Millions of people dream of being a director or filmmaker, but only a few manage to make a living from doing so. One of the most common reasons people don’t bother to make their own films is because they believe that they do not have the resources to do so. Whilst it is probably true that a million dollar budget is somewhat out of the everyday man’s reach, thanks to the rise of smartphones there is no longer any need to own expensive equipment in order to make a film. The rise of DIY filmmaking appears to show no signs of slowing down and anyone who makes a film can upload it to a video sharing site for the entire world to see. Here are some tips on how to shoot your first DIY film.
If you are going to make a film it stands to reason that you will need a camera. Fortunately, the quality of mobile smartphones means that it is now easier to use HD video recorders than ever before. You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive camera because smartphones such as iPhones now offer full 1080pi recording capabilities. If you need to use a sound recorder, get in contact with your local college and see if any of the film students want to get involved with the project. They often have access to professional equipment for free which can be used to help make your film.
Location, Location, Location
No matter whether you are shooting an improvised sketch or a full length script, choosing the right location is crucial to the success of your film. Finding the correct permissions to shoot on public sites can be a long and tortuous process, so it is advisable to start with locations that you do have access to. The oak kitchen units in your own house will provide a great background image for any simple face to camera shots. Many successful YouTube producers started off by filming in their own homes. Think about the type of film you want to produce and what sort of setting the story would evolve in. For example, if you are filming a low budget period drama, oak kitchens may look more appropriate than ones MDF cabinets.
If you have a budget – brilliant! Use it wisely. However, the fact is that most DIY filmmakers do not have access to a proper budget on their first films. In such circumstances it is best to be creative. Need extra lighting for that special scene? Try using one of the old box lights in the garage. Need to use a green screen? Instead of paying out hundreds of pounds on a professional one, nip down to your local material shop and make your own one instead. The Internet is full of tips on how to make your own filmmaking props for relatively small amounts of money. Use the best possible script and best possible actors that you can, and remember to have fun!