How to Create a Director's Lookbook that Gets You Noticed: With a Live Design Demonstration & Look Book Case Study

Hosted by Yen Tan

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Yen Tan

Webinar hosted by: Yen Tan

Award Winning Writer and Director, PIT STOP (Sundance), 1985 (SXSW)

Yen Tan is an award-winning Malaysian-born writer and director who has helmed multiple projects that have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and others. His critically acclaimed feature PIT STOP premiered at Sundance and was nominated for a John Cassavetes Awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Yen also co-directed UNTIL WE COULD with David Lowery (A GHOST STORY, PETE’S DRAGON), an Addy-winning PSA for Freedom to Marry that was narrated by Robin Wright and Ben Foster. His most recent film 1985, which was inspired by his Short of the Week short film of the same title, premiered at South by Southwest and became a New York Times Critic’s Pick Feature. Yen has been a fellow of Austin Film Society’s Artist Intensive, IFP’s Film Week, and Film Independent’s Fast Track and was named one of Out Magazine's OUT100 of 2018. Yen is based in Austin, where he also works as an award-winning key art and graphic designer for independent films and documentaries. His celebrated work as both a director and graphic designer has given him deep knowledge and ability to create effective lookbooks for his own projects and others. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Comes with a live demonstration designing a page of a director's lookbook and a case study of a real lookbook Yen created for his film 1985!

 

To be a great filmmaker you have to have the eye. The instinct. The vision. The leadership capability to be able to put together such a huge project. However this is really only half the battle for most directors. Before you can even take a seat in that director’s chair, you must be able to convince decision makers to give you the job or support our project in the first place. They need to see that you, your background, your voice, and your skill set are what the project needs. And if you don’t write your own material but instead lean into directing assignments, being able to land projects is critical to having a successful directing career. To do this effectively, it’s crucial you can share your vision through a director’s lookbook.

A common hurdle directors face early in their careers is the realization that having what it takes to be a director and being able to convince others that you have what it takes to be a director are wholly separate skills. You could be able to create stunning works of cinema, but if you convince producers you have this capability, it’s not going to amount to much. A great lookbook can get decision makers excited about you and your ideas in a way a simple pitch can’t. But what does a great lookbook look like and how do directors go about making them? And how can you use this tool stand out and find the opportunities you are after?

Yen Tan is an award-winning Malaysian-born writer and director who has helmed multiple projects that have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and others. His critically acclaimed feature PIT STOP premiered at Sundance and was nominated for a John Cassavetes Awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Yen also co-directed UNTIL WE COULD with David Lowery (A GHOST STORY, PETE’S DRAGON), an Addy-winning PSA for Freedom to Marry that was narrated by Robin Wright and Ben Foster. His most recent film 1985, which was inspired by his Short of the Week short film of the same title, premiered at South by Southwest and became a New York Times Critic’s Pick Feature. Yen has been a fellow of Austin Film Society’s Artist Intensive, IFP’s Film Week, and Film Independent’s Fast Track and was named one of Out Magazine's OUT100 of 2018. Yen is based in Austin, where he also works as an award-winning key art and graphic designer for independent films and documentaries. His celebrated work as both a director and graphic designer has given him deep knowledge and ability to create effective lookbooks for his own projects and others.

Yen will walk you through how exactly to put together a director’s lookbook that will catch a decisionmaker’s eye and help you land opportunities or find support for your own projects. He’ll begin by going through the basics of a lookbook, outlining their purpose, when you should make one, who you’re making them for and in which scenarios they’re helpful. He’ll also explain different types of lookbooks you can create, including general lookbooks and character breakdowns, and will show examples of past look books he designed to help illustrate. Yen will next delve into what a lookbook should look like, focusing on appropriate length, visual vs. text balance, typography, and how to split up page-by-page. He will also discuss how to find add images. Next he will talk about different software options—both free and paid—that you can use to make your own lookbook.

Yen will even offer a live demonstration, putting together a page of a hypothetical lookbook using free online software and resources. Finally, Yen will share the lookbook he created for his feature film 1985 and discuss why he made the decisions he did in putting it together.

 

What You'll Learn

  • Why Look Books?
    • What are lookbooks and what is their purpose?
    • When in the development process should you create a lookbook?
    • Scenarios when you should make a look book as a director.
    • Who would you make a look book for?
  • Types of Look Books
    • General
    • Character breakdown
    • A few examples of ones I've designed
  • What Your Look Book Should Look Like
    • Appropriate length
    • What ideas to include on each page
    • Visuals vs. text
    • Things to keep in mind about typography
  • Adding Images
    • What kind of images should you include?
    • Where to find images
  • Assembling Your Look Book
    • Software options--both free and paid
  • Live Demonstration
    • Tan will put together a page of a hypothetical look book using free online software and resources
  • Case Study: 1985 Look Book
    • Tan will show the real look book he created in developing his film 1985 and walk through why he made the decisions he did in putting it together
  • Q&A with Tan

About Your Instructor

Yen Tan is an award-winning Malaysian-born writer and director who has helmed multiple projects that have premiered at Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and others. His critically acclaimed feature PIT STOP premiered at Sundance and was nominated for a John Cassavetes Awards at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Yen also co-directed UNTIL WE COULD with David Lowery (A GHOST STORY, PETE’S DRAGON), an Addy-winning PSA for Freedom to Marry that was narrated by Robin Wright and Ben Foster. His most recent film 1985, which was inspired by his Short of the Week short film of the same title, premiered at South by Southwest and became a New York Times Critic’s Pick Feature. Yen has been a fellow of Austin Film Society’s Artist Intensive, IFP’s Film Week, and Film Independent’s Fast Track and was named one of Out Magazine's OUT100 of 2018. Yen is based in Austin, where he also works as an award-winning key art and graphic designer for independent films and documentaries. His celebrated work as both a director and graphic designer has given him deep knowledge and ability to create effective lookbooks for his own projects and others.

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