Article by Lorabella
Experimenting With Amateur Filmmaking – Other
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Filmmaking fascinates many people, even those who may not have any knowledge about filmmaking but would like to try their hand in it. Fortunately for such people amateur filmmaking has come of age with the proliferation of digital media. Earlier aspiring filmmakers only had film to work upon which was not affordable to everyone. Film cameras, even the low-end ones were quite expensive. But that’s past now with the rapid progress made by digital photography. In fact there are filmmaking enthusiasts who have been making movies with the cameras provided in their mobile phones! And anyway one cannot underestimate the power of amateur filmmaking as who knows the product you create as a hobby might excite someone powerful in the film industry and you might just turn into a hot-shot celebrity! Take the case of films like El Mariarchi and the recent Paranormal Activity, both can be described as determined efforts by practically amateur filmmakers, completed at ridiculously low budgets, and went on to make Hollywood history. Movies like these have motivated many aspiring filmmakers who had given up on their dreams, to give it another try. And why not? That’s the spirit which produces remarkable results.
The following tips would stand you in good stead whether you are aiming for Hollywood or would like to indulge in amateur filmmaking for personal satisfaction.
Meticulous pre-planning is very important to ensure a quality end-result as well as save on costs. You should clearly define every aspect of your film before you start shooting. This would include the subject of the film, the script, the locations, the cast and the crew. You would also need to plan out your budget and create sufficient buffer for unforeseen expenses. You will find plenty of material on the Internet which would help you shape-up your plan.
Without the basic equipment you would not be able to transform your plan into reality. Some of the essential equipment that you cannot do without are camcorder, tripods, microphone, lamps, computer, filmmaking software and tape or compact discs, whatever your camcorder works with.
The great thing about digital filmmaking is that you can shoot and re-shoot as much as you want because you can erase the bad stuff and reuse the same disc or tape. Make use of this benefit by going to the location beforehand and practicing with different shots. Some prior reading up on filming techniques and camera angles would be helpful. This practice session would help you save time and energy during the actual filming process. You can also prepare storyboards in this step to aid your memory. Don’t worry if you have terrible sketching skills, you just have to create small maps about the way you would like to shoot a scene.
You can now move on with the shooting. Assuming that you are working with the digital medium, don’t be afraid to experiment and retake shots until you are fully satisfied. One thing you should take care is the lighting. Improper lighting can mess up a scene completely. Here again I would advise you to read up on basic lighting techniques to be on sure ground.
In this stage you would need to transfer all the content that you have shot into your computer and then piece it together so that it tells a logical and coherent story. You would of course need to be able to use the editing software else you can take help of a friend who is familiar with it. You can also go for a basic software which is intuitive and easy to use and then you can learn in the process. During editing you can also layout the soundtrack. Filmmaking software generally come preloaded with stock sounds, it they are not satisfactory you can download a variety of sounds from the Internet. With the end of this process you will have completed your film.
Now what? You can either be satisfied with showing your film to family and friends or you can go ahead and distribute it to a global audience. There are many popular video sharing sites where you can upload your film. Many of these sites are actively followed by amateur as well as professional filmmakers. Who knows you might just turn out to be the next great discovery in the world of filmmaking.
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