How Walt Disney Films a Lecture

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In Walt Disney's "Victory Through Air Power" (1943) the main presenter - Alexander P. de Seversky - has the difficult task of delivering important information into the camera.

This is about as uncinematic as an event can get, especially in a documentary.

How does Walt solve this potential snooze-fest?

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Walt solves this in a surprising way.

He has Seversky walking around & interacting with the set.

There's always a movement, a novelty, a variation.

The set itself is subtly designed to always be engaging to the eye. The camera changes positions often (swooping in for important information, following Seversky's movements, etc).

Seversky is never simply sitting down, looking into the camera, delivering a talking-head interview.

And when he is, it doesn't last for very long.

Just at the moment you're about to feel bored, an animation pops on, or a radical movement occurs.

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And one could argue that Seversky has all the right to do nothing BUT sit down! 

After all, he had a wooden-leg and was communicating possibly the most important information of the decade: the strategy on how the Allies could win World War 2 (the very strategy we did use, and won with).

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Yet blabbing-away into the camera was not good enough for Mr. Disney.

Nor should it be for you.

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Always think about how you can make an interview, or a lecture, or a monologue, cinematic.

Never believe the information is so important, or the subject so disabled, that something innovative, spectacular, and competitively entertaining could not be created.

If Walt Disney found the time to get aesthetic during the most stressed and war-like conditions the country (and his studio) had ever faced - then so could you.

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Remember: Above everything, we're in the ENTERTAINMENT industry.

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