In this article, I’m going to reveal 10 most important things for Beginner Filmmakers which I wish I had known when I first started filmmaking and I hope it’s going to help you started on the right track and most importantly make you more productive and successful.
Beginner’s Guide to the Filmmaking Process
Before we start with the actual tips on how to become a better filmmaker you should remember that no matter how hard it looks you should always try your best and start making movies. There is no such thing as perfect time so just try your best and you will definitely achieve your goals.
1Set Yourself Up For Success
Before you start doing anything remember to have a positive attitude and you will be able to achieve any goal in your life. Also, don’t forget to take your time and start planning in advance in order to make your life simple. Moreover, don’t forget to follow your dreams and to keep your own style which will make you unique in the movie industry.
2Make Learning a Lifelong Habit
Your first film might not be as good as you expected, but over time you will definitely improve your skills, that’s why you have to keep learning until you become a professional. I also understand that not everyone has an opportunity to go to the Film Schools, however, that’s not an excuse. Today there are lots of online resources on the internet including the YouTube where you can learn about every single stage of filmmaking. Also, you can look at other filmmakers and learn from them by recreating others work only for educational purposes. The following technique will definitely teach you how to shoot professional-looking movies and most importantly will help spark new ideas.
Overall there are really talented filmmakers, who teach you about storytelling, which is probably the most important part of every video. Plus there are some great behind-the-scenes channels where you can go behind the camera and really see what it takes to produce a movie which is really entertaining and useful. In addition to YouTube, you can also read different books, check blogs and forums about filmmaking where you can easily find some high-quality content. Moreover don’t be afraid of getting help from other people in your industry and always be curious, keep asking questions and you will definitely find answers.
3Find The Nice Location
While writing your script you always have to make sure that you have access to the location where you want to shoot your next movie, or there are some alternatives otherwise you might face a huge problem, including rewriting your script according to a new location. The main issue in this situation is the lack of budget, which means that you can’t rent the place. So it’s always a good idea to first ask the owner if he/she is willing to give the place without any cost or any permit. The great thing about beginner filmmakers is that usually, the project they are working on is not big, which means that people will probably help you. Otherwise, you have to put some money on the side and be ready to pay the owner the money for renting the apartment or the place you want to use for your movie.
4Use High-Quality Microphone and Lighting
Once you go the nice location where you want to shoot your movie the next important step is to have a right equipment, in this case, the good microphone and perfect lighting on the set, mainly because this to are most important things for your video. For beginners, I can recommend LED lights if you are really on a budget which you can buy online for really cheap and use later to set up a light for certain objects. However, you have to keep in mind that no matter how sensitive your camera is in the dark you still need lighting in order to create a nice atmosphere and shoot a great looking movie.
Also, don’t forget to use the external microphone, because the built-in Mic is not going to give you quality sound for your film. For this purpose, you might have to consider buying or renting Boompole Microphone or Shotgun Microphones which will give you the possibility to record sound separately and then to sync it with the video in post-production. There are some cheap alternatives as well, For example, Tascam DR-40 or Zoom H4n external recorder. But keep in mind with Boompole Microphone you would be able to get as close as possible to your actors and record really high-quality audio.
The first thing that you should understand as a filmmaker is that criticism is an essential part of your job. The audience who are watching your movies have their own opinion about the film, so you have to accept criticism and learn how to improve your skills to become a professional filmmaker. Just remember that there will be haters as well who are going to complain about everything but you have to lesson to people who are truly willing to help you. Remeber haters are the biggest motivators.
6Create a Budget Plan
If you are planning to shoot a movie you should definitely put some money aside for your project. For instance, you might need some money to rent a location, have actors, buy or rent new camera equipment and etc. You probably going to need some money at least a couple of hundred dollars if you are really on a budget. Also if the filmmaking is not your primary source of income you should find some job to cover all these expenses unless it’s not interfering with your main goal of becoming a professional filmmaker.
7Always Keep It Short
When you are shooting a new video or just editing your next movie try to keep it simple. Even if you are in a very difficult situation when you don’t have access to necessary equipment or the location, try to improvise and come up with new ideas. Just don’t be stuck in one place. Also, make everything a very short-term and simple especially if you are a beginner filmmaking.
8Find New Actors
Actors Casting is probably one of the hardest parts mainly because you are going to talk and meet tons of people and it’s always challenging to make a final decision. For most of the time, your choice will depend on the budget unless you know someone who is willing to play the role in your movie for free. Moreover, you should build trust and maintain your professional network in the film industry in order to get better actors in the future.
9Don’t Worry About Equipment
For a short movie, you definitely going to need some basic equipment such as your camera, lens, as well as microphone and lighting. However, it’s not always necessary to have most expensive top of the line equipment to shoot a great movie. So you should not really worry about it, but rather focus on the other things, otherwise, you are going to spend time thinking about unnecessary things and it will surely slow down the working process because you won’t be concentrated on the actual project. Remember that story is more important than the equipment.
Casey Neistat: “Story is king. Everything else is slave to story.”
It’s also worth mentioning that depending on the scene where you planning to shoot your next movie you would probably going to need some special equipment. For example wide lens for shooting in small space, so before going on the movie set make sure you have the right equipment for you to avoid any problems in the future.
10Be Patient and Persistent
If your first project was not successful don’t be discouraged just remember that success requires patience. In filmmaking, a lot of people think that they can become professionals in few years but it’s not true. You just have to continue working and producing new films to improve your skills, because at the end of the day it’s all about practice. That’s why you have to do a wide range of projects and experiments, especially if you are a beginner filmmaker.
11Create Inspiring Movie Soundtrack (+1 Bonus)
Choosing the right music for your movie is crucial, but it’s also really challenging mainly because of copyright issue. To solve this problem you can either look for Royalty Free Music on the internet or engage with the band so that they can write some music for your next movie. Plus if you don’t know any local band you can outsource them online as there are lots of people you are willing to write a song if you pay them some money.
Those are my recommendations for beginner filmmakers so if it was helpful for you, feel free to leave a comment and suggest your tips and techniques as well.