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Thread: My 18 rules of film making.

  1. #1
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    Default My 18 rules of film making.

    So you want to make moves? Here is how. What follows is a very personal hit list of the most important things that I think you need to know to have a chance of making something that might make you a God, well, sort of.

    1.Don't use a HDV camera, and if you do shoot everything in DV, unless your camera cost more than 2000 and you have 8 cores in your PC or Mac. Consumer cameras will not realise the res possible with HDV and the video produced is very clunky to edit on a real world PC, and rendering? It's not make a cup of tea time, it's more like go pick the tea from India but go overland time. Real cameras use tape too (with some worthy exceptions).

    2.Forget the Zoom buttons. If you are shooting hand held with a small camera shoot everything on full wide. Do this and some of what you shoot may be watch able without dosing everyone who watches on Dramamine.

    3.Use a tripod, then you can zoom, oh and it looks cool and pro too.

    4.Never ever ever use any tarty wipes. Editing is very very hard – get over it, there is no quick way to impress your friends, least of all bloody Venetian blind wipes.

    5.Don't participate – observe.

    6.Less is more. Do yourself a favour. If you film your whole holiday (or whatever) you will end up with piles of tapes and you will need a lifetime to edit them. You will end up the enemy of all your friends if you ask then to watch the raw video. A weeks holiday should produce maybe 2 hours of tape and that should be ten mins of video – unless your holiday was in Iraq and you were really brave when 20 mins might be OK.

    7.Less is more, again. When you are editing use only those shots that are technically tip top unless it's of a plane crash.

    8.Only talk behind the camera if you are really clever and have thought about it first – you will probably sound like a fool, a very loud fool. Remember the camera is the eyes of the audience, not the mouth.

    9.Don't ever make light sabre videos or skateboard videos unless it's the real darth vader with a real light sabre on a skateboard doing really cool tricks and not falling off at the end.

    10.For all videos make sure you have a Beginning, a Middle and an End.

    11.Get a microphone, anything is better than a camera mic.

    12.If you are filming anything where there are police around, be nice to them, they usually know when the action will start. If they are suspicious of you just tell them you are a film student.

    13.Don't charge anyone for anything for at least 3 years after you start. Your work is very likely to be rubbish and you will get us all a bad name.

    14.Don't do weddings – think out of the box, try funerals.

    15.Learn to use your camera in full auto mode. This is easier with some cameras than others I realise. Default should be manual everything with auto when you have no choice. Auto iris can ruin a shot when someone walks across a scene, it all goes bright and dark. Auto focus will often get the wrong thing or 'hunt'. Anti shake just makes it look like you were drunk, shake becomes wobble. My 'pro' camera has no auto focus and no anti shake.

    16.Practice makes perfect – eventually. Learn to take criticism.

    17.Your friends probably cant act and you probably cant write. Start with those assumptions and refer to 16.

    18. Dont obesess over picture quality. Most of '28 days' was shot on SD (not hdv) canon XL1s - I didnt hear anyone in the cinema mithering on about the fact it wasnt shot on a 78,000 sony cinealta cam.
    Last edited by Mark W; 03-11-2008 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
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    Anyone want to add to my very personal list?

    Or tell me I am crazy ? ? ?

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    19. If it doesn't happen on the screen, it didn't happen at all. Don't assume that your audience can work something out with only part of the information. Do not assume that your audience will get the "in jokes". Do not assume that the viewer will understand anything not explained on the screen.

    20. Instead of finding exuses not to do it, find ways to do it. Better to try and fail than not to have a go in the first place.

  4. #4
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    I couldnt think of 19. cos that is often where I fail. To clever for my own good sometiems.

  5. #5

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    21) Learn from other people, A "self tought" videographer has a fool for a student and an idiot for a teacher.

    22) Use the 5 camara positions, On the ground- At waist level- At shoulder level - On the shoulder (most common and boring)- Over head

    23) WALLDO- WIDE. ANGLED. LOW. LINKING. DEPTH. OPPOSITE

    WIDE: ie... Establishing shots

    ANGLED: ie... filming signs on an angle will add a 3d "look"

    LOW: ie... the "walk over" shot place your cam on the ground and let your subject walk past the camara
    (watch 60 min. 20/20 ect and you'll see these

    LINKING: ie... Start with a tight shot on your subject then pan or pull back on to a related Object.
    (TLC's Dirty Jobs dose this well)

    DEPTH: ie.. Add depth to your shot, Put the back ground out of focus, rack focus, use the 5 camara
    positions

    OPPOSITE: ie.. Reflection shots, film into mirrors, glass doors, off of water, Also film behined people,
    (Regis and Kelly (on ABC) walking out on the begining of the show, )
    Last edited by Chapman Photography; 03-11-2008 at 07:52 PM.
    Wil

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChapmanProduction

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    I like 21.... Very true.

  7. #7

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    Yeh..I love it when I suggest something and the say "I have my own style" I wont lie, my style is ideas and techniques I took from others. I don't think I ever came up with an original idea yet...
    Wil

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChapmanProduction

  8. #8

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    14.Don't do weddings – think out of the box, try funerals

    The biggest funereral I shot was for a Bishop, Copies of that dvd went all over the world, about 300 copies went out. I never did a wedding that was that easiy or unstressfull. The key is to not make it look creepy or tacky.
    Wil

    Software Used:
    TGV Edius 6, TGV ProCoder 3, DVD Lab Pro. 2

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChapmanProduction

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chapman Photography View Post
    14.Don't do weddings think out of the box, try funerals
    Haha, nice one.

  10. #10
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    Any chance of getting rule 14 printed on t-shirts?

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