Did you know that more than four thousand feature films and nine thousand short films were submitted to the Sundance Film Festival last year? While many of those films were likely very well made, only a small percentage of those submissions were actually accepted.
If you want to get into a prestigious film festival like Sundance, or just get more views on YouTube, you are going to want to make sure that you have good film production.
Of course, this is easier said than done. While you don’t necessarily need a lot of money or need to go to film making school, you do need to know what you’re doing.
Luckily for you, we’re here to help with just that.
So if you want to learn how to make a blockbuster short film, then keep on reading and we will take you through everything that you will want to know!
1. Use a Lot of Light
Film is a visual medium. And perhaps the biggest thing that separates a high-quality film from a low-quality one is the lighting.
If your picture is underexposed then your audience is going to have a hard time making out what is going on. And the same thing is too true if everything is too bright and blown out.
By shaping and manipulating the light, you will be able to properly expose the image while allowing the lighting to enhance your story.
If you simply throw on the overhead light in your living and start filming, the picture will likely look flat and dull. If you can’t afford to bring in movie lights, then you can go outside and take advantage of the sun.
Try to film in the morning and evening, when you can backlight your subjects with gorgeous golden light. You want to avoid filming outside in the middle of the day when the sun is shining straight down and your actor’s face will be hidden in shadows.
2. Prioritize Crisp, Clear Audio
As we previously noted, film is a visual medium. But that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the audio. Audio is fifty percent of the viewing experience, after all.
If you have a movie that looks beautiful but the audio is full of static and pops, you’re audience is going to focus on the bad sound instead of the lovely cinematography. You should definitely invest in good audio gear before you start paying for all of the cool camera accessories.
When you make your movie, bring on someone to be a dedicated sound person. This person can focus on the audio levels and make sure that you get all of the audio that you want to capture.
Don’t just leave your audio concerns for post-production.
3. Avoid Shaky Footage
Unless you are filming one of those first-person horror movies that were popular in the 2010s, you want to avoid shaky camerawork. Ideally, you’ll be able to put your camera on a tripod the whole time. And if you can’t do that, then you should get a rig to attach to your shoulder so that you can keep the camera steady.
Try to move your camera rarely and do it deliberately. If you are constantly panning and tilting, your audience is going to get dizzy and your camera movements will lose their power.
If you end up with shaky footage despite your best efforts, then you can try to make use of video stabilization software. Of course, this should be used as a last resort and you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to capture shaky footage on set.
If your footage is really shaky then software likely won’t be able to help you that much.
4. Understand the Rule of Thirds
The rule of the thirds is a foundational principle of film composition. When you look at the frame, you want to imagine a grid of three evenly-spaced vertical and horizontal lines.
Your goal should be to place the subjects at the cross-sections.
With that said, there are no true rules when it comes to filmmaking and many great filmmakers happily break these rules. But when you are just starting out, you should first try to abide by these rules so that you’ll better understand how to take advantage of them.
5. Get Good Gear
Using good camera gear can get expensive. But if you have the funds and believe in the project, then it can definitely be worth spending money on it.
You can look here for high-quality lenses and cameras. Camera companies like RED and ARRI are two common and reputable manufacturers that make digital cameras.
You also want to get nice lenses. If you’re on a tight budget, you should opt for a zoom lens so that you can use one lens to get pretty much all of your shots.
Remember to Use These Film Production Tips for Your Next Movie
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now understand the importance of these film production tips and will be able to use them for your next movie. As we can see, you don’t necessarily need a lot of money to make a blockbuster short film but you do need to know what you’re doing.
By being deliberate with your filmmaking decisions, and knowing what to prioritize, you can make a film that looks good and people will enjoy.
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