10 Tips For Beginner Filmmakers

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Making a film is a great honor and privilege to experience yourself in the field of filmmaking and the opportunity to work with creative people. We want to share these 10 tips which will inspire beginner filmmakers to realize their intentions.

Feel it

Ultimately, your duty as a director is to become an emotional barometer on set. Therefore, when the camera turns on, you should forget about all unnecessary things and just try to feel the performance of each take on stage. It is better to stand as close to the camera as possible to feel what kind of material you get. Moreover you should feel all the sensations that you want to convey to your viewer: from editing to finding the soundtrack, from color correction to mixing.

Find the key frames

During the preparation it would be a nice idea to outline and draw a storyboard. Although you will not have time to realize everything conceived on paper. But you can apply a system of “key frames” which is extremely useful on a film set. The idea is to reduce each scene to one key frame, which essentially describes what to achieve in this scene dramatically. It can be a very general plan, a lyrical plan with a moving camera, or a close-up for capturing an emotional impact. When you begin to combine these plans on set, you already know what dramatic function you should perform in each scene.

Create a look book

It is an opportunity to show people the film during its creation: the lighting, how colors and forms will interact, sketches of characters, ideas for locations, style outlines, how you plan to shoot a scene, etc. Also it would be useful during meetings with investors as it is an excellent basis for discussing creative issues and the cornerstone for determining the aesthetic intent of the film. We would recommend buying a cheap portable USB scanner for collecting pictures. But anyway you can bury yourself in the libraries of arts in the section of photo collections for some time and study huge archives of photographs, drawings and other sources of visual inspiration. And don’t forget about additional materials on the grabber sites of movie flicks such as Flickr, Google and Getty Images.

Formulate the fabula to your movie

Fabula is the essence of your film, its foundation, its “backbone”, “core”, which will guide every aesthetic decision you make. Therefore, try to formulate an understandable and clear fabula to your story. During the preparatory and shooting periods you will hear thousands of questions: How the house of the protagonist should look like; What jacket should he wear; In what color should we paint the walls; What style of working with the camera you need to choose; But what about lighting? You will be able to find answers to these questions through the prism of the clearly formulated fabula.

Help your actors create a character before the set

We hope you have time to rehearse with your actors but even before you start filming, you can help the actors work on their characters. Study their methods of work, how they get used to the role, how they play. Talk about your visual preferences, music, literature, movies. Discussing the prehistory in the story, give them a homework. Let the actor playing the scientist get acquainted with the relevant literature and historical archives, etc.

Exceed the preparatory plan, and then put everything aside

Before the camera starts working, you will have one very important thing – time. Time for parsing the script, storyboards and pre-visualization. As soon as you find yourself on the shooting in the real location with the actors becoming accustomed to their roles, the number of hours in your shooting day will never be enough. Don’t worry. Put aside all your training materials and dive into to the magic of a teamwork. We are sure that you know what you need.

Be open to new ideas, but stick to the course of your original idea

While writing the script, try to get as much feedback as possible. The same goes for testing your rough editing scenes. During the pre-production run through the script along with your actors, and if there are any insights, rewrite the scenes. Wherever new ideas come from, be open and listen to the opinions of others. But do not forget about your main inspiring idea, protect it from adjustments, because it brought all of you together.

You set the tone

Use all the experience you have accumulated in the film industry, take all the energy, inspiration and emotional excitement on the set. Try to create an environment on set where the film crew and actors can freely take risks and work perfectly. Every day on planning meetings try to personally thank each actor or member of the crew for the work done. Film production is a collective work, and everyone needs respect and appreciation for the work done.

Do not compromise (until the last minute)

Leading members of your team do not want to see a compromising director. It’s the same with actors. All of them want to see a firm in their convictions, ambitious and at times risky head of the shooting process. It is likely that they do not work for you for money; they came for an interesting script or for the creative potential of the film. So do not compromise – at least until the last minute. When there is no way out, be realistic and bear in mind that often good creative solutions come in conditions of limitations.

Do not rape your style

Be interested in the style of other people’s films, but do not think about your style too much. You can feel that there are things that you cannot do differently than you do them. Sometimes you do not even control it. So it’s better to continue to do everything the way you do and make movies in a way that suits you best.

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