Dan’s Friday Film-Making Creative – 8th December

08 Dans Friday Film Making Creative Tips Wonders


In this weekly post of Dan’s Friday Filmmaking tips, we take a look at the Christmas TV advert trend and how young filmmaker Sam Teale may be giving the big corporations a run for their money with his powerful Christmas short film… we step into the captivating world of Quentin Tarantino as he shares an intimate look into his favourite movies that have shaped his iconic filmmaking style we all know and love, and finally, we look at one of my favourite lighting techniques called ‘Contre Jour’ which could be used effectively to elevate story, characters and atmosphere within your next projects.

Alternative To The John Lewis Christmas Advert?


Whether you love or loathe them, Christmas adverts are going to be everywhere you look for the foreseeable. From the ‘Holidays Are Coming’ Coca-Cola truck to ‘Kevin the Carrot’ and John Lewis’ Venus Fly Trap ‘Snapper’, brands spend millions every year creating beautifully produced festive TV adverts with heartwarming stories, cute characters and a healthy dose of cheese. John Lewis has arguably taken the crown in recent years with many people now seeing the John Lewis Christmas advert as part of their regular Christmas festivities. However, filmmaker Sam Teale has made an alternative to the big corporate Christmas TV adverts which we think rivals some of the best. Although low on budget, the film (made by a team of young people) features a powerful story that tackles the ever-relevant ‘cost of living’ crisis which is affecting families up and down the country. The film strips back to the true meaning of Christmas and suggests the magic of Christmas is made, not bought.


Quentin Tarantino’s Favourite Movies


Anyone who has seen the iconic work of Quentin Tarantino knows just how much his ‘Pastiche’ filmmaking style is heavily influenced by other movies, directors and his wealth of knowledge about film. In this fascinating interview, he delves deep into his favourite movies. Tarantino’s background of working in a video rental store before he had his big break gives him the foundations for his artistic style and vision today. He’s seen countless movies and his knowledge of films is unparalleled within the film industry which makes for a very intriguing and insightful interview (and possibly a couple of recommendations for your next watch).


Contre Jour


One of my absolute favourite and highly effective lighting techniques within film is ‘Contre Jour’ which translates to ‘filming against the day.’ It refers to a technique where the primary light source, such as the sun, is positioned directly behind the subject. This results in the subject being backlit, creating a dramatic effect with strong contrasts between light and dark areas of a scene. Cinematographer Janusz Kamiński & legendary film director Stanley Kubrick have both used this technique to great effect within their movies such as ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘ET.’ This technique can help build characterisation, increase poetic atmosphere and create iconic visual imagery and silhouettes. Some of my favourite scenes within cinema have utilised this technique effectively to enhance its memorability and leave a lasting imprint on the audience. Check them out here:



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