The Mind of a Master: Learning To Plan Through Tarkovsky’s Shot Lists

By  · Published on October 31st, 2017

Finding patterns in logistics and aesthetics.

Andrei Tarkovsky has created some of the most beautiful shots in cinema, even if they serve workmanlike purposes that might not hold the same striking quality as a stark Roger Deakins wide shot.

Achieving this through consistency, the director utilized similar shot lengths, camera moves, and framing choices throughout his filmography. Mastering these created beauty from unexpected sources.

To help encourage similar work in the future, Studio Binder analyzes Tarkovsky’s myriad shot designs for beginners and old pros alike. Understanding what he is doing in each shot is the first step to determining why. Then the “how?” and the actual execution become the final steps, but you’re already a lot closer than when you started. Slow progress creates lasting images and learning from the legends can offer plenty of practical tips along with inspiration.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).