Film

How to Make a Movie?

Do you like making movies but can't seem get the job quite right? Do you get frustrated at working hard and using precious time, only to find that your movies are totally bogus? Here are a few helpful tips on how to make a spectacular film by working on your editing, camera movements, story line, characters, scenes, and more.

Steps


1.Think about the genre of movie you want to make (e.g.: horror, science fiction, action, drama,fiction, non-fiction, etc.

2.Watch movies similar to the one you are trying to make and study filmmaking via books, documentaries, etc.

3.Decide if you want to create a narrative ("tell a story") film, a documentary (showing reality) or a compilation film (putting together vintage footage and/or photos).
If you want a narrative, decide if you want to write a story yourself, base it from a book you have read, or base it from a real life story. Don't confuse a documentary with a narrative. Narratives tell the story with characters and plots, so you can make a real life event into a narrative. Documentaries, on the other hand, are behind the scenes footage of an event or a life of someone, with real life people discussing these things, while providing information to the audience about a person or an event.

4.Decide on a theme or plot. Making a film about something you know is a good way to start. If you're excited and knowledgeable about the information or story, it will be apparent to your audience. Make sure you're very descriptive about what the movie is really about!!!

5.Write the script/screenplay. If you want to submit your script to a professional, the screenplay will need to be in a special formats. If you're simply filming the movie yourself, you can write it like a play script. Your screenplay should detail every scene, all actions performed by the characters, the settings/locations, and when each scenes changes.

6.Make storyboards and a shot list from your script. Planning what shots you want to film will make the shoot go smoother.

7.Cast your film (Find actors). People in your community might work for screen credits in low budget films. Of course, it would be advantageous to have a well-known name starring in your movie.

8.Location scout: find a place and decide on the time to shoot it! Home movies will be relatively spontaneous, but structured films should have a schedule so your cast and crew know when and where to gather.
If you can't find the right location, create sets. You can use wood and paint for very simple set modifications. (If possible, using actual locations is easier. It's simpler to film in a diner than make a room look like one.)

9.Before your scheduled shoot, get (and test) your equipment. You will need a video camera and tripod, additional microphones, lighting equipment, and spare tapes/discs.

10.Pick out some costumes and makeup for your actors, just to add some idea of who the actors really are in real life or just for the movie, depending on which style your making your movie in (if needed)

11.Film your movie. The shots you decide to take will make the difference between a "home movie" or a professional looking movie. Some people say to shoot multiple takes from multiple angles because it will be more interesting in the end. As a very general rule, professional filmmakers shoot each scene in a wide shot, medium shot and close up of important elements. Also, the type of shots they decide to take are determined by what feeling or emotion they are trying to convey.

12.Take your footage to your computer - upload the photos/production you shot, and edit it. Cut out the boring parts. Make quick cuts and hold the viewer's interest. Editing between various angles can quickly show multiple things going on in the same scene. Use your editing system's split or razor tool to create smaller clips from multiple shots, and then mix and match. You'll get the hang of it.

13.Add sound effects and music. Make sure that your music flows with what is going on during the movie at that second. Music gives the movie an emotional stance. It changes the audience's emotions which give them a more positive view on your film. You can vary your music, to make the audience feel happy, sad, angry, scared, excited, emotional, and more.

14.Create titles and credits with software like VideoTagger for your actors and crew
15.Export to a digital format DVD.

Tips

  • Make sure you're well prepared before shooting your movie, as not being prepared might just waste your resources, such as your video tapes.
  • Before shooting a scene, make sure that your video camera is charged up and is ready to run.
  • If you are bad at introductions and conclusions, then think of the end first, and begin the movie in the same place, or vice-versa.
  • Add music, but not illegally. In other words, you can put music in, but don't give out copies. If you do, you will have to use non-copyrighted material or contact someone to get permission.
  • Sound and lighting are very important: Good sound (easily understanding the person speaking without hearing the photographer breathing, or street noise, for example) is critical. Good lighting makes the video/movie watchable. Excellent "budget lighting" include: Dusk or early morning, a foggy or overcast day, and shade (but only when there is a darker background).
  • Here are a few camera pointers to consider:
    • Vary the shots for interest, but vary the type of shots, between wide, medium and close-up. Too many close-ups in a row is disorienting. Start with a wide Establishing Shot (so the audience knows where the action is taking place and what time of day, year or millennium it is), then vary medium and close-up shots. Keep strange point of view (POV) shots to a minimum unless you are trying to startle the viewer.
    • Panning (moving the camera side to side): don't. But if you must, pan in wide angle, and have a reason for the pan (follow a person walking through scene). End the pan on the object of the pan. If your pan is designed to show the Golden Gate bridge, that is then the reason for the pan. Don't pan back and forth.
    • Tilting: Just as if you're panning side to side, try to avoid it - but fine when used sparingly.
    • Don't do fancy camera movements without additional equipment such as a Steadicam.
    • Don't try to make a fancy first person shooter scene as many do. It looks cheap and horrible.
  • Make sure all of the cast know their cues and when a scene is being filmed, so they do not step into a shot unnecessarily.
  • Be sure to add credits to your movie (to make it professional looking and to thank everyone who worked on the film).
  • When you finish your movie, share it with the world. If it is a serious work, bring it to film festivals where it might be picked up. If it is a small, casual work, host it on the internet for the world to view freely. They're both paths to different kinds of fame.
  • Have a lawyer read over any contracts before you sign them. You might be signing away the rights to your movie.
  • If it's a cheap home movie, try windows movie maker. It's free but you might have to download it if using windows 7.
  • Make sure you have fun throughout the whole process!

Warnings

  • Don't steal ideas when writing the script.
  • Make sure that when you cast your actors, they are all committed to the work being a success. Otherwise, an actor who is not willing to cooperate might jeopardize the outcome of the film. Also, make sure you chose the right actors who fit the roles, as this would create a huge impact on the film's end result. Treat your actors with respect, as any negative air or tension would certainly affect the filming process.
  • Don't put in jokes if they are not necessary, or if they are in bad taste. It could easily ruin the artistic aspect.
  • If filming in an actual location that does not belong to you, such as a diner, ask the owner or a worker/manager for permission first. This would ensure that things are being done legally,the proper procedure is being followed, and to avoid any delays or complications with the shoot.

Things You'll Need

  • A video camera
  • Tripod
  • Tapes or memory cards
  • Batteries
  • A computer (both to type a script and to edit the footage)
  • An editing system like Premiere, Pinnacle, Arcsoft Showbiz, Final Cut (Express or Pro), Avid, Windows Movie Maker (free with Windows XP and Vista), iMovie (free with Macs), or Sony Vegas Movie Studio. AVS Video Editor is a cheap, nice program to consider.
  • VideoTagger - For Creating Movie Credits
  • Muvee Auto producer works, but it cuts out stuff without the user ordering that to happen.
  • A wireless lavaliere "mic" for the person who you want to record
  • Props
  • Actors and/or actresses
  • Different Costumes for Different Scenes. You don't want your characters wearing the same thing throughout the WHOLE movie.
  • Make-up
  • A Script or screenplay
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