Question about film making
This summer I want to focus on not only finding a job, but also I really want to look into film-making. Not like a big movie production or anything like that. I'm not that insane.
What I am thinking is doing little documentary pieces of local bands this summer.
Every summer here in Columbus there is this festival called ComFest. It's so much fun. It's pretty much a hippie fest for 3 days where you sit around in this field and smoke hookah and other things and the cops don't give a shit. But there are all these mini sideshow things going on. I really want to film that.
I have no idea how to even get started. I'm so new to film, but I'm so interested in it.
So I guess what I am asking is ...does anyone on here have any pointers so I could get started?
What I need ... how much ... how expensive ... etc ...
Good Ideas ...
Here's just a few ideas on how you can get started:
Get in touch with your local Chamber Of Commerce ask them what they might have. You can also contact some schools in your area and see if anyone is already enrolled in a class for "film" and can they use this for credit or want too. Of course school is almost out but summer school for some might be happening. See if they want to work with you on this?! Might be fun to have more than one person a way to Network, etc. Get involved in local chapters see where it leads.
You can also try Cringe.com. i.e. Bands, Venues, etc BUT here is a great website I used to use years ago which may or may not help. www.mandy.com, or look on craigslist. You can weed out what you feel is Ligit and what isn't. If you're unsure ask around ...
Laughter is by definition healthy.
1919-, British Novelist
When I saw this thread a certain parody idea immediately came to mind... I've got to get back to that script right away!
If you're going to run a documentary, the cheapest way to do it is 'shoot' style. Which has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Basically, you follow your subject around for a set period of time, recording... a lot, and then you edit it all together, throw in some interviews and you're good to go. All you need are a few handy-cams and you can get started. If you want something more professional, you might want to look at taking an introduction to direction class, possibly invest in a few tripods, and other such helpful equipment.
Price comes down to what you're willing to spend. Set that out first, then start looking at cameras... and it wouldn't hurt to get a few other cameramen in on it too... trying to follow multiple subjects is a pain in the hole.
Now... if only I had a witch I could make the perfect parody...
Well if you're just out to make a simple documentary you'll probably want to get a few things.
2. small light kit
4. exterior microphone kit
5. one or two extra crewpeople (optional)
6. a computer with a decent editing program on it
1. Can't make a film without a camera. Many amateur filmmakers decide to go digital for both cost and convenience. If you want it to look super good then I'd put some money into a 3 chip camera otherwise a handy cam will do. Digital and Film cameras can usually be rented from equipment rental places. Renting is usually a lot cheaper than buying especially if you're only going to use the camera for a single project.
2. The lighting of a film can easily make or break it. Lighting kits should include a couple 500 watt light bulbs and maybe up to 1k light or 1 750 watt light bulb for extremely dark wide shots. The only conflict I can see with using lights is that you'll need to find outlets.
Lighting kits should also have filters to control light so you can get the light the way you want it. It's not a bad idea into looking at different light and camera filters to cut out unnecessary light. Most commercial camera auto adjust for best exposure to the light they are in. If you decide to go manual, you might need to get a polarizer or CTOs (color temperature orange filters) to adjust the color temperature of the picture to your liking.
3. Tripods are infinitely useful on documentary shoots. If you're going to be short on people then you can just set up the shot on the tripod then just point and shoot. Since it sounds like the "hippie fest" will likely have high amounts of foot traffic, you'll probably want to get some heavy weighted items to steady the tripod. The weighing down of tripods would also apply if you decide to invest in a decent light kit as the lights would also be on tripods.
4. An external mic kit could really go a long way into improving audio. The internal mics on even some of the most high quality HD cameras are junk compared to the quality you get from an external mic. Whenever the camera moves it can usually be heard as an annoying rustling sound with using an internal mic.
Also an exterior mic kit will allow you to specialize into what kind of sound you want like boom, omni-direction, etc.
Another nice thing about the mic kit is that they usually include windsocks which drastically reduce wind sound in exterior shoots. My friend from film class have told me putting a regular sock over an external mic also helps.
5. It's always good to have extra people for your shoots cause it will free you up to worry about quality and content of your raw footage. It was stressed to us that it is not always necessary to have large crews. Some shoots are very successful with even single manned crews.
Diva's advice was pretty good about getting the crew. You might try craigslist or some other networking website to try to put together a small crew.
6. Editing can save a film. Once you're done collecting raw footage you'll want to go back and fine tune the film to your liking. Editing not only allows you to shoot out of order, the new digital editing programs can do things like color correction, audio mixing, and adding credits/titles.
If you or anyone has any other filmmaking questions, send me a PM.
Hope this helps. Have fun.
Last edited by tkpatience; 05-11-2009 at 08:29 PM.
amy i would really try to get in contact with amnesiac.
Documentary filming you could do yourself fine, but it would be nice to have a friend acting as your camera man, and also i'd go to home depot to pick up at the very least a spot lamp to light up indoor scenes.
I don't know much about film, only photography, but amn has done quite a few film projects before, and i'm sure he'll give you some direction to get started
A good idea also is to watch documentaries ahead of time (although I'm only really familiar with feature length ones, not short subjects). This way you get an idea of style, purpose, what you liked, what will work for the subject, and what not to do.
Music documentaries for one... ( "Athens GA", "Woodstock", "Punk Rock Movie", etc.) but also performance docs second ( "Comedian", "This So Called Disaster", "Planet B-Boy" ) and then finally any good and interesting documentary in general that catches your eye.
Then steal. Steal big.