Want to be a Filmmaker

Want to be a FilmmakerMaking films is a great way to express yourself creatively, work within a fun industry and also make a living while you’re at it. So how do you get into this industry? The answer is often much easier than people think. At a Spike Less conference in Toronto conference a couple of years ago, Mr. Lee addressed this very question from an ambitious film student. This film student stood up and asked her question about breaking into the film industry. It seemed that no matter how hard she searched for a job that nobody would hire her.

Spike Lee’s response was fantastic. He interrupted the student in the middle of her rambling about how “she can’t find opportunity” and he told her to “create opportunity”. He mentioned that today you can find video cameras for around the $500 – $800 mark. All you need at this point is access to a computer and friends who don’t mind working for the sake of “creation” and getting your name out there.

Spike Less is likely the most famous independent filmmaker out there and he used this

The Art of Film Editing

The Art of Film EditingFilm editing is the art of storytelling and is unique to cinema. An editor is responsible for the cohesiveness of the story, the mood each sequence creates, the pacing of the story, and is one of the most important people in the final movie-making process. The editor oversees the final product to make sure the viewer is seeing the director’s vision.

In the early days of movie making, an editor using analog film would manually edit it, physically cut each frame and hot splice them together to make a whole. Edwin S. Porter, a pro filmmaker at the beginning of the early 1900s, is thought to be one of the first in the industry to utilize and develop the art of editing. He was one of the first to use action editing, the piecing together of different shots and scenes, to make the movie more visually engaging. Today, with the advances in technology, film, and with the addition of digital and HD cameras, filmmaking has come 180 degrees since the days of Edwin Porter.

In the 21st century, movie editing has advanced far beyond

Locating Places to Shoot Your Movie

Locating Places to Shoot Your MovieOne of the things you’ll have to decide when you dive into filmmaking is where you’re going to shoot your film. Many people new to filmmaking struggle with this. But don’t worry too much; this article will give you some fast and easy tips on finding locations to shoot your film.

You will have to do some research in your area. So get in your car with your script in hand and see if there’s an area nearby that you can use for free. Some places will let you shoot your movie for free or without permits. Small mom and pop shops are a great place to start.

If you want to shoot in a park or a public setting, you may need to acquire a permit for that. You can buy a permit at the city hall or town hall where you are making your film. When you get your permit, you’ll need to know about how long you plan on being there, that way the city can have the place blocked off for

Low Budget Filmmakers Must Do Everything Required

So you say you have a burning desire to make a movie and you will do what ever it takes to get the job done? You fancy yourself and “independent” type and you want to reflect that in your art? Well, you better know what it takes before you decide to launch yourself into the world of independent filmmaking. If you do not know, your project may never see the light of day, or more importantly the light of a movie screen.

Making a very low budget or “independent” film is a double edged sword. On the one side you have the freedom to express your art without corporate considerations, but on the other side you have the daunting task of doing almost every job yourself. From writing, producing, directing, and acting to providing travel arrangements, applying make-up, and fixing broken equipment, you cover the broad spectrum of chores and responsibilities. And that does not even cover the other responsibilities such as providing meals for everyone, rehearsals, etc… All you have to do is look at the long list of credits at the end of any movie in the theaters and you can see how much work

Making Documentary Films and Movies

Making documentary films is a challenging and rewarding career path. Too many documentary filmmakers fall into the trap of creating the ‘talking heads’ documentary where they simply interview people against interesting or artistic backdrops. However, this form of documentary film making leaves a lot to be desired. The bottom line is that ‘talking heads’ are boring to watch. If people are just going to speak about their experiences, then an account of the situation in written format would be a much better idea since people usually write much better than the speak. There will be no “ums”, or awkward pauses.

The art of documentary film making is the process of ‘showing’ and not ‘telling’. For example, rather than having a person explain the definition of poverty, why not show poverty. The audience is intelligent enough to draw their own conclusions and definitions. What about filming in neighbourhoods where poverty runs rampant. What about showing the lives of people living in poverty. Their long bus rides to work, what they eat for dinner, what they struggle with and so on.

Film is a visual medium and people watch films to have their visual senses peaked. Simply watching

Making Video Look Like Film A Digital Filmmakers Guide

You have your script. You have your camera and computer editing software. You have actors, a crew, and some locations. Now you begin to shoot your “digital” film. Although the “filmmaking process” described in here uses the “film” word, what we’re really talking about is the overall project, not the medium on which it is shot. In recent years many traditional filmmakers have made the jump from film to digital video as have many television series. The reasons are clear: even using the highest quality digital video formats available, the cost savings over shooting traditional 35mm film are not to be ignored, as well as the fact that today many traditional film shoots use a “digital intermediate” (a fancy way of saying the film footage is scanned frame by frame into a series of digital still images) to provide color correction, add special effects (if needed), and in the case of regular television series, are output directly to tape or disc and never see film again.

In the independent film world, these recent changes have had an enormous impact on the affordability of production. “Prosumer” digital video cameras ranging from $1000 up to $10,000 provide relatively clean,

The Problem With Movies and How to Solve Them

Modern movies are a glorious thing, but they are also rife with problems. Modern movies are falling into a set of weird choices, and odd habits that can make watching movies into a sort of nightmare. Since there are so many problems with movies I decided to tackle two of them here, and we will revisit this issue in another article.

The first problem I have is poor audio mixing. What do I mean by this? Let’s say you open up your mailbox and you have a couple movies from Netflix sitting there (I almost made this example driving to Blockbuster, but then I remembered it was 2016). You pop in the Blu-Ray/ DVD into your player of choice and you sit back and you have to turn the volume down because there a lot of explosions and such. Then people start talking and you have to find the remote because they might as well be whispering! Then another explosion and now you’re deaf because the damn thing was so ear piercingly loud. This can be annoying. Hell it’s one of easiest ways to take me out of a movie, to be honest. So why does this

How to Start a Screenplay Treatment or Free Fall

Starting a screenplay can sometimes be as hard as finishing one.
Impatient to pull up to the front door of a classic motion picture, I want to get everything right so quickly. This impatience challenges my trust in the work, the creative process of screenwriting. What exactly does trust mean? If I don’t trust my writing, then what am I? Frightened. This is the battle. If I’m scared that everything I’m typing is worthless, then what? My hands find something else to do. So trust is good and important and essential to beginning this journey, alone, a trip that will eventually take what comes out of you into millions of people. But it’s just you now. And your trust.

Now, does trusting your writing mean sitting down with no ideas,
opening a new document, and starting to type? Of course. And no. What I need to do is make a decision and execute. And this decision often comes back to whether I should write an outline or treatment before I start writing my screenplay, or, with a rough idea, a shadowy shadow of something calling from my brain, start writing?

I have done both in the

It Takes an Iron Resolve to Make an Independent Film Production Happen

Commitment is an independent filmmaker’s most valuable resource. Without a lot of money to grease the wheels of production, a low budget film producer must rely on creativity and determination to get their films made. If a person wants to get their film made badly enough, there is not much in this world that can stop it from happening.

Making a film on your own with your own money is a very daunting task. It can also be very rewarding. When you decide to take on the awesome responsibility of writing, directing, and producing your own independent film, you better know what you are getting into beforehand. Once you set the ball in motion, there is no going back. You either succeed and your film makes to the film festival circuit (which is a major accomplishment in and of itself), or you crash and burn halfway through the film production process and your film vision never sees the light of day.

The next time you watch a movie I suggest that you pay particular attention to the credits at the end of the film. Take a look at how many names scroll across the screen and

Coverage Defining the Directors Vision

Coverage is a term that refers to camera placement in capturing the scene’s actions. It affords different perspectives of characters and their telling the story. More than any other aspect of filmmaking coverage defines the director’s touch, his vision of the story. In essence, coverage is what the camera sees, and feels. Used creatively, coverage is a decided factor in the success of a movie.

While it refers most to camera placement, angles, and composition, it also relates to the movement of the camera and the length of the shot. Other factors include camera lenses, filters and the rhythm, pace and variety of shots

Coverage is what makes up the elements that are later edited together to make the movie. It’s a selection of shots that the editor can splice together to complete the scene. Because shots are duplicated in a number of takes, these shots provide the editor with many options, ways to tell the story. And while the editor may assemble the shots into a scene, it is the director who has the final say how this assemblage is completed.

To obtain coverage, it’s common practice to first shoot a master. A master

Professional Screenplay Formatting Tips

As the number of screenwriters increases around the world, literary agents, screenwriting contests and film and TV productions companies are bombarded with more and more material. To make matters worse, tens of thousands of new media graduates enter the fray every year. The sheer number of specs flying around the industry is simply overwhelming. The Writer’s Guild of America gets 50,000 new registrations a year alone!

Now some of this material is good. Most of it, though, is not. And unfortunately that overwhelming majority of scripts that are poorly formatted, poorly written, way too long or just downright amateur has created a generation of angry and jaded professional readers.

Now you might say, “What do I care what some lowly reader working a desk in the bowels of CAA’s dream-making machine thinks of my masterpiece!? He’s just a reader!”

Well you better care, because that kid is the gatekeeper to your future, and if you don’t make him or her happy – and confident that your are indeed a professional quality screenwriter – the minute they lay eyes on your script, you’ve already lost half the battle.

Don’t believe me? Okay, look at it

Film Directing

Film directing is an art form, that many people don’t understand.

Without good directing, a film with a great script and cast will probably not do well.

They are chosen by the movie’s producer, unless of course the producer and the director are the same person.

Directors are chosen for their ability to bring a screenwriter’s script to life using their unique interpretation of the script and subsequent portrayal of the material.

Sometimes writer’s disapprove the director’s creative input so it is important to have a legal agreement including compensation for allowing movie studios and directors to interpret the screenplay their own way.

Some directors, such as George Lucas, act as producers, writers, and directors all at once. There have even been directors such as Peter Jackson who appear as actors in the films they are directing.

The director also guides the actors and actresses to deliver their lines and physically portray their characters in a way that is coherent with the entire story of the film.

The best actor can say some lines “wrong” even if he gets the words exactly right, or the best actress can try to portray

Make Your Own Movie

If you want to make your own movie, you need not look further than the internet. The internet has come a long way from being used merely for research.

The internet now caters to the entertainment demands of billions of users all around the world. YouTube, a video search engine, reflects the internet’s new objective of entertaining. YouTube allows you to upload and share videos on the World Wide Web.

Venturing to make your own movie is easier than it sounds. The videos posted on YouTube mainly consist of TV or Theatre promos, lectures and at times even spoofs.

If you think you have it in you to make your own movie put on your thinking cap and start shooting!

The inspiration behind the video is much more important than the technicalities involved. YouTube deals with the technicalities leaving you to deal with the content!

The first step is to shoot your own video with your standard video recording device. The video obviously can be fashioned according to your tastes and preferences in accordance with the terms and conditions. It however has to be remembered that your video is to enjoy large viewership

Tips For No Budget Movie Making

Ready to make your movie? Here are a few simple tips to help you on your way. These are things I’ve learned from books, online resources and my own experience making short films. Enjoy…

1. It’s the Story, Stupid….filmmaking is story telling. You need a good script. You need a story that you are passoniate about telling. When you don’t have a budget, chances are you won’t be blowing up buildings or having long chase scenes to entertain your viewers. Focus on the script. Get a tight, interesting script on paper before you shoot anything.

2. Use the equipment you have…or rent–don’t buy. Is your only camera a $300 Handcam? So what. Use it. Even the cheapest consumer MiniDV camcorder can give good results when you use a tripod and you light properly. Don’t feel that you need to rush out and buy an brand new HDV cam, or a new boom mic, or Final Cut Pro. Shoot with the equipment you alreay own. Learn your equipment and more importantly, learn the craft of filmmaking. Trust me, there will be many more things limiting you besides your equipment.

3. Plan, plan and then plan some

Why Not Write a New Movie Screenplay Synopsis

If you have writers block, why not write a movie screenplay. Now then, here is one I just wrote and you cannot have it, but it might make you think and perhaps, cause you to come up with even a better screen play. Here it goes;

NASA is planning to build a space colony on Mars, and to practice, and learn about the psychological aspects of people being cooped up in a space module on the surface of the planet for long periods of time, and also practice being able to produce their own oxygen and food, and recycle all of their waste in a perfectly circular habitat, they have sent one group of people several hundred feet underwater in a remote area of the ocean. And they have sent the other folks to the South Pole and dropped them off for five years.

Each isolated practice colony has been given full Internet access by satellite, although it turns out to be rather sketchy over time, eventually not working at all. They are also equipped with virtual reality gaming systems of the future to help them cope with their isolation. Unfortunately, while they are out there

Final Cut Pro Editing Starts Before the Shooting Stops

In the past decade, digital video, Final Cut Pro, and YouTube have made film making accessible to anyone with a video camera and a Mac. In the 90’s, the budget for a shoestring feature could run tens of thousands of dollars; today that same feature could be shot so cheaply it would make El Mariachi’s reputed $7,000 budget seem opulent.

The bad news is that a lot more people with nothing to say are going to say it publicly (if you doubt me, just go to YouTube and search “zit”). However, the good news is that many artists who are serious about ideas and cinema, and the craft of film making, have an unprecedented opportunity-the chance to put our vision out there and let the public determine its value.

During eight years of freelancing as a Final Cut Pro editor and technical consultant, I have watched the same scenario play out again and again: a client, passionate about a project, has his (or her) first meeting with an editor after the project has already been shot; he is convinced that his twelve hours of footage can be organized in a day, edited in a week, and,

Digital Film Production Tips

No amount of free filmmaking software is going to help you learn the ins and outs of digital film production. How many people out there have had a friend or relative with a digital camera and free digital editing software show them a terrible movie they made? The screening is usually in someone’s living room. Friends and family gather around eating movie popcorn to show support. Nobody says it while they watch, but they are thinking, “what a POS.” When the end credits mercifully appear a few people will offer up half-hearted words of support.

Poor digital film production technique should only be seen in personal sex tapes and really bad wedding videos. Having digital film production equipment and software is worthless unless you learn the skills on how to use them like a savvy indie filmmaker. If you put in just a little effort and time to learn the basic core principals of digital film production your movie will be far better off for it. Like most areas of life, the more effort you put even the greater the results. For the short time I have your attention I am going to share with you

Making Your Own Movie

First of all, the project we were filming, was based upon a supposedly haunted location, here in Georgia. The Rufus M Rose house. If you want to know more about it, check out my company’s website (where within the week you should find the movie), as well as my ghost blog. They are listed below in my signature/resource box.

Okay, the first step is a fundamental one. You must have content. Like anything else, the quality of your content will decide how popular it is. The theme of your movie needs to be appealing, and you must be able to convey it well. If you can’t do that, there is no point for me to go beyond that well. So make sure your concept is stated.

Nextly, realize this is an outline I used for making our movie. It is by no means an official process, and is probably far from what educational institutions teach today. My recommendation is that you use this to see how so-called “Guerilla Film-Making” might go, especially if your enrolled in a program somewhere.

Alright, once you have your concept defined, and you’ve done your research, then you go into

Video and Film Production Services A Guide For You

Film production services can be a great source of help to you if you want a film done for low costs and within short notice. If you want a timely and effective delivery of your film then you should opt for professional video production services. Now how do you know if the production company you have hired is good enough for you?

Well there are many ways to tell. But the best way is by seeing the company’s performance at the time of shooting the film. The company will be able to shoot according to deadlines. But this does not mean that work will be compromised on the basis of quality of content or style. The finished product you will get shoot match the ethos of the film you were searching for.

There are many ways to know whether video production services are capable enough to find the right ethos of your film. The internet is one of the most viable places to search for video and film production services. There are many sites that provide production services of this kind but the best way to judge these is to go through the customer reviews on

Some Tips For Home Movie Making

In college I studied both music and production of videos. I really enjoyed both courses, but I always enjoyed video editing much more. Most people don’t know why they enjoy one thing more than another but that was the case with me. Anyway, I did work a little in music but I never did any work in editing video. Although I never worked on editing outside my home, these days equipment is so easy to get that I can edit my personal videos at home and it doesn’t cost much.

Getting your videos professionally edited can be very expensive if you want the best. You will have to pay by the hour and it costs a lot. You can do your own editing at home and it’s not difficult. You will need a computer with a large amount of memory because most of the editing programs, especially for video are quite powerful and need to have that memory available to work correctly. You will also need a good software package for video editing. There are many on the market, just do a search online and you will see. You won’t even need to spend $100 to get