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Help! I'm creating a 10 Minute short scenic film, I don't know a lot about film? :/

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  • Help! I'm creating a 10 Minute short scenic film, I don't know a lot about film? :/

    Ok so i'll get started on my situation,, here it is (sorry if it's a bit long)

    I'm really interested in film making, but haven't yet made anything beyond a music video, and I really have no Idea how to really plan for this new short scenic film I am soon to start on. I have decent DSLR gear, a quadcopter which allows me to take unlimited, smooth aerial footage, no use of a helicopter needed. And I understand how to use the gear I have, but the biggest problem is how to plan this scenic film out so it looks to the standard I have dreamt of it looking like.

    The idea of this film is for it to be more like a 8-12 Minute (is 8-12 mins too short?) scenic film accompanied by emotional music, I have a talented music composer who i'm thankful to be affiliated with right now, so the audio is something I have a lot of control over creatively (so no need of sourcing pre created audio) ...

    Do any of you do many scenic films? Something that connects one to nature through amazing angles, compositions and audio. Here is my current, basic plan.

    1. Watch relevant scenic films to get some inspiration and scout google maps for possible locations to film in.
    2. Create an inspiration / shot list board
    3. Construct a storyboard
    4. Commence filming, continue to film for 1-2 Months
    I will leave 8 weeks of time to film to get the perfect light/weather for each location.
    5. Commence discussion with my audio composer, work on sound etc and build from there
    6. Cut scenes together (based on storyboard)
    7. Work deep into the creation of the audio to make a real connection between the audio/video.
    8. Finalise, color grading, perfecting etc etc.

    That is a basic plan of the process I am planning to do. I feel like it's just too simple of a plan, I really want this to be amazing, I don't want to just wow someone and they walk away and forget about it, I want people to feel connected to the film really deeply.

    What do you think I should do? Currently i'm just in that phase of saying 'Project commences in one month' when really I have no clear Idea of how to 'start' this project and keep it going to create something amazing. I guess my biggest fear is realising this is too hard and giving up, with a finished product that looks just ok.

    Have a look at some past work I've done, it's very amateurish, however the footage was taken before I got into film, so the quality of angles/filming with this new project will be far superior to what you see in my past work.

    I appreciate the help SO much! :)

    Thanks so much,
    Best Regards,
    Jacob Grozotis

  • #2
    Forgive me if I give you an unsatisfying answer. But I have some advice.

    If you have little experience with filmmaking, the best thing to do is to just do it. Don't over think it. Dive headfirst without thinking.

    Im not a professional filmmaker by any means but I've been involved with filmmaking for almost two years. Early on, I would obsess over all of these details that didn't need to be. I over thought everything.

    Now I just do it. In the future I hope to make features and then Ill have more experience to focus on all these other details.

    Sorry if this is a lame answer. Just do it.


    • #3
      I have a little more advice that could help out

      First of all is, I agree with comment above - try not to stress too much about it, you also have to accept the fact that this is your first 'scenic' film and it is not going to be as perfect as you have dreamt (I learnt that the hard way)

      Pre-Production Tips:
      Even if you hate the paperwork, it helps. All your research, script (with feedback?) even your images with the locations, make sure you file them as you can use them for reference on in pre-production, on set and production itself and the post-production stage

      You are using a DSLR, what lenses might you want to use to bring the desired effect?, do the research if it means so, but the knowledge will help you 100% more,
      For example I would choose to use my Canon 50mm lens for close up shots of a persons face as the depth of field is thinner (Shots where subject is in focus and background is blurry). You have your standard lens that comes with the camera (mine is 18-55mm) which should have your zoom, you can also use this if you wish to get both subjects in, in a very cramped space because it zooms right out
      Last but not least (and my favourite) is 70-300mm lens which can be held far away and zoom right in on a subject (giving a blurrier and more cinematic background whilst keeping your subject in direct focus). Things to think about in terms of what you are going to do, to achieve what you need - if need be, write it down on the storyboard!

      Take your time with shooting, breathe easy, keep everyone happy and keep a strict mind as to be critical whether or not you are completely satisfied with that shot - you may not be able to re-shoot it, so taking your time is key!

      Last of all - NEVER GIVE UP! There are a million fantastic pieces out there, but they are unheard of because the person gave up, Stick to it! And it shall be rewarding! I took the leap of making a full short film last year and had many problems arise because of finance, actors, locations, the weather (we're talking English weather here) - I felt like giving up at times, but I didn't and stuck with it, perseverance is the key! Do not dwell on what could go wrong, but what you could do to make it better!

      P.S every filmmaker comes out thinking he could've done better despite how happy they may be with their work, don't put your work down, be proud of it!

      If you need anything else you can email me!
      Creator and Head of TheNerdCreations


      • #4
        Honestly, it doesn't sound to me like you know exactly what you want to do. All you say is that you want to make a "scenic film accompanied by emotional music." That's not an idea for a film. That's a genre of film. That would be like me posting here "I would like to make a horror movie. How should I do it?" Some people may have some advice on making films in general, but nothing specific to my project because I haven't actually given any details about it.

        But the most important thing is not that we have an idea of what film you want to make, it's that you have a clear idea of exactly what film you want to make. Do you?


        • #5
          I just wrote a whole 1000 words or so reply, and clicked 'add reply' again and lost it all. So frustrated!

          So I'll say what I had written in very few words,

          So I have plenty of gear to use, (listed below) ... Gear isn't an issue, it's just for this to be a success I feel like I need a team of people helping me on this project, like someone to write any text that appears on the film, cover designer, marketing assistant etc etc (i'm being a bit unrealistic) as I do understand this project needs to be marketed to be seen!

          Maybe my issue is I just need to start it, so whilst I wait for the Autumn to come (Australia) I will get shooting (1-2 months time) for now, what are some of your tips and some of your mistakes you learnt from first time making films that you would advise me to not make?


          • #6
            I've not got much advice since I've never made a proper film but you said you wanted a video with some scenic nature shots in so here's one I found after a bit of time looking on youtube.

            Hope this helps


            • #7
              Keep it simple. Your first film is not going to be amazing or groundbreaking. Just go out and make something. Get the feel of making a film.


              • #8
                Same as Dominic - Simple is the best way to go when starting

                Keep a clear mind before hand and on set of what you want - organising to detail is key

                Always have a backup plan to continue if something goes wrong (battery runs out, actor is ill)

                Stay calm - if something is frustrating you, take a breather and logically work out the problem

                Catering - Plenty of water and food for the team, often a mistake made by many that can ruin film shoots

                Last but not least, Always film more than you need, if you have thought of a cool shot but don't need it, film it anyway! You may come back to it later!
                Creator and Head of TheNerdCreations