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Meet RJ

Lesson 1 from: The Cinematic Filmmaking Workshop

RJ Bruni

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Lesson Info

1. Meet RJ

Lesson Info

Meet RJ

(gentle music) ♪ This morning, yes, I did, y'all ♪ ♪ I finally caught up with Joe, this morning ♪ I love surrounding myself with old tools, old cameras, and instruments, and seeing the life in these old tools. Somebody at some point took pride in this. Often you can see their name etched in the bottom of a camera, or you can see the life that it's lived. And I think that's what's so cool about art and filmmaking is that you're creating something that'll be put in the world and will live forever. (motorcycle engine revving) My name's RJ Bruni and I'm a filmmaker from British Columbia. (motorcycle engine revving) (water bubbling) (people chattering) (water bubbling) (footsteps pattering) Oh boys, we are absolutely living life.(laughs) You can, that's perfect right there, RJ. Yeah, just like that fast. That level? Here, hold this. Time crunch. Setting up our shot. We're running a little low on light here. We're a little bit late on this hike so we're trying to do this quick.

Setting up the shot of Lucas, before the sun finally goes down in the clouds. (slow music) Looking back at the earlier parts of my career, I had tons of amazing footage from around the world and commercials and all this really cool footage, but it was a certain group of people that I was always hiking with or climbing with or biking with and I was missing out on a group of people that were really close to me but they might have not been in those highlight moments and I felt this conviction that if any of these people passed on tomorrow, that I didn't do a good job of documenting them. And I feel like I've lived with that idea now and I'm constantly trying to approve of how do I see all the people around me and document them in their truest self. (motorcycle engine revving) (people chattering) (gentle music) Here we are, eh, here we are. (indistinct) We are here, boss. (man laughing) (camera clicks) (gentle music) Looking back at this footage, I can get a really good idea and representation of who that person was at that time. It might have not been their happiest moment of life or even their saddest moment of life. It was just them being natural. (gentle music) There's this pressure to only be documenting our highest moments, our tallest peaks, and often, we're just missing the moments in life where everyone is just being themselves, interacting naturally with each other. It's a responsibility I've given to myself and something that I'm proud to always be moving forward with. (gentle music) (indistinct)RJ is opening up his new gift. (people chattering) Look at that. This is a cool watch. It's a real camera. And this is a compass. Telescope, binoculars, and flashlight. You've got your own compass. Oh man. All his-- If you ever get lost in the woods. That'll be-- All his favorite things in one package, I can't believe it. (people chattering) (gentle music) Say cheese! Cheese! (people chattering) (gentle music) I fell in love with creating emotions. It really just comes down to that. I started to understand what I could create with just a camera and how it could affect not just me but the people that experience that art. For me, I find so much purpose in creating something that can change people. (gentle music) I'm surrounded by such incredible people; my friends, my family, you know, the new people I get to meet through my work. And it can be easy to just overlook these things, but to sit down and reflect on the gifts that I've been given in my life is super important for me to do. (car engine roaring) (people chattering) I think all of us have such unique stories to be passed on for generations and generations to come and documenting that is really important. Hey Lucy, morning. Good morning. Where are you going? (indistinct) Lucy in the woods. (people chattering) Hi Dana. Where you going? Hi Dana. What are we doing? (indistinct) (motorcycle engine revving) (woman laughing) Nobody is listening. (people chattering) I hope that I can inspire other people to want to document their lives in a truthful way and that trickle effect would be really beautiful. (gentle music) I love that you can never be perfect. No piece of art is ever perfect. They're all just unique. You can improve, you can get better. And that's with most things in life. It's with athletic ability, it's with our health and there's always something to be improving on. Think this is that. I got a cool composition, dad. It's not about getting to the top. It's the idea that there is no top to get to. We just have to be going up. (gentle music) It's about being content with where you are, being grateful for what you have, but always moving forward, always thriving to get better, to be improving relationships, to be improving your work. For me, it's about constantly walking that line of being content, but not satisfied. That's sweet. That looks awesome. Okay. Let's do a couple more here. (gentle music) To be a good filmmaker, I need to constantly be studying everything around me. Music, sounds, people, visuals. We have full creative control of what ends up on that screen and what the audience will feel. So we have to live it ourselves in order to understand how to remake that feeling that we once had. All my work has some element of me within it. If you want to get to know me, then start with my work. (dramatic music)

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Live Lesson: Feedback and Q&A Session with RJ
RJ's Final Film | SHARED EARTH
Email Questionnaire
Project Breakdown
Scene Breakdown
Creative Deck

Ratings and Reviews


I LOVE this workshop - I have been wanting to film my own 'home life' movies as I am a photographer but I wanted to add even more memories. This workshop has added so much value to how, why, when, and what the process is of film-making for film-making. Thanks to RJ for sharing all his amazing information while being clear, precise, and informative. I am excited to film my next 'home life' film!

Alex Bocajj

Great insights into Rj's process. Really enjoyed it all. Rj is smooth and easy to learn from. Loved the "in-field" BTS and going thru the motions live. Looking forward to more material.

Patti Sohn

Really informative and inspiring. One of the best video tutorials I have watched.

Student Work