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Continuity Editing Techniques

The Continuity Techniques of Video Editing

video editing lessons
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The art of editing is divided into 2 schools – those who claim video editing should be noticed and those who claim the complete opposite. Most film today try their best to keep continuity going and to draw less attention to the editing as possible.

Making the continuity possible is, first of all, the production’s job, but if they failed to do so, it is the editor that will have to fix it. In this article, I will introduce you to some awesome continuity editing techniques.

 

continuity editing the definition

Films are rarely shot in the order of the script. Even inside the scene the order of the shooting is determent by locations limitations, actor’s schedule etc. (you can read about the factors of production schedule here) continuity is a system the filmmakers use to keep things consistent between two shots that will be edited together. The elements that usually can break continuity are such as lighting, character’s movements, sounds, backgrounds and object placements, It’s something that is very hard to pay attention to and even in blockbuster films you can see mistakes like that.

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Let’s see some continuity editing examples:

Continuity in lighting

Continuity in lighting means that the colors in the frames are the same in every shot. Sometimes the director might shoot a dialog where the close-ups in it were shot in two different places. I mean each character were shot in a different place. The element that can break our continuity here is most likely to be exposure and lighting of the shots – They should be the same. The editor’s job is to do whatever it takes, to help them look as if they are talking to each other. In this case, the editor might need to do some color correction to fix the continuity problem. That is usually done by the extremely skilled colorist.

Continuity in objects

Here is an example of a very common mistake, when one of the characters is smoking a cigar and the size of the cigar changes on the different take (first it’s long, then it’s short and then long again).
Or let’s say an actor is holding a glass on the right hand and on the next take he is holding it in the left hand. In this case, there isn’t much the editor can do to fix it but simply choosing a different shot, but if the best take is the one that the actor is holding the glass on the different hand, I would say – use that. If the actorr performance is good enough, the discontinuity would not be noticed. In the movie Pulp fiction, there is a scene where John Travolta needs to stick a needle in Uma Thurman’s chest. On the close up of the chest, there is a red mark, but when she gets up with the needle in her chest, the red mark is gone. The scene is so full of energy and actors give such a great performance that it is not noticeable.

continuity editing techniques

The first thing you need to do before editing a scene is to go through all of the material and see if there are shot that might cause a problem. See also  if there is are a solution you can give them. For example, if a character is facing right and on the next shot it is facing left, you can fix it with a flop effect (an effect that changes a direction of the frame). If there is a discontinuity in the action of the actor or in an object in the scene, a good solution can also be putting the third shot in between the problematic two if it’s possible.

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Make it a ritual before starting to edit a scene to look for discontinuity possibilities and when you finish editing the scene, look for it again.

After all of that, I recommend watching Jean-Luc Goddard’s film, Band -a- part, Where he introduce to the world of cinema a new kind of editing possibilities by creating obvious jump cuts and discontinuity. He did that for political reasons to claim, that when you watch a movie, you should be aware that it is just a movie, so you won’t be manipulated so easy. Today jump cuts can appear in the mainstream films, but only if it serves the premise of the film.

Script Breakdown And How To Use It for Budget Planning

Using A Script Breakdown To Plan Your Budget

The script breakdown will be your first job as a producer. it will help you to be more realistic about your script and its needs. In this post, I’m going to talk first about how to do a script breakdown and then how to use it for your budget planning.


Before you start breaking down your script, I recommend reading the script once without analyzing it. On the second reading, you can start to break it down.
There are many things you need to pay attention to, but first, you need to check the basic stuff:

Make sure the script is in right format

Once you’re getting the script, you need to check if it’s formatted the right way. Read my post on script format if you are not sure. If the screenplay is not written in the right format, you won’t be able to tell how long the film is going to be, which is an important part of the film budget. If you are having problems with formatting the script, there are many script breakdown software that can help you like the Final Draft Writer

You also need to pay attention to the scene numbers and the scene locations as I will explain now:

Scene numbers

You should also check if there are numbers on the beginning of each scene. If the there are no numbers, the production manager is the usually the one who needs to fix it. The scene numbers are very important to your organized work. If there are more scenes adding during production, you simply adding a letter to the number like 23-a, 23-b, etc. Don’t change the numbers of the scenes once you start production work.

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Script breakdown for locations

The second element to check is the locations of the scenes. Where does it all happen? Is it in a movie theater? Is it in the park? The scene location should be written in the beginning of each scene (See the script format post to understand more). When you write down the name of the location on your script breakdown sheet, it should be written the same way as it is written in the script, to avoid confusion. If the location is not clear in the script, you should call the script writer to clarify it.

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You also need to pay attention to how many scenes are shot inside and how many are shot outside? This is a thing that can really affect the film budget and schedule. For example, if a scene is shot outside, we only have time to shoot until the sun goes down  (since it’s our source of light)and if it’s a night scene that happens outside, we’ll need to create electricity solutions.

Breaking the scene

Now it’s time to take some markers and start marking the script elements by categories. What you need to do is to go over the script and mark in a different color every element that needs your attention. For example, every time there is a special effect, you can mark it with blue color, every time props come up, you mark it with red, every time a stunt man is needed, mark it with a different marker, every time extras are needed, mark it with a different color (you can divide the extras into speaking roles and non-speaking roles) etc. More things you should look at are the cast of the film, special effects, any special equipment, any costumes needed.

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The script breakdown sheet

The script breakdown sheet should be a table with this information: scene number and name, the page it appears in the script, the location, interior or exterior, is it day or is it night, the characters that are needed for the scene, the extras needed, props and special notes Like wardrobe, set dressing, etc. There should also be a brief description of the scene and If there are storyboards to the scene, it should be attached.

Click here to see how a script breakdown template should look like. Also, check this link to see many script breakdown examples. I recommend to go there and choose the script breakdown example that works best for you.

Now the only thing missing from your film budget planning is the schedule:

Making the schedule

What you need to do now is group your information by elements. For example, if you have 23 scenes with the same actor – You should plan it so they are all be shot together. You don’t want to be in a place where you shoot a scene with him and then telling him to rest for 5 hours while you shoot another scene that he is not in it. The only problem now is that moving around from one location to another can be expensive and tiresome too, so you have to take that into consideration too. The main idea here is to take all the elements that you marked before and use them to plan the schedule.

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While calculating the days you should take into consideration the director’s vision and his style of work. Does he like to do a lot of takes or is he a fast worker? While working on the schedule you should also be in touch with heads of key departments, and see if they are OK with what you planned.

As you can understand the schedule and the script breakdown can and probably will change during production. The trick is to find as many elements that need your attention right at the start. With practice, I can promise you, that you’ll be able to find more and more elements to mark and pay attention to and you’ll learn to do it more easily.

Film Directing – Auditioning Actors for Film

Auditioning Actors – Rules & Tips

Auditioning actors is a field that many beginners at film directing are taking for granted, It’s a very hard and long process that many directors choose to not be part of. I think the reason is because this is a stage where you have to make great decisions. You don’t want to do a mistake at this stage. In these days you have more options than ever, so making a mistake is even more scary.

Auditioning actors is also a great chance for the director to hear his texts being played  for the first time and it’s a great opportunity to test scenes that you weren’t sure about them. That’s why I’m going to give you some tips for setting up auditions. I think that there is nothing worse than getting stuck in production. When you find a good actor that can act and listen, you did 90 percent of your actor’s directing job.

The main idea is to play with the actor. Try different approaches to him. For example, you can let a guy play a female role in the script and vice versa and see what happens.

Casting Director

The auditioning of actors is a complete field we can talk about for hours. That’s why, if you have the option, use a casting director, It can be great. Today the casting directors, in my opinion, don’t get the respect they deserve, but I really think it’s an important role.
These are the skills needed for a casting director: good communication, better identification of talent, good management ability, the ability to direct and paying attention to detail.
The director needs to explain to the casting director what he wants what his vision for the film is and the specific role

Advertising the audition

The possibilities for advertising your auditions are diverse. You can advertise on Facebook, acting groups, industrial sites, acting schools and so on. Once you post you are looking for actors, you will probably be flooded with e-mails from dozens of actors. That’s why you should try to a specific description of the part as you can. You should describe the character name, age, important characterization points and two interesting sentences about it. If the physical description is important, you can add that one too.
Most actors will send you photos and resumes. Often there is a temptation to check only the images, but it is very important to read their resumes too.

Rent a room for auditions

Do not audition actors in your home or your friend’s home. It shows the lack of professionalism and can be a little intimidating for actresses. It is worth investing a few dollars renting rehearsal room.

Auditions forms filling

While the actors are waiting for their turn, give them to pre-fill a form that will include date, the name of the production, below that, make room for actor information: name, address, home phone and mobile, email and the role he is faced.

Schedule your auditions

All the actors auditions should be between 10 and 20 minutes, tops! You should have someone to be with the actors that are waiting in the hallway. There should also be refreshments.

What are you looking for when you cast an actor

You really should know what it is you are looking for when you are auditioning actors. Maybe the role you are casting is one that demands the actor to give parts from his life outside. Does the actor ready for that kind of  vulnerability? I will talk about it later on this post and will explain how to do that, but I will mention it now too – you need to check if your actor can listen – not only to you but also to the actor he is playing with. The important element you should check is can the actor take the lines you gave him and make them sound like they are his own.

Pay attention to the small details


When auditioning actors it’s very hard to find in a few minutes if an actor can really act, so what you have to look mainly is his charisma and screen presence. Note the actor immediately as he enters the room. Pay attention to his body language, is it conveys security or insecurity? note his walking style, the way he sits, does he talk too much? Did he come unprepared? If the actor got some information about the character he is faced, pay attention to what he wore in honor of the audition.

Audition Management


Actors audition begin with an introductory interview. The actor will talk to the camera and say his name and age and preferably also a phone number, in case the form get lost. You can ask questions like, what have you done lately? What was the most enjoyable role he played so far? What were your experiences of previous productions? and so on.

“The most important job of the director is casting. If you can cast your film in an interesting way, then you’re 50 percent there.”

Susan Seidelman

You should also tell them about yourself. Your experience and how did you get that movie. Explain how many days of filming are ahead, and how many days of rehearsals are needed. note their responses. If they are too hesitant, you might want to give them up.

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Sometimes you may prefer to do only the first reading of the text. At this time, the actor gets the text for the first time at the audition. He will probably ask questions about the text (you can learn a lot about the actors from these questions). I like to start by just telling them to just do their thing. That way I can see what they are able to bring without my direction. When they start acting, note his acting and the character he brings you. Does he have something good you have not thought of before? If something does not work for him, try to let him do the part standing up. Sometimes it is a good idea to give them a direction just to see if they can follow a direction, so it’s a good thing to bring one even if you don’t feel it is needed.  Let them read the text for themselves first, then adjust them a little in order to see how they understand what you are saying, then give them a completely different direction. What is important here than the way the actors act, is how they change their acting in accordance with your instructions.

Set a relaxed mood

Keep in mind that the actor is very tight and probably you will be stressed too. Try to calm him down with respect. If the actor does not fit, you may want to tell him gently in place, instead of having him sitting on the phone days in anticipation for your call.

Working in pairs

If there’re roles such as lovers couples, mother, and son, etc., you should invite them to audition together and see the chemistry.
Generally, you should let the actor act with another actor so that it is easy to produce emotional responses.

Shoot the audition


If it possible,
shoot the audition and if possible, let someone else do it and tell him to shoot it from several angles. On the other hand, it is advised that the camera man won’t be too noticeable because it can put pressure on the actor that way.
The camera man should take as many close-ups as he can, to see facial expressions and as many medium shots, to absorb body movements.

Sometimes it is advised to shoot actors when they are not aware of the camera. Suppose as assistant director gives the actor notes between takes, He can sit where the other actor is sitting then the camera man will take the actors reactions while he listens.

Decision-making and Last tips


If you’re debating between two actors on one character, it is better to go for the actor with more experience and talent than the one that looks better.

In low budget movies, it is very easy to find yourself compromising the process of auditions with actors you do not feel complete with them. Try not to let that happen. If the actor is not really enthusiastic about the part, the audience will feel it.

Just remember, as Jack Nicolson once said, Once you cast someone for a movie, that person is perfect for the role.

Digital video editing’s stages

The Stages of Video Editing

Digital video editing's stages
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The digital video editing process is divided into several stages. Many people considered this part as a very simple one (simply plug shots together like Lego), but this is a mistake that hurts lots of beginners filmmakers. Digital video editing is one of the most important steps in the film production. It is basically writing the final script of the film.

so here are all the stages, you need to go through when getting into the editing room:

Watching the raw material

All of the digital video editing processes starts with watching the materials from beginning to the end. This is usually done by the director, and the video editor and sometimes the producer too. While watching they will decide what the video editor should and shouldn’t sample and they will also start to have an idea as for how the film should look like. Many productions have a thing called “Dailies” which is a meeting of all the lead production members to watch the raw material of what they shot that day. Some video editor like to participate on that, so they won’t have to watch all of it together at once. Sometimes you might get notes about the shootings.

It is advisable to watch the material by the order it was shot since it can help you to see how the scenes were developed and to understand the director mindset. At this point, you should start to have an idea as for how the film should look like. Pay attention to the shots and performances that are really doing something for you and write them down.

Sampling

The next digital video editing step will be a sampling all of the selected materials. Which means capturing the material into the editing software. If you still live in the 90’s and your materials were taken from Mini DV tapes, it is customary to capture the materials with a special video for this kind of tapes. You can also capture from a mini-DV camera, but is not recommended for the camera to agree with that ;-). The sampling operation is made simpler when working with files, although sometimes your editing program will ask you to convert the files before starting.

Organize your material

The video editor has to deal with a large amount of raw material. Usually, he will make one minute of film from every few hours of material, so it’s very important to work in an orderly and organized manner. The sampling stage is the stage to organize your material. The organization of the material is very important and will help you to analyze your material and to work more effective. You can read more about it at my post on Organizing Video & Footage in Your Video Editing Software

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Assembly

Connecting the best raw material segments together into one very long movie without any real editing. The video editor can work with a shooting script or a storyboard as a guideline. It is also possible to insert clips that you are unsure about them. The aim is mainly to arrange the raw materials in the chronicle order of the film while reducing them as much as possible. When you’ll finish the assembly, you might find that the pace of every scene is very different from each other. At this point it’s OK.

In most cases, you will want to start from the beginning of the film, but sometimes it might work best to start from the middle and then connect all the scenes together.

 

Rough Cut

The rough cut stage is when you start thinking about the story. The director and the editor are required to make large artistic decisions for the film and to built the foundation of the director’s vision. The rough cut is shown to the producer and everyone that can contribute to the shaping of the overall editing. The cuts are still not perfect, but the general idea of how the film is going to look like is presented.

Fine Cut

At this point, the film has been shortened to a final length. The director and the video editor have been tightening all the cuts, the dialogs, the pace of the film and so on. It’s still not the final cut completely, there are still some scenes that might be deleted, but it is the closest you can get to final cut, before sending it to sound design and color correction. After these stages there are several additional steps that the film has to go through in order to reach perfection:
1. sound design – Today video editors can perform many repairs to the film’s sound, but they are still limited, so you should send the film to sound designers for best results. 2. Color-correction -The basic color corrections is increasing the contrast of the black and white colors and highlighting the image or change the dominant colors in the movie. As long as you need basic things, the video editor can help you, but it is a profession by itself and should go to someone who specializes in color correction and also has the right equipment for it.

Personally, I recommend that the video editor should also be at least in one meeting of the pre- production stage. That way he can prevent choices that might make trouble when coming to the editing room, and explain what he needs to create the atmosphere the film director needs.

The Production Film Crew Members

Main Crew Members of Film Production

In low-budget film productions, the film producer becomes a form of multimedia. To meet this mission, he needs people to help him on the job. In this article, I will review a number of key film crew members in every film production that work directly with the film producer.

As a film producer, you’ll need to work well together with them and they’ll need to understand and support your goals and all of the others. Full cooperation can lead to higher results than expected, so these are the key film crew members that the film producer needs to insist on having to make the director’s vision come to life.

The film Executive Producer

In Practical, the producer goes through the script with economic eye and apply the changes needed if there is not enough money. That’s called script breakdown (Read about working with a low budget here) The producer should sit down with the writer and figure out together how to preserve the spirit of the scene with less money. Remember! screenwriter spent a lot of effort and time to write the script, so be gentle with him. Once the script is ready the producer should obtain a copyright on it.

Production Manager

Production Manager is responsible for the logistics of all production. He needs to know every detail of the production. Because of this, he needs to have the phones and the details of all the staff. Next to each name on his list should be comments like when you should call, who to ask, what were the last call and all decisions or agreements that have reached with them. Production manager often required to plan the budget. Sometimes this demand will be even before the script was completely finished and it can be annoying. The production manager is also responsible for getting contracts with posts production offices like editing rooms, sound, music and so on. while still in pre-production (we’ll talk about this stage later , but it’s basically the period before filming).

Watch this video published by University of Derby to hear some tips about the work of the Production Manager

First assistant director

The director’s right hand. Also called 1st AD. He is connecting with the staff and the director. His job is to help the creative flow of the director by taking care of all the technical stuff.  He is responsible in part for the preparation of shooting schedule, and the shooting breakdown. Assistant director actually manages the set during shooting, he must take care of that each day of shooting will end on time and achieve its goals. Sometimes he also directs the extras and shouting for everyone to shut up.

Watch this interview posted by filmnutlive, with Gary Goldman, which is the first A.D. for HBO’s Entourage. filmnutlive‘s Youtube channel got lots of cool interviews with film industry people I recommend watching

Second assistant director

Second assistant director is working in close contact with casting agents, helps with Breakdown, making sure that all the paperwork is prepared and organized, he is responsible for the staff, the extras, making sure that everyone is going where they should be, and to they take care of all the paperwork on the set.

Production Account Manager

This is a part that many low budget films tend to ignore, but it is very important to the smooth flow of the production. The production account manager job is to open a bank account for the production, Prepare cash for shooting days, signs the final budget, taking care of everyone’s salaries, oversees the budget and the schedule, taking care of insurance matters, weekly reporting of expenditures, and other matters of such accountants.

These are some basic production film crew members. If there are more rules you want to know about or to go deeper into them, I’ll be glad to hear from you.

How To Produce a Film – 12 Tips to The Beginner Film Producer

How to produce a film? 12 First Tips

So you decided you want to learn how to produce a film, but you do not know exactly where and how to start. So here are some tips to guide you and will help you to get your first steps into the filmmaking business:

  • Start with the genre. They are popular, with a clear concept and have much room for creativity.
  • Be original. Tell something that has not been told or in a way not yet been told. Read the Find your own voice to learn this cool creative exercise that will help you find your own true voice.
  • Pay attention to the things that work commercially and in terms of festivals. Notice where you are in this equation.
  • Speaking of festivals, before starting to send films to the film festivals, you should have a strategy. Most festivals cost money to register and in some of them, pre-registration is cheaper. Plan ahead and think how the film festival  is going to contribute to the film, and how much you want to spend on them  
  • Remember – The better your script will be the more talents will be            attracted to it, and if your project will bring a really good script, maybe they even agree to give you a discount.
  • Create a movie web page, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. It will also help you get funding through the Internet.
  • If you are working on a budget, check first how you can cut locations. Reducing locations can lower the budget dramatically.
    (Click here to learn more about ways for lowering your budget)

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  • the sound people usually get ignored in film production, but I have seen
    productions that fell because of sound problems. Make sure to have someone who really understands the field (click here to read about sound design in films
  • Prepare the budget while maintaining fidelity to reality. Do not kid yourself.Go through all the script, do a script breakdown and realize what it is you need. If the budget is too expensive, check out what you can give up and be sure to add an unexpected 10 percent to the budget. That means after you finish calculating the budget you add 10 percent of the budget to spend on unexpected expenses (which will happen to you no matter how much you’ll plan ahead). Do not forget to also include marketing expenses, editing, sound and every post issue.
  • Do a research in all areas that you deal with them and try to do some more work on your own Pre – Production stage.

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  •  Try to find staff that has the equipment needed. It can cost you cheaper
    (especially if they have their own insurance on the equipment) and they know
    how to use their equipment and they also keep it in good shape.
  • Learn how to work well with your director, financiers, and other important figures. Establish with all of them an honest relationship right at the start. The producer has to know how to work with people and listen to their needs. Everyone got different needs and it your job to answer them.

Documentary Filmmaking – Introduction

Documentary Filmmaking – Important Key Points

In this article, I will go through some very important key point of documentary filmmaking. I’m going to start with an important discussion that should be the beginning of every documentary filmmaking course and I’m also going to write some tips to get you started. I’m also going to talk about finding an original idea for your film and the types of documentary films out there. In the next lessons, I will talk about the basics of non-fiction storytelling, The art of the interview, The history of documentary filmmaking and much more.

So let’s study documentary filmmaking

What is a documentary film?

The definition of documentary film is kind of a controversial one. Some say that the documentary filmmaking purpose is to document the reality and some would say that the role of the documentary is to interpret reality.
So who is right?
The truth is that there is no such thing as an objective film. The only responsibilities we can be fixed to a documentary filmmaker is to be fair to its object (some would argue even that). That is to let the subject that you document a chance to express itself and to be treated with respect.

Quick tip:
Many film schools will tell you that an honest documentary filmmaker
needs to show all the sides of the subjects. That makes sense, but be careful! Most subjects are not simple as black and white and there is a lot of grey. You need to find the grey area that has the blackest colors and the most white colors, but don’t attempt to give everyone sides. Sometimes there are just too many

The movie “Roger and Me” by Michael Moore is a good example for documentary filmmaking. Michael Moore is a documentary filmmaker that keeps challenging the objectivity of documentary film.
He himself claims that what he shows in his films is real, but admits that the voice overs are his personal interpretation of the facts.
Look:
The truth is that if he would just show the facts, it wouldn’t be interesting. The reality is not so interesting. Not enough to just copy it without making a commentary.

Now:
it’s important that you’ll understand that directors that are less provocative than Michael Moore also gives interpretations from their perspective to the facts that they’re taking about. That’s why most of the documentaries are made with the director’s narration.

I don’t really believe that documentary is objective reality and fiction is all illusion.                          
Mike Mills    

What am I trying to tell you?
A documentary film can not show an objective world. When you frame a certain reality into the shot, you’ve set your point of view on the object. How is that different from staging a scene in fictions? Once you’ve decided what goes into the frame and what’s not, this is your point of view. How can you objectively decide when to turn on and off the camera?

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Be fair to your subject – but also with your film

Some may say that if the photographed object is OK with you shooting him in certain situations, then the decisions about what’s getting in the film and what does not are yours alone. There are those who feel that the director should discuss with his object about what can and can not enter the film. I don’t believe in that.
But here is the kicker:
You are not your object parent! What is important is that the film will turn out good.
Eventually, you’ll have to trust your instincts. You shouldn’t be lying about your subject to make the movie more interesting, but if your subject of the film wants to be part of the decision process of the film, that might lead to trouble.

Find an original subject for your film

To find a good story for a documentary film, in my opinion,  is more difficult compared to finding one for a fiction film. Of course, there are repeating themes (especially if you are in film school): your grandmother who raised you as if you were her child, this guy that has to deal with cancer or other terminal illness, In Israel we have lots of films about the Palestinian and Jewish problem. The problem with those issues (important as they are) is that they all been done too many times. So if you’ve been going to film about those issues, you better find a way to make it breathtaking and original. For example the film “Freeheld”, that deals with cancer, but in an original and interesting way. It tells the story of a woman dying of cancer who wants to leave all she has to her spouse, Stacey. She encounters difficulties because they are not husband and wife and together they fight for what’s right according to their point of view.

You know, the process of making a documentary is one of discovery, and like writing a story, you follow a lead and that leads you to something else and then by the time you finish, the story is nothing like you expect                            
William Shatner

Most documentaries are about the present or past, but there are no strict rules. There are films like The War Games, which is highly recommended documentary for fans of the genre, from 1965, that describe a possible future: The Film takes all the terrible facts of the second World War and uses them to describe a nuclear war on London in the future. Whatever time period you’ll choose to talk about, it always has to revolve around something that happens in life.

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How to review a documentary film

Another important point to talk about it in the context of Documentary Films is how do you criticize a documentary It’s hard to say stuff like the subject is not interesting.
I think that when reviewing the documentary, you do not judge the issue but how the director introduced the topic. It is very important that the director will investigate and show the character he chose to shoot and even more important, why he chose them.

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So what can you learn from it about making a documentary?
When you write your documentary or treatment for one, ask yourself over and over, Why did I choose this project? What can I bring to this issue? And what I can do here that we have not seen yet?

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you have anymore questions or ideas for lessons

 

 

How To Make Low Budget Film

 

Producing a low budget film

Financing your film is probably the hardest job of the producer. Later on I’m going to write about raising money for films, but now I’m going to discuss the first step in raising money and it’s saving money.  I have also put a link at the end of the article to a great course full with tactics and strategies for raising money from independent financiers.

Now let’s start by lowering your budget:

Werner Herzog once said that the best advice he can give to young filmmakers is not to wait for someone to finance your film – “If you can’t afford to make a million-dollar film, raise $10,000 and produce it yourself.”
Planning a low budget film is no picnic. You do have the advantage of artistic freedom, but as a film producer, there are going to be a lot of problems to deal with.

so here is the deal:

On one hand, the producer’s job is to produce the director’s vision, but he also needs to keep the budget low. You have to remember-The chances that a low budget film will become a hit are not too big (even though we all know about low budget movies like Clerks, Reservoir Dogs and much more that made it big),

but here is the kicker:

The odds that the film will be screened at festivals are not bad at all.
I’m going to give you a few proven low budget film tips that will help you lower your budget tremendously

how to make a low-budget film? by planning ahead

The first step into saving money is planning ahead. Do a script breakdown once you get the final draft of the script. That is the only way you can really understand what the film’s needs are.

Look at what you got

A good way to start is to see what you have. Do that before you decide what film to make. If you got a big house, use that! If it’s a cool car, make a movie that will use it for the best. If it’s talented friends, use them. Take a good look at the unique things you have and own and use them to help you decide what’s your next movie is going to be like and about.

Save money with locations

A good location is the base of every good film. You shouldn’t compromise with it. But still: Sometimes it’s better to lower the expenses that come with the location so you can save money that will help you put up a better lighting or more days of shooting.

Here are a few tips to help you lower location’s expenses:

Try to use as minimum locations as possible

Yes, it may require you to rewrite the script, but if for example you’ll stay in one location and you’ll work with a small team and a relatively simple equipment, You can speed up your shootings with up to eight pages of script on one day of shooting.

Try to shoot as much as possible in houses

That way, each room can be its own location so you do not have to spend the time to move the whole team around. If you are using different locations in different places, make sure that it will be easy to move from one location to the other.

Big Tip:
Do not be embarrassed to ask friends and family to shoot at their houses, but be honest with them about what you are going to do at their home. Tell them how long the shooting is going to last.

Shoot in small rooms

If you are shooting in small rooms, it is possible to use smaller flashlights. and you are going to have to use a smaller film crew

Use every location as much as possible

Try to find locations that have the potential to be a few different locations. Sometimes every corner of a room can be a different location.

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Save money with Narrowing film roles:

Avoid roles of one or two sentences

Think about it- the cashier at the entrance to the theater that says, “What show do you want to see?” That part can cost you much more than if the role would be played without any words. Also, this is a good time to run the script again and see if there are characters that aren’t contributing anything to the script.

“One could make money and get a career going with a low-budget horror film about killers attacking holidays. It is always flattering to have somebody copy you.”
John Carpenter

Investing wisely production team

A good team is very important and you should not compromise with them. Try to get a team that will work in return for getting experience and try to take a professional team for days that are complicated. The roles you should try to find experienced crew are a producer, cinematographer, lighting director, sound editor and assistant director.
Basically the bigger the budget, the more experienced team you should have. Remember! An experienced crew can save your money. Remember that the more your team is experienced, the easier it will be to move around locations and deal with special effects and so on and that should be taken into consideration also. You should also reduce the amount of staff as much as possible and give each member several other roles. It also lowering the production budget and speed up the shootings.

Big Tip:
If you are getting the staff in return for food and experience, they should not spend money on anything such as travel. All they get for their work is this meal and a copy of the film when it is ready. Also, if people are working for you for free, don’t shoot over 10 hours a day.

A good way of payment is by giving the members some percentage of the profits of the film. In this case, there is no need to pay for staff expenses and the working conditions are like regular freelancers. It is important To be clear right from the start about the working conditions and terms of payment.

Choosing actors budget’s wise

Do not use an incompetent people as your actors. I’m talking about friends, family and so on. The actors are a very important part in the success of the movie and it is worth investing there. There are many good actors in the industry, even celebrities that will agree to act for free or at a very low salary.
Just remember! There are plenty of actors who had put all their money in drama schools and then went out to find that there is not much work. Make the most of it. You can find actors in community theaters, drama schools, etc. Advertise in those places, and write in the ads all the necessary information such as gender, age, and type of special features role, etc.

Saving money with cinema equipment

If you are a film student, you can get the school equipment from your film school, but you still may need to rent some of the extra equipment. So the only tip I can give you here to save money is, to look for your team,with the equipment you need.

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Save money on the post-production stage

When you get to the post production stage, invest in it just like the investment at any other stage. This is in the final stage of the film. The latest version of the script in the movie. Take all the time you need to for the video editing. It’s the same deal with sound design and effects.

How to lower your budget on post-production stage?

Rent editing room in dead hours

First, find professional editing rooms that can give you rooms in lower prices during the hours that are dead for them like night and weekends.

Come prepare to the video editing room

Know what you want. Do not waste the time and nerves of the video editor to try things you are not sure of. The more you know what you want, the more you will save editing shifts (and by that- save money)

“Other writers, producers, and directors of low- budget films would often put down the film they were making, saying it was just something to make money with. I never felt that. If I took the assignment, I’d give it my best shot”                                                                                                                    
Roger Corman

What you can do as a producer to save money

Become a Multimedia

In low budget films the crew is very small. That means that the producer has to do a lot of other jobs like finding locations, be involved in the casting of extras and much more. Sometimes the film producer even finds himself acting as an assistant director (although it is not recommended)

Be very very organized

If you are working on a low budget production, it is important to be very organized, disciplined and to understand all the processes in the production, also it is advised to know how to control your team better, to be skilled in negotiations, to be resourceful and know to use all available resources and most important to be able to think outside the box.

The next steps of financing your film

Now that you know how to save money, you can move on to the next step of financing your film and that is the script breakdown. If you want to deepen your knowledge in funding your film, I really recommend checking this amazing course from Tom Malloy. Tom Malloy, an experienced producer, that teaches a solid funding strategy with many proven tactics for raising money from independent financiers. The system consists of several training modules through all the stages from script to the pitch, business plan and more. The price right now is 67$ but if you are really serious about filmmaking, it can save you a lot of money later on and more important – a lot of time. There is also a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied in any way.
You can check it out by clicking Here!

Video editing software – Choosing the right one for you

video editing software
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There is is no shortage today in video editing software that are free, cheap or expensive and While in the past video editing was reserved only for professionals, today the possibility to become a video editor is actually open to everyone.

I would like to review some of the important features that your video editing software should have. When you start looking for your video editing software, you should go through these options, so you can make a better and faster editing.

“When I started editing on my home computer, I said to myself, ‘Well, I could be at home studying for a class or I could be at home editing a video”
     Joseph Gordon-Levitt quotes

Free or paid video editing software

Well, the first thing you need to consider is if you want to get a free software or to pay for one. Of course, every body will prefer a free software, but you have to remember that free software is coming with a price. The free video editing software, usually, comes with a limited set of features and are used mainly for home videos. You have to understand your needs. If you are working on a very small production, this software might be great for you.  

The features you should check while choosing video editing software

video editing software must no. 1: Re-size picture to feet your needs

The most basic tool in any video editing software. The intention is the possibility to change the size and proportions of the image. Most programs allow you to do it quite easily. The problem is usually when making the picture bigger. In most of the amateur software, making the picture bigger will hurt the quality of the video. You should check how your editing software deals with that challenge.

video editing software must no. 2: Volume Control

Every basic video editing software will give you the option to increase or decrease the volume. And the more complex ones will give you… well, more complex options like distorted the sound or to control the sound with the equalizer.

video editing software must no. 3: Work with layers

The ability to combine two or more audio channels or several channels of video in the film. This is also a basic feature that should be in every video editing software. When you work on your video, you might want to add titles, effects, alpha graphics and more. On a big project, you can easily find your self with 5 doe layers and at least 6 audio tracks, so you should want to be able as much lat=yers as you need.

video editing software must no. 4: Work with Key Frames to make complex effects (and not so complex ones)

This is a very important concept in editing. It allows you to play with the effects and create properties that change along the shot. You can put several keyframes on the effect and every keyframe will have its own properties and that’s how the effect will change during the shot.

video editing software must no. 5: Fix picture with color corrections

The basic software will let you  highlight a picture, play with the contrast and adjust the color controls in the picture. In the more complex ones you will have the option
to choose the areas, you want to color in the picture. You have to remember that no matter how high quality the material is, it is most likely that you will need at least a basic color correction, so it’s an important element. There are software programs (such as Avid and After Effects) that measure the amount of color in an image and they can tell you if the picture has too much of one color and not enough of the other.

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video editing software must no. 6: Find out what kind of formats does the software accepts

One of the frustrating things about working in the digital age is the multitude of files. The problem is that any editing system absorbs different kinds of files. The video editing system should communicate with as many files as possible – You should also check what kind of files it exports and their quality. If you need to work with HD files, make sure your video editing software is working well with them.

Here some more things to consider when buying a video editing software:

What kind of computer you have?

How much Ram and CPU does your editing software needs? This will determine how fast the software will work. You have to remember that you can always add RAM to your computer. So you should pay attention that your computer meets the conditions required.

How professional do you need to get

As I said there are a lot of video editing programs. If your goal is to make something small or simple editing from time to time, you can use software like IMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (Windows). This software is good for editing trips and holiday videos. For these who want to become most professional- Premiere, Final Cut, and Avid. If you’re serious about becoming a professional editor, you may want to take classes in the software you are learning. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, but nothing replaces a tutor or courses.

Big Tip:
Good editing is built on your habits
and if you’ll learn by yourself,

you can create yourself a bad work habits
right from the start.

Take a look at the professional video editing software

The three most professional video editing software in the market right now are:
Avid, Premier, and Final cut. A final cut is a great software for beginners. Its only disadvantage is that it works only on Apple’s Mac computers. If you are planning to become a professional video editor, I also recommend starting with Avid.
Why Avid?
For the same reason that when I wanted to learn guitar, they told me to start with a classic guitar: If you master the Avid, you can learn fast to control any other software,
but here is more:
Most broadcast work with that software, mostly because it can handle very large and complicated projects. It is a very stable software and I think she manages the media files in the best way than the other two. It is also the best software to work if you are sharing the same project with other editors.
It will probably take you some time to learn it and to get the hang of it, but once you do, it will be worthwhile it. Another disadvantage is that it is  an expensive software.
The thing I like most about Avid is that it forces you to work in an orderly manner and to know what you want to plan ahead.

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On the other, hand if you are planning to use lots of graphics then Premier or Final Cut are more recommended. Premier’s clear advantage is the perfect orientation with other Adobe software like After effects and Photo Shop. Eventually, all the video editors have the software, So I do recommend playing with all of them and see what works best for you.

Basic camera technique & movements in film

 

The camera angles in a film are one of the most important rules you need to know about filmmaking. Whatever field you’ll take on the film and television industry, whether it’s producing, directing, acting, scriptwriting, etc. It is important for every filmmaker to learn the technical terms of any type of shot.

Why is it so important?
First of all, it will help you to develop your camera techniques. But more importantly:
this is the way all the film casts communicate. It will save you a lot of time (and embarrassments) to know them.

 “There is only you and your
camera.
The limitations in your
Photography in your self, for
what we see what we are.”                                                                                                  Ernes Hass

The Important rules you must know:

180-degree rule

This is a rule you will hear lots of your crew member talk about in a film production.
Here’s the deal:
The rule helps you not to mess up the direction of characters in the film while they are relating to each other. For example, if you have a scene with two characters talking to each other, not following this rule, might make them look like they are talking to themselves.

So what’s is the 180 rule?

The 180-degree rule is an imaginary line that connects between the two (or more) characters in the scene. The camera has to stay on the same side of the line during the whole scene. Crossing the line will mess up the direction the characters are looking at.

Click here to watch illustrates of the 180 rule

30-degree rule

To make your video editor’s life easier, your camera angle should move at least 30 degrees between each shot of the same subject being shot. For example, if you are shooting a car and you want to shoot it from a different angle,you should make sure your next camera angle will move for at least 30 degrees from the previous shot,
otherwise a “Jump Cut” will appear.
A jump cut is when two shots don’t attach together smoothly.

Click here to watch illustrates of the 30 rule

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Use Camera movements to built emotion

There are some camera movements that can make the atmosphere in the film a lot stronger. The camera movement is very important to set the emotion of the scene and it something you’ll have to practice a lot. A bad camera movement can really ruin the scene atmosphere. You have to be careful not to use them too much as many beginner directors tend to do, as it might make the audience lose focus. Use them only when it’s necessary to the scene. Remember! a good camera work doesn’t call attention from the audience.

If you decide to go on camera movement, I would recommend shooting the same shot in static camera, just to be safe. Sometimes a movement shot will look great in your head, but in the editing room, it won’t feet and then you’ll be lucky to have the static take too.

As an exercise, I would advise you to shoot a scene with all the movements I’m going to introduce you now and then shoot the same scene again with static cameras and see what kind of scene you are getting each time.

Zooming In

It is a process in which the cameraman changes the lens length from long
(Wide Angle) to close-up. This movement tells the viewer that what is happening now is important. Usually, we use it when the character becomes emotional or to highlight what is being said.

 Zooming Out

Same as Zoom In but inverted

Pan Left \ Right

While the camera is sitting on a tripod, we set in motion its lens to the left or right. It means that the camera is scanning the scene horizontally. If you’ll nod your he’d left and right, you will see how pan left and pan right looks like. If the director wants to see more of the right, he will ask the cameraman to Pan Right. These movements often are done relatively slowly unless doing what is called:
“Swish Pan” which is a very fast pan that creates a blurred background. This camera movement also very good to immolate point of view

Tilt Up, Down

While the camera is stable on a tripod, move the lens up or down, so the camera is scaring the scene vertically.  If you’ll nod your head up and down, you will see how tilt up and down looks like. If the director wants to see more of below the frame, he will tell the cameraman to tilt down.
Usually, we use it to show the size and power of a person or an object in relation to the viewer, So the viewer feels as if he is looking up. The same thing when you want to emphasize the lack of power Tilt down will show the bottom part of a photographed object.This camera movement also very good to immolate point of view

Here is a scene from one of the funniest films I know- the movie Top Secret – from the masters of parody- Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker– to show you a small Til up

Click here for an  illustrate that describe it the best

Enhance your camera movements

The movement we saw up to now are very simple, but there is a way to make them look much more powerful. The Dolly is kind of a cart that you put on tracks and put the camera on it and it creates smooth motion. It makes the viewer less passive while watching and feel more active.

Dolly In/Out

Also known as” Dolly Zoom”. Dolly in means to get closer to the object and Dolly Out means to get away from it. It is quite similar to Zoom In and Out, but there is a big difference:
On a Dolly shot the ratio of the photographed object and its environment will remain similar, so the visual effect will be a lot stronger in the “Dolly shot”. The way to do this is by pulling
the camera backward or pushing it forward while pulling the zoom on the lens to the opposite direction. It will always look better then zoom in because zoom in calls for more attention from the audience, while the dolly in is more subtle.

Track Left/Right

is byTry them both and see the difference. t

Move the camera on the dolly to the right or the left. This kind of movements is good to create at the viewer a feeling of more activeness.

 

Make your movement look professional

It is very important that your camera movements will be smooth and substantial to the story, otherwise, they will attract too much attention and it will interrupt the viewer to Be “sucked” into the atmosphere of the film. The viewer might be too aware of the fact that he is watching a movie, and once that happens, you lose him.

Therefore, it is very important to practice as much as possible on these camera movements.

Your home work for today is to start paying attention to the camera angels and movement in the films and tv shows you are watching. Try also to take it a step forward and understand what are the emotion the director is trying to set with these angels.

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