Most people think they have “it” when it comes to making a film. Most people think its just point and shoot and you can “do everything in post.” I’m here to tell you that this isn’t the case ad to burst your inflated bubble.
Making a film takes a lot of pre-planning. Its tedious and time consuming. If you don’t have pre-planning then you will have a heck of a time in post. Really, when you start filming a video, you should begin your post-production in pre-production. While you are filming you should constantly be thinking about post, kinda s if you are editing while you shoot. You have to have the type of mind that allows you to think outside of the mind of a regular normal television viewer. Normal television viewers see a picture and notice it’s pretty characteristics, actually they probably don’t. And that’s what makes you different. When a viewer watches a movie or television show, they don’t notice the cuts of footage, or the calculated duration of a cut, whether or not it is a cut or a transition, or even the effect that the sound is having on there emotions. And they for sure don’t notice the added sound effects. Do you really think that door slamming actually came from the door slamming?
So whats the steps to take? Well, as stated before you have a lot of planning to do before you even begin to shoot. Some people, like myself, can go out and shoot a piece of footage for a stupid little film and not necessarily need to plan ahead. But that is because I am thinking constantly about how I will cut the film and the transitions I will need while performing that process. I know from my education so far that when you do any scene, no matter how short or small it is, you do the scene over and over and over from different angles and focal lengths. One shot will be a close up of each actor done separately, another shot will be a two shot, another will be the wide establishing shot, another could just be a fancy cut away from an obscure angle, another could be the tapping of a shoe to emphasis impatience. All in one scene, a scene that might only last a minute of your TV screen, but could mean everything to the story.
Even when you do plan your shots out according to the feel of the story, you’re still thinking about how you will edit this as you shoot, and you’re even adding shots in because you had something inspire you. To be a Director, Editor, (DP) Director of Photography, Sound Editor, or Videographer (Camera), you have to have all of the same skills. You need to have intuition and once again, edit as you shoot. I don’t take offense to people who tell me it’s as easy as point and shoot, because I know they don’t have a clue. But it’s not an easy thing to do, and you should know that.
The reason I write this is because actors and producers get all the credit for movies and television shows. But where is the credits for the people who actually get behind the scenes and bring shows to life like the cameraman? I mean, your DP and Director dictate the shot, but the cameraman performs the shot. Ya dig?
Anyways, I don’t think I even gave you the basics like the title of this blog suggested, but oh well. Let me make an attempt here. The basics. Prep, Prep some more, Edit as you shoot, add creative shots, always shoot more than you think you need (you can never have too much but you can always have too little), think about the sounds, edit in post, and you’re done. Tada! Movie made.