Lights, Camera, Action!
Now you've thought carefully about your storyboards, scripts, models and props (and hopefully done some planning and preparation!) you're ready to start shooting your film!
The previous sections of this site should already have given you lots of ideas of how to go about shooting your film such as thinking about The Grammar of TV and Film, following these Film Making Tips or considering this guide on How to Make a Film.
When you're shooting your film, make sure you have considered:
- Which equipment is best for the job: a camera is essential and a tripod is often an advantage too! A mobile phone or still camera will let you take some footage but the quality may not be very good if you're shooting a 'live' film. There are lots of inexpensive digital video cameras and tablets which will do a great job (and even record in HD!) so see what you have in school or at home. Whichever camera you choose, make sure you practice before you want to use it for some serious film making.
- Roles and responsibilities: It's often useful to give individual people in your 'film crew' different responsibilities. You can swap these around whenever you like so that everyone gets a turn doing something different. Why not give everyone a role and a badge to wear to remind them what their job is (this really cuts down on arguments and disagreements too!). Think about roles such as:
- Sound leader
- Continuity leader
- lead animator (if making an animation)
- Lighting leader
- camera leader
- Script editor / checker
- How to orgainse your shoot: your audience will need to watch your film in the correct order, but that doesn't mean you need to film it in that order! When films involve several costume changes, scenery changes or changing characters, it's often best to film in a different order to the one you will finally present it in!
- The best angle to shoot from: shooting from a low angle can make your characters look strong and powerful whilst shooting from a low angle can make them look weak and insecure.
- How (or whether!) to move your camera during a scene: what effect does this have on the scene? Will you zoom or pan? Try different techniques and see which one gives you the effect you want.
- Continuity: Make sure your characters don't suddenly change clothes or hairstyle part way through a scene, ensure animated characters move gradually and not suddenly, and, if you're splanning to stich scenes together, make sure they're going to flow from one to another.
- Sound, sound, sound! Your audience will often forgive poor visuals but not poor sound! if they can't hear what's going on then your film becoems really difficult to watch! Read the 'Adding Sound' section on this webioste for more tips on this.