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FilmSchoolOnDemand.com Top 7 Mistakes That New Filmmakers Make by David

FilmSchoolOnDemand.com Top 7 Mistakes That New Filmmakers Make by David

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Film Making
Film Making

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04/23/2012

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FilmSchoolOnDemand.comMake Your Movie Now! FilmSchoolOnDemand.com1
Top 7 Mistakes that New Filmmakers MakeBy David Basulto
“Everybody's a filmmaker today.”American producer, director, and screenplay writer John Milius made the remark during a 2003interview. Many years later, there couldn't have been more truth to this statement as video cameras became more compact, affordable, and high-quality that anyone interested enough can try their hand atfilm making. Steven Spielberg and George Lucas make it look easy, but the whole process of producinga film, even a short one takes a lot more to it than meets the eye.Fortunately, film governing bodies around the world have over the years been actively holdingindependent film festivals and other activities to support talented independent filmmakers and promotetheir masterpieces. Today's film industry has indeed provided a more conducive atmosphere for  budding filmmakers to strut their stuff. Not everyone has the talent and the skill for successful film production but at least everybody can try.With experience comes learning but a little research can help you learn the ropes of independent filmmaking without having to commit the most common mistakes usually made by new filmmakers. Take alook at the following sections for the Top 7 Mistakes New Filmmakers Make. Avoiding them is but achoice. These tips can help you prevent wasting important time and effort in the course of your filmmaking process.
Top Mistake # 1 Taking on too many responsibilities
As artists, budding filmmakers have the tendency to want to take control of every aspect of film production. There is the need to express themselves and execute their vision from the planning stage tothe production itself until the editing and distribution process. As a regular movie goer, you may havenoticed how long it takes for the credits to roll after each film. You may even be surprised how such ashort and simple film took a lot of crew members to produce.Units are there for a reason. Veteran filmmakers can attest to this. If you are to dabble in all aspects of the film production, the more the quality of your work is going to be affected. Given that you areworking on a limited budget, any new filmmaker should know to assume the role of director-scriptwriter only. Learn to focus on as few responsibilities as possible.
 
FilmSchoolOnDemand.comMake Your Movie Now! FilmSchoolOnDemand.com2Hire people whose judgment you trust and whose vision complements yours and you are guaranteed tocome up with better work. If you have friends in the industry, you could try asking them to contribute pro bono. In exchange, you can help them out with some of their projects as well. Assuming every role possible is most likely to satisfy no one else but you.
Top Mistake # 2 Inadequate Planning
For an independent movie to be a success, the importance of the planning stage can not be stressedenough. Some new filmmakers feel like just “going with the flow” and making spontaneous decisionsas they go, which they later discover, at a great expense. These amateurs put in so much of their time in production when more experienced filmmakers actually spend around only 10% of their time in the production stage itself.A film's success is supported by many factors including the strength of its story and its overall quality.The development stage is where the filmmaker plans everything down to the smallest detail - from preproduction to the strategy that is going to be employed once the film is done. The screenplay isscrutinized and assessed for what it's value is going to be onscreen. Casting and crew are also decidedupon during the preproduction stage. It is also the time to make an estimate of the total budget neededfor the whole production, as well as marketing strategies.
Tips and Tricks: Actors and Location
Another important skill of a successful filmmaker is the ability to encourage his actors' bestperformance. Along with wardrobe and location mistakes, an error in casting or in the actingitself is a common mistake in production. Not every filmmaker can afford professional actors. Inthe case of new filmmakers, they usually ask friends or friends of friends to be their talents. Tobe able to make the best of your availaable cast, take note of the following tips:
 
Tone down theater actors.
It is a misconception that a good theater performer alsomakes a good movie actor. Theater actors are trained to make big movements and speakin loud volumes for the benefit of audiences sitting at the back of the theater house.Should you have no choice but to employ talents from theater, make sure their acting istoned down.
 
Hold auditions.
Of course, you can not just throw your best buddy in front of thecamera. Hold auditions to get an idea on whom suits which role. If you have to, holdauditions multiple times until you get the perfect persons to play your characters.
 
Rehearse rehearse rehearse.
Practice makes perfect, that will always be the goldenrule. Rehearse before you shoot so that you do not waste film (or camera battery)because of dialogue mistakes. Rehearsing with your actors is also a good way to bondwith your talents and build a good relationship with people you are working with. It alsoenables you to get a feel of how things are going to flow.
 
Keep the pressure off.
Allow some breathing space for your actors, especially the first-timers. They are more likely to forget their lines or make mistakes when they are notrelaxed.
 
Give specific directions.
Instead of instructing one actor “You are very angry andconfused in this scene,” try something along the lines of “In this scene, your mom died,several people are trying to talk to you at once, and you just broke your last cigarette in
 
FilmSchoolOnDemand.comMake Your Movie Now! FilmSchoolOnDemand.com3Preproduction skills are a necessity and should be possessed by any aspiring filmmaker or director.Enough quality time should be given to preproduction, most of the time even more time than would bealloted for production itself. Failure to do is likely to result in total waste of resources. If you stronglyfeel that there is a genius in you and had to prove it, prepare an outline at the very least of how you planto get things done.One common disease of amateur filmmakers is the “We'll fix it in post” attitude. When things do not goaccording to plan, student and amateur filmmakers often make the mistake of thinking that any problemcan be fixed in post-production. The attitude undermines your production crew, as well as your post- production unit. It signifies lack in preparation, discipline, skill, and creativity.
Top Mistake # 3 Message over Quality
Aspiring filmmakers join the industry for various reasons. But one of the main reasons why films existis to give quality entertainment to audiences. Some make the mistake of thinking that production isking and take their “message” for granted. Likewise, the new filmmaker should also take time tocarefully consider the subjects or theme of his film.In film festivals, the submission of documentaries is quite common. Serious topics covered bydocumentaries serve good educational purposes but are not likely to earn you back the funds you usedfor film production, perhaps unless you produce something as earth-shaking as Al Gore's “TheInconvenient Truth.” They might win you awards and acclaim, which are not bad at all, but if you wishto reach out to a larger audience, you should do well to postpone making a film about serious topics for the moment.
two.” Allow your actors to feel the emotion based on personal experiences instead of urging them to try feeling the emotions. Because that exactly is what's gonna happen:they are going to look like they are “trying” to emote.Enough time should also be given to looking for a place or places to shoot. Considerations inchoosing locations include the shooting schedule, budget, and availability.
 
Steer clear of your backyard.
Unless your backyard has an enormous fountain orfeatures beautiful flowers. You could shoot there if the scene calls for a backyardscene. Otherwise, look for an appropriate venue.
 
Be realistic.
Consider your characters' personalities when shooting in a house or abedroom. The background should be consistent with your character's personality,taste, and age. If a friend allows you to use his bedroom for a shoot, make sure theproduction designers do a bit of work so that it indeed looks like it is owned by yourcharacter.
 
It's okay to beg.
Go around town and ask people for a place to shoot. You have nothingto lose; the worst that could happen is you would be refused. Just make sure youobserve proper ethics and leave the place in the same condition as when you and yourcrew arrived.

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