How to Shoot a Film

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Shooting the film, editing and post production are the steps needed to make your first film.

Shooting the Film

•    If you have cast and crews, assign roles to them so there will be no overlapping. Make your instructions perfectly clear. If you don’t have crews, then you can do it on your own.

•    First, make a “Shooting Schedule” to determine which shots are to be taken. You can shoot “out of sequence” such as shoot the last scene first whichever is convenient to you.
•    If you need to be in location, ask for permission. Also, determine if the place is conducive to filming particularly if it’s noisy or not at certain times. What are the possible deterrents to your film making activities?
•    If you are making an animation, then you require a lot of concentration. Inform the people living with you to avoid unnecessary interruptions. Disney himself started making animations at home.
•    For the first film, you can use DV or Hi8 camcorders because they can play your rushes back. You can also connect them to your TV at home. They also allow you to control focus and exposure and use in-camera effects such as “strobing”. You should read the manual for technical advice.
•    Accessories like a tripod, a stopwatch to determine how much film you’ve used and extra batteries for the camera would come in handy.
You may need an extra mike attached to a pole and plugged into the camcorder (also called a boom mike).

Editing and Post Production

You may need help during editing. If you use a camcorder, use a computer editing software. You can use Firewire or I-Link. These enable you to transfer your rushes and edit film electronically. Software like Premiere and Razor combine music, pictures and text to produce a very professional film.

If you’re not into computer technology or you don’t have techy friends, you can use your camera as a play machine and your home VHS or another camera as a recorder. Link them using SCART cables. Use the record and pause buttons to build up the story. Some recorders have an audio dub feature that allows you to add music or voice.

If you use Cine film, you’ll need a viewer and tape splicer or a projector to edit and show your film. These can be bought at a cheaper price as secondhand or borrow them from friends, family or film societies.


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