Spielberg, Scorsese. Allen, Kubrick. All of the greats got their start somewhere. Whether you have dreams of winning an Oscar or just want to shoot films for fun, the following tips from Steve’s Digicams will help guide you through the movie making process.
Get Creative When Getting Equipment – If you’re a student, be sure to check with your school’s multimedia department and see what type of equipment (i.e. cameras, microphones, etc.) is available. If you’re not in school, reach out to a local film association and ask for a list of area filmmakers who may be willing to loan or lease out their equipment. You might also want to do a quick search online to see if there are any video equipment rental companies nearby.
Light Control – Beginners should try shooting outside or during the daytime to avoid the use of expensive auxiliary light sources. For indoor shots, it’s recommended to look for a room with large windows to take advantage of natural light. To create a nighttime effect, try covering the windows with a blanket which will block most but not all of the light. Need more light? Flip a switch and turn on the lights in the house.
Nice and Steady – Big budget production companies often use a dolly or SteadiCam to create a steady shot but there are other ways to create the same effect without spending a fortune. To create a dolly effect, Steve’s Digicams recommends mounting the camera on top of a car or skateboard. Another alternative is to attach the camera to a tripod and to hold it away from the body to limit a wobbling effect while walking.
Sound Judgment – Audio is perhaps the most crucial component of any film. To line up the video and audio recorded on multiple devices, clap a few seconds after rolling but before the action starts which will makes things easier in post production. For background music, stick with instrumentals to set the mood of the scene as well as help mask low quality audio or unwanted sounds.
Cut the Scenes Close – For a professional looking film, learn how to edit the scenes. Edit end points closer and although it probably goes without saying, remove parts where actors are standing idly.
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