How To Make A Video
So you want to learn how to produce great films with just a camera and the lint in your pocket? Welcome to the one-stop resource where you’ll find a wealth of information about writing, directing, producing, and lots more related to indie filmmaking.
This website is intended to be the most powerful, extensive guide on how to achieve great results, even if you’re faced with the budgetary constraints often associated with indie filmmaking. We have information about how to build everything from the most basic beginner setup all the way up through advanced techniques for visual, sound and lighting design.
It’s true – this website is probably the most informative free resource you’ll ever find on how to actually make your film. But I still get asked quite often by filmmakers about how to work with actors. They have trouble creating hype for their films, and whether their actors are paid professionals or just friends, many indie filmmakers find it difficult to work in a social setting with actors. You have to be direct, show awareness, and elicit emotion from them all at the same time, and when your actors are working for free (or for very little) that’s difficult to do without putting a strain on your relationship with them. Fortunately, this site contains details on how to form better relationships with your actors and improve your directing skills at the same time.
You’re in the driver’s seat the instant you take your place behind the lens. Your camera becomes an extension of your body, and the rhythm and style with which you handle it will directly affect the outcome of the time you spend behind it.
Wouldn’t you like to know how to capture smooth, professional-looking video footage? The Basic Camera Techniques page covers everything from how to hold your camera, to a description of each type of framing and manipulation. Then on the Smooth Camera Movement page, we discuss some methods for achieving jitter-free motion shots and some commonly found items you can use to help you do this.
If you want to jump right in, take a look at our quick crash course on How to Make a Video.
Cameras For Filmmaking
As we’ll talk about later, the only thing you really need to make an independent film is the camera itself. Anything you can dream up, capture, and act out can be achieved with as little as a video recording device to put it on.
Sure, you can make a slideshow of images on your computer without a camera, post it to YouTube™ and call it a video. But we’re making real live moving pictures here, so don’t sell yourself short – you can do much better as you set out to learn some tips to improve your skills.
Cameras are among the most commonly purchased electronics devices available to the average consumer. It can be somewhat confusing trying to choose the right camera when you aren’t sure what you’re looking for or what you need. Go to the Cameras For Filmmaking section to learn about the features that will serve you best.
Your Non-Existent Budget
If you just want to make videos or practice for fun, and your budget is essentially $0, there is plenty of information here about how to make that happen. Articles about lighting gear, audio recording rigs, and filming on location – among dozens of other topics – are all over our site.
Having a couple dollars to spend will help you a little bit, and having several dollars will make things a lot easier. Our goal here is to make something out of nothing though, whether you just want to make something fun to put up online, produce high-definition video, or start your own website to present your indie films to the world. Check out our page on Setting a Budget for more tips on knowing how much you should spend.
Quality and Experience
While it can generally be said that you get what you pay for, this isn’t always true when it comes to indie filmmaking. In fact, experience is your best teacher in most cases, and creating engaging, dynamic indie films with even subpar equipment is very possible. You can film some pretty impressive projects with just a camera and your imagination!
Filming or Taping?
Technically, using a video camera to record things should be called “taping,” since you’re recording to a tape or other blank digital medium. But “filming” just has a nicer ring to it, don’t you think? Even though chances are likely you aren’t using film to record, the end product you are creating is still a film. So we’re going to use this somewhat inaccurate terminology and call it “filming” on our website because, after all is said and done, your final product is what counts.
Getting Started With Your Film
Whether learning the basics is all that matters to you or you’d prefer to skip straight to all the advanced indie filmmaking information, there are plenty of both on this site. You can read each section from start to finish for more fully encompassing guidelines, but an overview of some of the highlights is provided here. Each page link below has its own short synopsis and description, so feel free to skip around to whatever suits your learning curve best.
The Filmmaking Process
This section contains a complete overview of filmmaking principles and guides you through the steps from start to finish.
How To Make A Video
Learn the basics on how to make a video here, for complete beginners.
Understand the spatial relationships within the video frame that are used to create an effective image.
Brief review and comment on some of the audio and video production software packages currently on the market.
The Future of Video
What does high-definition video mean for the way films will be produced in the years ahead? Video broadcast standards are changing. Learn how this will effect your filmmaking efforts.
Glossary of Video Terms
A collection of all the bolded keywords that appear throughout the site have been gathered and defined on this single page.
The Differences Between Video and Film
Film cameras capture imagery with a certain quality that digital video has yet to fully replicate. The differences are apparent enough that you should be aware of them and have an idea of the intrinsic quality behind each media format.
Making Your Video Look Like Film
Once you know how to spot the differences between how video and film work, use these helpful tips to give your videos that cinematic look and feel.