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Thursday, 6 May 2010

Things to remember when making your film.

I've decided to compile a list of things I think it is important to remember when your making your film. Some these things seem pretty obvious but are sometimes forgotten about and most work either way. So here goes.

First of all, realise your constraints, its not Hollywood so keep your feet on the ground. That means no crazy stunts, rediculous locations or closing down streets. Try to make sure your film simple enough to shoot as well the less green screen and special effects the better. Also another point to remember is that we live in a country where the weather can be less than favourable at times. Consider if this will make a difference to the look of your film and be prepared when your on location for a turn in the weather.

Keep all of your cast and crew informed every week, don't just spring things on them a week previous and expect people to drop everything to start filming for you.

Keep your crew to a minimum, people can usually do more than one job and you don't want to have people standing around with nothing to do. The more people on your crew then the more transport and sleeping arrangements etc need to be made. At the same time you don't want to leave yourself short, you should never really go it alone either.

Your crew are most likely working for free, this does not make them slaves. People aren't usually fond of getting up at silly times for your film either so try to be reasonable with them. try not to make your shooting times too long, include regular breaks in filming and appreciate the efforts people are going to as well. Its worth mentioning that since your not paying your actors its nice to feed them, make sandwiches or order pizza. Keep the food light however. People often get tired and less motivated after a large meal.

Whilst your crew or actors aren't being paid, that doesn't mean they can make the rules to suit themselves your still the boss and they have made a commitment to your film and they should pull their weight. Still be reasonable and make sure you have someone to fill in so your not left short.

You need to know what you actually want from your film, envision it in your head so you actually know what to shoot, dont leave things down to the day of filming to sort out how you want things to look.

Get cutaways. (Those little close up shots that have no action in them but are somehow related to the subject your filming.) Yes those, they are essential for the edit, they break down the action and make it easier for you audience to watch. They are also handy for building the story and surroundings in your film to give it a more realistic feel, and most importantly they will help when your stuck in the edit if you haven't got enough coverage which is also a common mistake. Anyone who has made a film will agree.

Less is more. The audience don't need to see every bit of action, try leaving some difficult scenes to their imagination, but don't miss it out totally, sounds tell as much of a story as pictures do. (see some of Guy Ritchies films for examples of this this.)

Check back your footage for what you've done that day, known as watching your rushes, there is nothing worse than realising there's something wrong once you've come off location and you'll have to go back and shoot again.
Thats all for now.

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