Legendary Web designer and author Hillman Curtis has always been fascinated by motion and movement. In 2001, inspired in part by the affordability and accessibility of digital video, he began to experiment with short digital films in an effort to reinvigorate his creative spirit and express himself both personally and professionally.
The nine projects Hillman describes in this book, each between 60 seconds and 10 minutes long, draw from a wide variety of creative sources and take various forms—documentaries, music videos, a fictional short film, and a series of video portraits. Each one is unique, yet the goal is always the same: to capture in video the essence of his subject.
Equal parts inspiration, instruction, and personal essay, Hillman Curtis on Creating Short Films for the Web offers an intimate look into the author’s personal filmmaking process: from the ideas and influences that drive the concept and theme of the piece, through the setup, shoot, and assembly of a rough cut, to the final edit. Hillman explains how his flexible, often spontaneous filmmaking style is guided by certain principles—the value of leaving room for serendipity, the freedom found within self-imposed limitations, the importance of collaborating with others, and the possibilities for discovery and revision when reacting to unforeseen accidents.
Throughout the book, Hillman offers advice on filmmaking’s numerous elements, such as direction, sound, editing, and interviewing. Also included is a primer to help you get up and running with your own digital video projects—explaining the equipment you’ll need and providing an overview of the filmmaking process—and an appendix that guides you through building your own Flash video player.
Hillman Curtis is the founder of hillmancurtis.com, a design studio specializing in Web site design, motion graphics, and digital video. Hillman’s clients include Yahoo!, Adobe, RollingStone.com, British Airways, MTV, and Intel. His expert and innovative design solutions have garnered him and his company numerous awards, including the Communication Arts Award of Excellence and the South by Southwest Conference “Best Use of Design” and “Best of Show.” Author of the bestselling Flash Web Design: The Art of Motion Graphics and MTIV: Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media Designer, Hillman lives in New York City with his family.