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Film Making

To Make a movie (Film Making) is one of the most popular hobbies here because of the creativity and potential success it gives way to. Film Making also happens to be one of the easiest hobbies to get started since most people already have some type of camcorder. Off all the hobbies throughout this website, film making has one of highest quality of online links available. The amount of help and people who want to help out novice film makers is staggering. I recommend you research into the subject with the links below and then try filming a couple shorts. From there you can progress by buying a good camera and reading great books on Film Making.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other film making resources. We have a film making forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with film making how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to Calligraphy websites, and a page with the best film making books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis

 Most people these days have a camcorder that they use to capture special moments. Filmmaking happens to be one of the most popular hobbies, with thousands of novice filmmakers looking for advice on the Internet to learn how to go about it. Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking.

What do I need?

Choosing a camera

All of us would like to own the coolest camera that’s sleek and has all the latest features required for great filmmaking. Most hobbyists fail to understand that what’s captured on the camera is more important than the make and model of camera you have.

Choosing the camera formats or what are otherwise called as tape formats can be overwhelming with the wide range available in the market. You need to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each one to find one that fits your filmmaking requirement. Alternatively, you may look for reviews on the Internet to know what’s hot and what’s not in the electronic market. The second-hand market would be your best bet if you were looking for a camera with advanced features, but at affordable prices. The best part is that prices of electronic goods depreciate all the time, so it makes sense to wait for a while to buy that latest camera you have set your eyes on. Many a filmmakers are content using S-VHS and Hi8 that come with a decent price tag, stereo sound and impeccable quality. There’s no harm in experimenting, so try renting cameras that you are tempted to buy and see for yourself if they are actually worth buying.

A 3-CCD DV camcorder such as the Canon XL-2 or Sony VX-2100 is the first choice of many filmmakers for their superior picture quality, sharpness, and optimum color. Other options include the latest 1-CCD models, such as the Canon Elura or Optura Xi that offer excellent image quality and are not too heavy on the pocket. Look for cameras that offer cool features such as manual white balance (ideal for tricky lighting situations), manual focus, and exposure control. Choosing a camera greatly depends on the kind of film you intend to shoot.

Other equipment

For excellent filmmaking, just having a top-notch camera is not enough. You need to also buy accessories such as a tripod. It is advisable to have a tripod with a fluid head that facilitates smooth panning and hence better image quality. Manfrotto-Bogen is known for making some of the finest low-budget tripods that are very sturdy and rated high in performance. You also need to invest in an external microphone for better sound quality. In situations where the subject is far from the camera, the built-in microphone is not enough and having a lavalier microphone or shotgun microphone works better. Also recommended is a wide-angle accessory lens that is useful if you have to work within a confinement, while an on-camera video light would be perfect for low-light filming situations. And don’t forget to carry extra batteries and videotapes just in case you need them.

Filmmaking tips

Most of us are acquainted with using still cameras and video cameras aren’t much different. Great filmmaking comes from the ability to use a camera effectively and this is possible only when you understand what a video camera can do for you. A video camera comes with advanced in-built features making it difficult for beginners to use them. Read the manual carefully to figure out the many ways in which your camera can help you before you start using it. Once you start filming, it makes no sense to stop it halfway through and wonder what to do next only because you never bothered to read the manual carefully.

Now that you have the skills to use your camera to its full potential and have the necessary equipment in place, you can finally move on to actual filming. Until you get the hang of it, let the automatic mode be on so that you don’t have to manually control focus, exposure, or white balance. The way you hold your camera is very important, as most hobbyists end up recording a hazy video clip simply because they don’t know how to handle the function. In the initial stages of filmmaking, avoid the zooming and panning tasks and instead, compose a picture in the viewfinder by holding it steady. Hold the shot for at least ten seconds and before the action is complete, you need to start thinking about your next shot. For close-ups, adjust the lens at its widest setting and walk closer to the subject before you compose the shot. For best results, you need to shoot a variety of shots at varying focal lengths or else the film produced will be difficult to edit. A wide view of the scene followed by other shots of medium and close-up range is the right sequence for beginners to follow while pursuing filmmaking. You can shoot interesting clips by shifting your position and changing angles occasionally.

If you are depending on the built-in microphone for capturing sound, make sure that you are close to the person who is talking. It is also important to hold the camera steady until the dialogue is delivered to rule out the possibility of sound drop-outs or inconsistency.

Filming a project is not enough until you give the finishing touches by editing it. Thanks to the computer and efficient products such as G5 and iMac easily accessible today, editing is neither expensive nor difficult. Filmmakers can also indulge in the iMac computer that has integrated iMovie editing software that makes editing extremely easy. With just a few hours of practice, you can log and edit a tape in no time making it ready for viewing.

While making the first film, most students commit the mistake of making a long film. Camera movement has to be smooth and unobtrusive and complex moves must be saved for the last. Filmmaking success lies in the proper synchronization of all elements such as camera, music and acting. If you think filmmaking is your forte, it’s about time you took it more seriously and consider formal training from an accredited film school. Most people who are inclined to take up filmmaking as a hobby are often students specializing in subjects like psychology, drama, or English literature. Filmmaking is a competitive but rewarding career. So, if you are serious about making it a career, waste no time further and get into a film school that can educate you about all aspects of film making.

To give your filmmaking venture a more professional look, make sure that you work with an experienced crew. Producing a good film is all about proper planning and preparation. So, get set for an exciting filmmaking experience! Who knows, you may actually end up becoming a professional, marking the beginning of a new and challenging career.