I had begun to think about coverage and découpage before I began this studio, but it would always have to be something that really felt self-educated. I searched the internet and commentaries for scraps of directors talking about why they selected this particular shot and what effect they hoped that shot would have on the audience, but it always felt strange that you really had to dig to find information on what is a very large part of a director’s job.
To hear that there would be a studio that would be dedicated to studying camera coverage seemed invaluable, and The Scene in Cinema managed to cover a lot of ground within the realm of coverage, but in the most inspiring way possible, it seemed to unearth just how much this aspect of filmmaking needs to be studied. Lessons would often end with questions, allowing us to think more in terms of why this particular style of coverage works in this particular way, and it was exciting to know that there was this huge, central part of filmmaking that was hard to grasp and mysterious and that it will be a lifelong pursuit to try to understand it.
One of the best ways to try to understand it is to go out and create something in response to it. There was an equal amount of focus spent on creating practical pieces, whether for our own assignments or for class exercises, and oftentimes these were made to help demystify a particular area of coverage that we felt drawn to or intrigued by. Then we would look back at our exercises and voice any observations we had about them. This system of providing feedback was also central to us gaining a greater understanding of the large topic of coverage, as perhaps coverage can come from as much an instinctual part of us as it can come from a cerebral part, so to go back and to pick apart what we had shot made some of the cerebral decisions clear as well as the instinctual.
The Scene in Cinema and Robin did a great job of attempting to present an under recognised and very elusive concept into a manageable and consumable area of study.