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Need help on making short film

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  • Need help on making short film

    I really want your guidance in making my first short film. Right now, I am ready with script and dialogues and looking for start point.
    I hope you will help me.

    Currently I am having Nikon Coolpix P520. Can I make films with this camera..? Please advise.
    Please advise on all elements. I have no idea how to record dialogues clearly with eliminating external or unusual sounds and even I don't know which software if useful for editing.

    I hope you understand that I know nothing about production side. So, please help me in making my dream true.


  • #2
    Here's a video I found from the Nikon Coolpix p520 and it looks like a good camera
    I would reccomend getting a microphone though if you're going to be focusing on dialogue and if you don't have get a good tripod.
    Depending on what type of computer you have depends on the editor you get but a good free one is Blender.

    Good luck and hope rhis has helped.


    • #3
      Coolpix is a good camera, I have on myself. As long as you aren't planning on having super high quality, you can film with it. I would suggest getting a separate audio recording device like a zoom and a good microphone. If you are going to have dialogue see if you can rent a good boom mic and have a friend record the sound as you are filming. If you are going to film outside, be sure to have a catskin over the mic to reduce any wind sounds, as the mic will pick that up.

      If you can get a clap board, use one. Say the scene number and take and use the clapping sound of the board before every take. This will help you synch the sound with the video when you import it all into your editing program.

      Have your scenes planned out as well as possible in advance, including what camera angles you want to get. I'd suggest taking several takes of every scene because sometimes it takes a few takes for your actors to actually get into their characters, plus you will have more footage to choose from in the editing stage which is always nice.

      As for editing programs, I currently use Vegas, but that's pretty expensive and while it's good for video, I think it's more geared toward sound mixing than film. If you have the opportunity to get a good editing program like Movie Magic or Adobe suite stuff, you might want to go for that. Maybe others here can direct you toward some free or cheaper software though.

      Good luck with everything, I hope this has helped a bit!

      Keep us posted on how it's going for you!


      • #4
        For shooting and recording audio I'd say get a microphone. Decent equipment can cost quite a bit of money and your camera doesn't have a hot shoe as far as I know. The ways I know to record audio without using a mic input or hot show on a camera is:
        1- Run a microphone into a laptop either using a sound card (so you can use XLR cables) or if its a 9mm jack mic you can plug it straight in and record by using an audio program like audacity or logic. Audacity is free so that will probably be a good program for you. You can clean up audio and do a whole bunch of useful things in it. There are many tutorials to help you as well.
        2- Get a solid state recorder and plug in a shotgun mic. This is very expensive as decent equipment will cost a couple hundred pounds a piece.

        For beginning, option 1 would be best IMO. Renting equipment is a cheap way to get some decent gear. You could also find people with equipment you need and get them to help out. Clapper boards are great you could use anything really aslong as it's clear on camera when the noise is being made.

        Hope that helped


        • #5
          After re-reading your post, I realized that maybe you need a place to start with everything, which was not included in my first response. Since it's been a few weeks, maybe you've already started on this, but just in case, I'll add in some more advice.

          Make sure you write everything down and keep every receipt for anything bought in relation to the film. Keep track of miles driven on the vehicles used for the film, and food costs to feed everybody. Even if this is a hobby project and you don't have any outside funding or reason to keep track because it's all coming out of your pocket, this is still a good idea because it will get you into the routine of it, give you an idea of what things cost for your next production and it'll help you figure out ways to cut costs next time.

          Make yourself a spreadsheet of everything that is associated with your film. Even if your production is not a big one and you don't see a need to track everything, it's good to make yourself the reference, so you know what you are doing now and remember what you did later when planning your next production. If you'd like, I can send you my excel template for this, as it's pretty in depth and might take too long to explain in a post. :) Just message me if you are interested in it.

          Make sure you have chosen your locations before you try to set up any shooting days. Go around and take pictures of the places you think would work best for your sets. Make sure to check the light situations in each place. If you are going to be outside, take note of the position of any buildings or trees or anything that will cast shadows and which way the sun is moving, so you will know better what time of day is best to shoot there without having unwanted shadows or too much brightness. Pictures are important in this process so you can remember and choose later, so don't skip that step. :)

          The next thing you want to do is probably casting. Choose people you think have talent AND will actually show up and do the film with you. Friends are awesome, when they show up! LOL But let's face it, not everybody shares our passion for this, so they can tend to flake, cancel, show up late, goof around on set instead of working, etc. If it's within your abilities to find actors who are actually wanting to be actors and want something to show off when the film is done, that's your best bet. Don't forget to make sure they physically fit the images you have in mind for your characters, and if you cannot supply the wardrobe you have in mind, ask them if they have anything they can use for the film that does.

          Once you've got your cast and your crew, make sure you've got your equipment ready. If you don't have the money to buy a good audio recorder and boom mic, consider renting them. There are a lot of places that rent out filming equipment. You might want to rent out a better camera too, if this is going to be a big production for you and you have the budget.

          Now that all that is decided, set up a shoot schedule. Have a meeting or group chat with everyone in the cast and crew and set up definite times for shooting, provide people with maps and/or gps coordinates, whatever you have to do to make sure that everybody is in the right place at the right time. Personally, I suggest telling everybody to be there at least 30 minutes before you actually need them to show up, but don't tell them that. People are often late, and if you don't want it to affect your filming time, you need to take it into account. Make sure to remind everyone that will be using their own wardrobe to bring it with them. Also, inform them about whether or not they need to bring their own food and drink.

          As a side note, it is also a good idea to make a small form for everybody to fill out that gets their name, case of emergency contact and any food allergy information. This might seem like overkill... but I assure you if something unexpected happens, you'll be glad to have the contact info, and if you are offering to provide the food, you need to know if somebody can't eat gluten or peanuts or whatever.

          This brings me to another thing to consider: Food and Drink. If you don't intend to supply it, make sure everybody knows they have to bring their own. If you do intend to supply it, have it ready or have a plan before the shooting day so that it will be there and available for everybody when it's time to take a break. FYI: Supplying yummy, healthy meals for your workers is a good motivator for them to come and help out. People do gladly work for food! :) ... If you think the day is going to be a long one, make sure that you provide HEALTHY energizing snacks. Providing a case of energy drinks and candy bars will end leave you with crashing people laying all over your set, which is just not fun. :) (Also, keep in mind that milk can coat the vocal chords and affect the sounds of voices, so use your best judgment on that one.)

          Ok, so, hopefully, this has given you a good place to start now. Good luck with the filming! Hope you'll show us when you're done!

          Oh, one last thing! Don't forget to bring tons of batteries and memory cards with you when you shoot!


          • #6
            Also adding to what ShimseySmiles said, remember that setting up shots, lights and organising people takes time, it's easy to overshoot your ideal wrap time. If something can go wrong, it will go wrong too so leave yourself a realistic time frame to shoot your footage day to day and have a backup plan in case travel/weather/equipment fails on you on the day. Being organised and ready on the day is the most important thing because otherwise yo, the crew and the actors get stressed out, mistake get made and performance might suffer.

            And yes many many batteries! In cold weather batteries tend to die very quickly so be wary of your locations temperature.
            Now go make an awesome movie!