When you’re planning to make a film, you’ll need plenty of preparation prior to getting behind the camera. Once you have an idea of your subject matter, you’ll have to write a comprehensive plan, shoot it and then edit it. This is the pre-production, production and post-production phases of film making.
When writing your plan, be aware that this is the most significant stage of your production. First decide what your story will be and try to summarize that in a single line. This summary is known as the hook and will serve to “hook” your viewer into the story. Next decide on the perspective – who will be telling the story? Will it appear through the eyes of an observer or is from the perspective of the main character? This will determine how everything is presented throughout the course of the film.
Assess the setting – where will the story take place and is there a viable location that is accessible to you without permits, etc.? Make sure you select a location that will enhance the presentation of the story. Visit it and plan how you will shoot your story and look at the perspectives involved in the angles that might add or detract from the composition. Take that kind of planning one step further and plan more shots incorporating your actors or subject matter if it will not be human. To get a good clean visual on how it will all come together, try to storyboard your plan by sketching out what you intend to capture in your film. This will help you to plan other elements such as lighting, sound and movement. Once you have a bit of a visual, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of equipment you’re going to need to create the images that you are hoping to capture. You may be able to get away with taking it all in on just your iPhone, if you have mastered its use in that way. You may need something more complex. Make sure that you determine the cost of rentals and determine your budget.
Now you’re ready for the production stage – time to shoot! When you are filming on your location, make sure you bring your storyboards along so that you can stay as close to your original plan as possible. This will keep your timing and your costs to the minimum. Don’t be too concerned about additional background sound interfering with the visual aspect as you can always recreate it and edit it in afterward. You may need to shoot and reshoot the same aspects over and over again to ensure that you have sufficient amount of footage to enable you edit together the best parts of the film where ever possible.
In post-production, if you’ve got some great skills, this can really make or break your production. You’ll need to transfer your files and review all of the pieces of your work. Make notes about the segments and create a shot list – this is called logging. Highlight the best ones that you’ll want to see in your final production.
The editing software can be whatever you prefer to work with whether it is iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro or Windows Live Movie. Stitch your segments together and then incorporate the audio if it is separate.
Check it once, tweak it. Check it again and make more edits and continue to do so until you’re happy with the final version!