Ultimate Guide To Filmmaking
Do you want to direct the next Blockbuster or become the next Steven Spielberg? Filmmaking is more than a career – it is a way of life. Making movies has never been easier due to the technical innovations that come standard on many Windows and Macintosh computers. If you have access to a computer and video camera, there’s nothing holding you back from making your first film. Traditionally the filmmaking process can be broken down into ten steps: identifying the concept and idea, writing the script, creating the storyboard, securing funding, hiring cast and crew, identifying locations, preparing shooting blueprints, creating a schedule, distributing call sheets, and gathering the equipment.
- Scene 1: Enter Future Filmmaker - Provides information on beginning the process of creating a film without prior experience.
- Digital Filmmaking – An Introduction - Outlines the steps necessary to execute a successful digital video project.
- Guerrilla Filmmaking 101- Provides information on creating indie films and reviews the production process.
- A Beginner’s Guide to the Production Process - Examines the various processes and work flows involved in creating a film.
- Film As Art - Discusses the artistic nature of digital video production.
- Digital Production Guide - An extensive directory of articles and tutorials on digital filmmaking.
- Creative Cow - Provides a listing of tutorials on the essentials of filmmaking.
The pre-production process lays the foundation for your film and is the backbone of your operation. A bulk of the work is performed in this phase. During pre-production your script needs to be finalized, signed off, and released for production. You need to finalize your budget before submitting the spreadsheet to the executive producer for review. Your budget will impact what technologies, locations, and personnel you can use. A production calendar is established that defines due dates for every step of the project. Milestones should be established to keep the film on track. The pre-production activities will ensure that you and your crew are prepared to shoot your film. A successful pre-production campaign will minimize error during the production and editing process.
- Shooting Techniques - A collection of shooting tips and techniques that can be applied when filming your movie.
- Videography for Educators - An extensive list of tips and tricks for creating your perfect film.
- Capturing Video on the PCs - Discusses the process of transferring your filmed footage to the computer for editing.
- Digital Video Tutorials - A list of tutorials that will explain the editing, importing, and exporting process of pre-press production.
- Guide to Film Techniques - Provides a thorough list of tips and tricks relating to lighting, aesthetics, and editing.
- Tips and Tricks - This is a list of tips, tricks, and suggestions for effective cinematography.
- Creating a Storyboard - A short course on creating storyboards.
Equipment and Software
You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment in order to create an effective video, however; some equipment is necessary in order to facilitate the production process. There are varying degrees of essential-ism, however; it is advisable that the beginning filmmaker has a high definition video camera capable of holding several hours of footage. Devices such as wireless microphones, tripods, external lighting devices, and additional tapes may be necessary for the most basic of films.
- Digital Video Cameras - An extensive collection of articles detailing the types of video cameras and their costs.
- Video Formats - Discusses the various formats available when exporting video for distribution.
- Beginner's Guide to Camcorders - Provides a series of articles relating to the use of video cameras.
- Basic Level Tutorials - A collection of software tutorials for digital video editing and creation.
- Movie Maker - Provides an in depth course on Windows Movie Maker, with lots of tutorials.
- Final Cut Pro - An extensive collection of tips, tricks, and tutorials about how to use Final Cut Pro by Apple.
- Top 10 Essential Equipment for Indie Filmmakers - Provides an explanation of essential equipment every filmmaker needs.
The production process is when the film is created, and can be the most labor-intensive part of the filming process. Before shooting the scenes, locations must be secured and prepared before the crew arrives. During the shooting process it is critical that tasks are delegated efficiently and crew members are not standing around. Consider the amount of time the crew is working and ensure that any minors on the set are protected. During the production process, lighting, sound, and special effects can influence the underlying message of the film.
- Production Tips - Provides a comprehensive listing of tips, tricks, and tools during the production phase.
- The Guide to Sound Effects - A detailed listing of sound effects and their applications in the video production process.
- Lighting in a Nutshell - An article about the proper use of lighting on a set.
- Lighting Tips - Examines the types of lighting and importance of using lights in your film.
- Process of Making a Film - Provides an overview of the production process.
- Tips and Tricks - Examines script development, pre-production, production, and post-production elements.
The post-production process is debatable the hardest part of the filmmaking process. Once all of the footage is shot, it must be assembled and edited to form a movie. The final product should flow seamlessly and follow your storyboard. The post production process involves capturing your footage on the computer, editing the video, and distributing the final product. The footage is downloaded using a FireWire or USB cable and is imported into your video-editing program. Popular titles include Final Cut Pro, Pinnacle Studio, and Avid. Both iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are free applications included with MacOS X and Windows.
- Editing with Final Cut Pro - A detailed course on how to use Final Cut Pro to edit videos.
- Video Editing Resources - A collection of websites that examine the digital video editing process.
- Comparing Video Editing Tools - An article that examines the various types of video editing tools available today.
- Video Post-Production - Examines the post-production process.
- Post-Production - Outlines the process of exporting your film for distribution.
- Digital Video Primer - An Introduction to DV Production, Post-Production, and Delivery