used to make me memorize was the shots. He’d say, “Ok, learn that movie!” – by learn that movie he meant; you sit down with a bunch of pile of paper and pencils and write – shot for shot – the movie from memory. I learned a bunch of movies that way. I learned 8 1/2 that way which is a very complex film. I learned Clockwork Orange…His notion was that if you really wanna become a filmmaker, you have to get that conversant. You have to be able to carry that much in your mind. . . .he made me learn to think of movies as a chain of images where you would fashion the entire chain of images. Just like a music student could hold a concerto in his mind, you should hold the movie in your mind; the images – nevermind the words, the images – “Where is the camera for that shot. What kind of lens was it? What was the camera doing?” – on every shot, on every one of – well most movies have about a thousand shots.” – John McTiernan

  1. HEAT (1995)
  3. DIE HARD (1988)
  5. MANHATTAN (1979)
  6. BETRAYAL (2012)

13 thoughts on “Shot Breakdown

  1. Pingback: Shot Breakdown 001: HEAT (1995) | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  2. Pingback: Shot Breakdown 002: The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  3. Pingback: Shot Breakdown 003: DIE HARD (1988) | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  4. Pingback: Shot Breakdown 004: Boardwalk Empire | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  5. Pingback: Shot Breakdown 005: MANHATTAN (1979) | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  6. Pingback: Shot Breakdown 006: BETRAYAL (2012) | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  7. Thank you for this site, this is really great material for filmmakers !
    As you ask for requests, here is mine : AI from Spielberg.

  8. what basically u used to write on papers-whats in the shot or about the camera movements and lenses?
    did u take screenshots of the shots and write about them or did u first watch the film and then break shot by shot?
    what did u do of the screenshots?

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