CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The director and cinematographer of hit movies such as the Fantastic Four, Think Like A Man, and Ride Along spoke to students and the community at Vinegar Hill Theater Sunday.

“You’ve just got to keep your eye on the ball, as a beginner or someone younger who wants to become a film maker. You’ll get there, but it’s not the easiest process,” Cinematographer Larry Blanford said. 

Cinematographer Larry Blanford and Director Tim Story held a discussion at the Vinegar Hill Theater in Charlottesville about their relationship over the past nine films they have worked on together. 

“I teach classes occasionally and I don't think there is much of an opportunity to talk about this relationship that has been presented,” Blanford said.   

They say that though they work in very different fields of building a film, it all comes back to one goal, telling a story. 

“It's about the story so we collaborate on the story to begin with,” Blanford said. 

“It’s kind of a mutual emphasis on storytelling, so coming from two different directions, but at the same time we meet in the middle quite often,” Story said. 

Story and Blanford teamed up to create the popular movies including The Fantastic Four, Ride Along featuring Kevin Hart, and now, finishing up their next film, called The Pickup starring Eddie Murphy, Eva Longoria, and Pete Davidson.

Moderator of the discussion with Lighthouse Studios, Will Goss, says the opportunity for such powerful figures to speak to students is an important part in building the next generation. 

“To be able to have people who are at the top of the game so to speak, come in here and students will have the opportunity to ask them questions and really interact with them. It's really special and could be a really impactful moment in their lives,” Goss said. 

In 2023, Lighthouse taught 85 workshops to 1,258 students, resulting in over 353 completed films.