Things Film Students Have to Know on the Set
Nobody wants to be that newbie film student that makes tons of silly mistakes at the beginning of the shoot. Most of the industry veterans had to learn on their own mistakes. They were the ones to use the microphone native to the camera, instead of using an external one. They did not check the footage’s framerate until halfway into the shoot. The same current filmmaking professionals shot extremely tedious, boring, and overly explaining scenes.
They had to learn through making mistakes on their own and getting scolded by the viewers on the quality of their films. Why? All because the Internet did not exist back then, or it was not as filled with valuable information as it is today. Luckily for today’s young, aspiring filmmakers, the Internet is full of nuggets of wisdom and advice.
As of now, you can easily learn from the mistakes of others and avoid looking silly. Here are the pieces of advice that will help you with your movie making path.
Keep the Framerate and Resolution Consistent
Films are usually recorded at 24 frames per second. However, nowadays, it is not a big necessity, as many moviemakers are moving towards higher frames per second count to achieve an incredibly smooth picture. The cameras for filming are getting really good and really cheap. Now, if you are a beginner filmmaker, you can actually be recording 8K footage, which was not an option for the filmmaking students 10 years before.
Although there is such a multitude of options regarding cameras, you should always keep your framerate consistent throughout each of your respective projects. If you have started filming in 4K, 60fps, then you should complete the project with these settings. It makes editing the final cut create much less headache for you and the editor because putting different footage with differing recording settings is very hard to make look homogenous.
Consider the Filming Location’s Aspects
When choosing a place where to film any particular scene from your movie, you must consider a couple of key factors that lie outside of “this place is perfect for the ending dramatic scene”. If you got smitten by how “perfect” a place is to film that exact dramatic scene for your movie, you also have to consider the practical aspects of how you are going to film in that area.
The other most important aspect is the sound. Sound pollution and excessive noise can not only turn the filming process into a real nightmare fuel for filming students but also cancel the shoot altogether. If you are going to film in the center of your city, be ready to search for expensive equipment to clearly record actors’ voice lines and not the bustling city.
Also, never use a microphone that is native to your camera – they are simply not up to the film making quality, and if you are using it as the main means of sound recording, the chances are high that people in the film community will ridicule you, which will include the film critic, film essay writer, and the common viewer.
Remember that Movies Are NOT Audiobooks
Do you have a long narrative exposition in your movie where a voice from behind the shot reads out some overly descriptive story about the main characters and thusly introducing them? It is a definite no-no in the filmmaking industry. You always have to acknowledge the fact that movies are both visual and audio experiences. Do not turn your film into an audiobook!
Doing this will only bore the viewers and make you look like an uncreative filmmaker without any ideas whatsoever. So, you should avoid this! “But how?” – You might be wondering to yourself. Obviously, the answer lies in the visual medium: when you have something important to say – show it! If you trust your viewer to get all of the ideas you are trying to include in your picture, you will feel less obligated to express everything through dialogs and monologs.
Instead of using text, employ interesting costumes for actors and play with lights and color-coding! Of course, do not forget to utilize the actors to the max! They are capable of much more than blankly throwing lines back and forth between each other. Make them interact on the set, show their emotions through body movement, etc.
Mistakes Are Inevitable
It will be hard to hear, but you must know that you will eventually make a couple of silly mistakes here and there. Filmmaking is such a vast field that you just physically cannot read up on every possible aspect of filming and go on to record masterpieces immediately after you graduate from the film school. Accept this fact, and do not be too harsh on your very self in the future.
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