The guys over at The Film Look have posted a lot of great videos in their time, filled with some really good advice and tips. And this one is no different. Here, they offer up 24 tips, tricks and hacks for you to use or think about in your next film project. And unlike many videos of this type, these are actually useful.
- Use your character’s costume to explain their backstory
- Their overall appearance and quality of costume can also help to inform the viewer
- Outfit changes can show a change in character mindset
- Make a mood board to help you visualise how your film will look
- Mood boards also help show others what you want to achieve
- Use a wide range of sources to inspire you, like music, paintings, stories, photographs. Don’t just rely on other films
- Props can introduce who a character is without needing dialogue
- The style of prop is also important. It helps to set the scene and inform about the character, time period, or environment
- Build your story around a location you already have access to
- The crew is more important than the camera, so choose them first
- Let actors read the whole script when casting
- If your script doesn’t include a lot of dialogue, have actors audition with a monologue that suits the role
- Give them some direction and have them read it again to see how they adapt
- If multiple actors audition for the same role, have them read the same scene
- Record the auditions so you can view them side by side
- Use DIY T-Brackets as marks so your actors know where to stand
- Gaffer tape the T-Brackets so they can be easily seen
- Don’t underestimate rehearsals, they can make a massive difference when shooting
- Spend time with your crew so everybody knows the plan
- Create keywords and phrases to motivate each emotional beat throughout the script and add them to your storyboards
- Pop a balloon next to your actor for an authentic shock reaction on camera
- Use rubber door wedges to level out your camera when the ground is uneven
- Add tape to your lens to set focus markers for pulling focus
- When working with other filmmakers, find out what they’re best at and take advantage of everybody’s strengths
A lot of these things above aren’t things I think about when it comes to photography. There’s rarely a crew for me (maybe an assistant), and there often isn’t the type of story that these tips relate to. I certainly never need subjects to read for me to audition. But as I start to do more video work, I can already see how these will be extremely useful in my projects.
What other tips would you offer new filmmakers?
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