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Ultimate Guide To Filmmaking

January 13, 2010 Lowell Bradford Blog, News & Articles 0 Comments

surveillance-video_2267_1075153177Ultimate Guide To Filmmaking

Introduction

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.

Pre-Production

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.

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.

Production
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.

Post Production

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.

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