Digital Film Making and Video Production Steps
Digital Film Making and Video Production Steps
Introduction to Digital Film Making
Digital Film Making has made great changes to Digital filmmaking at a very fast pace. There are thousands of films made all over the world each year. Most of these films are made using basic video production equipment rather than professional equipment for filmmaking. This is because of the slid in the cost of the filming and editing materials.
The technological advancements have been very advantageous for Film Makers and people passionate about this media. The basic guidelines to be followed to start the filmmaking is capsuled into these 10 points.
Film Making: Steps of Pre-Production Process
1. Idea of the Film
2. Script Writing
3. Preparing Story Board in Pictures
4. Finance for Film Making
5. Deciding Cast and Crew
6. Locations For Shooting
7. Preparing the Day wise shooting Script
8. Setting up the Dates
9. Preparing circulating the Call sheet
10. The equipment for Production
1. The idea of the Film
This is the first cell of the film, from which the entire film later springs out. This is the very concept of the whole film, what it is about. Based on this idea you can decide on the other things like how to convey the concept, the mood of the film etc.
It is not that ideas pop up to your mind once you think about it. It is a natural process and you will have to wait for it. You only need to be prepared for it. Do carry a pen and paper always with you. Write down the idea that comes to your mind whenever or wherever you are. There are chances for you to forget the idea if not noted. Ideas pop up then and there and of course, you have to note down each of these, rather than sticking to one. This will help you to choose the best from many. This will help you to be flexible while moving on with the making of the film.
There is absolutely no need for you to worry if no idea comes to your mind. Just take note of the dreams that come in your sleep. While going to bed make sure that you have a pen and paper by your side. Note down all the tits and bits that you remember till then. Include everything that you remember, even though you cannot connect with each other. Many great films have originated from the Night Dreams and the short naps of story makers and directors.
2. Script Writing
A script is the detailed written form of the film. It is the primary draft with the characters, the location of the film and also the dialogues among the characters.
Writing out the script from the idea of the film will be a difficult task at the beginning especially for the beginners. You will find gaps in the story while writing, many new ideas will come to your mind while writing the script. Do not get nervous with this. Keep your mind all set to welcome new ideas. Make sure that you write down these as well. Keep a separate document to write down the new ideas while writing the script. Do not miss it. Complete the script at first, keep writing. While developing the story your gaps will get automatically filled. After completing the script or completing a part of the script, spend time with your new ideas to develop it.
Don’t go for many scripts at once. Take care to give your complete self to one script. Writing too many scripts at once will divide your creativity. Once you are done with one script it is ok to take a break to prepare yourself for the next. This will make yourself fresh for the new idea.
Take suggestions from others. Share the script with few people. Those people who will give you an honest opinion on your works. Be ready to accept criticism as well. Take the suggestions, find the flaws and the gaps in the script that you might have missed and also seek tips for improvement. This will help in the betterment of the script and keep away risk in the quality of the film.
3. Preparing Story Board with Pictures
Story Boards are those pictorial representation of the story. This is a very useful tool during the time of the shooting. This makes the changes very evident from a single glance. Keep in mind that the point of Story Board is to make the whole crew familiar with the script. Thus the beauty of the drawing that you have created is not a point of discussion here. This is only the guide for the whole team to work on. This will help the people associated with filmmaking to know what you actually mean. The storyboard fills in many communication gaps between the director and the crew.
The storyboard shall be prepared in A4 sheets, with four or six boxes. While drawing a small space should be left under each box to write down the very important details about the shot. This will include the place, the time as well as a short note on what is happening in the shot.
Your storyboard should have an order. This will help during the time of editing also, the storyboard will give a first look at how the film will be after the whole production work.
4. Finance for the film
After finishing the script and storyboard of the film, try getting financial aid from companies or agencies. You will have to send the storyboard and script to them as well. They may be providing you with financial aid or material aid.
Make sure that the storyboard and the script that you send is visually impressive. If possible, consult a professional for drawing of the storyboard.
5. Deciding Cast and crew
The people involved in the making of the film, of course, plays an important role in the success of the film. To find the right person for the right thing is not an easy task, but there are guides to help you with this as well. There are many websites that help you find the right cast and crew.
To find the right cast and crew for your film, you will have to put effort and time. You will have to consider as many people as you can before fixing on some person, this will help you to find the best. Conduct auditions at different levels for deciding the cast. Be wise not only for choosing the cast but for the crew as well. People doing the camera and editing work will be having showreels which will help you to know about their work and style. However, many professionals I this field are mostly busy with very less time for making such stuff. So make sure that you do not miss out those talented people just because they do not have a showreel to present before you.
While deciding on the crew members, check the availability of the equipment with them. If they are ready to use their equipment for the film, it will help you in many ways.
6. Location for Shooting
Any place which the filmmaker chooses for shooting but are actually not meant for shooting are known as Location in a film. Mostly these are popular places for shooting or maybe the real place as in the script.
As in the case of fixing the script or the cast of the movie move around here and there before finalizing the location for the shoot. Do not forget;
Before choosing a location make sure that the rather than that piece of the location which appears in the screen sufficient space for the crew for shooting should be available and also that facilities shall be made for setting up of the shooting equipment.
Arrange a petrol generator for outdoor shooting. This allows you to take your own time while outdoor shooting. Without a petrol generator, you will have to compromise with the shots one way or the other. May be with the distance till which the camera shall be pulled or the time of completion before the camera gets drained out of battery etc. This will bring a negative effect on the quality of the film.
Before fixing on a location, write down all the possible locations for the shoot, with respect to your script. Just the name of the place and the sequence that shall be shot there. Or you can even go around with a small digital camera. Take small footages or photographs of the locations. Review it altogether later. You can discuss this with the camera person as well.
7. Preparing the Day wise Shooting Script
The day wise shooting script is the one on which the entire shooting of the movie is based on. This gives the entire order of which shot is to be shot when. It will have all the technical details as well as pictorial representation of the scenes. The shooting script is the whole film broken down into pieces and arranged in the order of shooting.
Try to include details like the type of shot like long or close-up, also details regarding the setup of the location, time etc. in the shooting script. This will save time during shooting and make all the related people familiar with the scene even before it is shot.
8. Setting up the dates
The schedule of the shooting is just to support your shooting script. This gives you the exact details of what is happening each day. Considering the shooting script and the storyboard, you will have to decide on how much time is needed for the scheduled things for the day.
The setting of the schedule is a tiresome work always. You will have to keep calling and messaging all the associated people till the day of the shoot. You need to assure that all of them will be present on the day of the shoot. If one person cannot make it you will start from the beginning again.
While setting up the schedule make sure that you overestimate a bit with the timings, at least in the beginning. Once you are on track, you can be more accurate while scheduling.
9. Preparing and Circulating Call Sheets
This is the complete detailed plan of the day of the shoot. It will include details like the pickup and drop off tie of the cast, the make-up and costume, the time. Also, mention any special requirement for a particular shot. There will be separate call sheets for the major people associated.
The call sheet will include the name, the designation (DOP or Assistant Director etc) as well as the character name of the Cast.
10. Equipment for Production
The type and number of digital equipment needed for each film and each shot or scene varies. You can choose the equipment based on your budget. You can shoot a film with the basic requirement like a small video recorder camera or go on with another well advanced video recording equipment. Using your own camera for the shooting is always convenient rather than hiring one for rent.
It will be very useful if you buy an extra battery along with your camera. Also supporting equipment like tripods and monopods will ease your production work one way or the other.
Lighting of the shot is also a very important part. Beginners in Filmmaking often do not focus on this, but that should be avoided. The wrong lighting can make all the difference in the shot or scene or the entire film. If compromised at the time of shooting they either can be a complete waste of time by removing the shot or highly time consuming by editing.
Cutting Room Floor is that piece clubbed videos that are not included in the final product. This might be due to some mistake in the shooting process or to cut short the film to a crisp final product.
Keep yourself involved in the making of the film, also help others to do the same. A good film is the result of the effort of many souls.
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