May, 2016
Office No: 1800 131 166 | business@sydneyfilmbase.com.au
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From Dream To Film Maker In 3 Months

Film Directing Tip 4 _ Build Your Network

May 24, 2016 by · Comments Off on Film Directing Tip 4 _ Build Your Network 

Tip 4 Network – Surround Yourself with the Best Team 

Networking is one of the most important Film Maker Skills. There are two types of networking.

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On Set of my current Film Tab 101

Networking to meet financiers distributors and people who are in powerful positions and can help your career.  The second one, which we will focus on today,  is networking to find your Film Making Team.

A Film Production is effectively a network of people that make a film. I love football, the round ball version and the premier league in England.  The director is akin to the Manager of a football team. The Director has the vision for the story directs the various departments in what he wants.

The Director needs to work with a team of players, namely

  • The Screenwriter
  • The Producer ( low budget – yourself)
  • The DOP
  • The Editor
  • The Cast
  • The Production Designer
  • The Make up Artist
  • The First AD
  • The Wardrobe Person
  • The VFX Person (if required)
  • The Composer
  • The Sound Designer.
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Video Village. Directing the scene

This is your team and the Director will work closely with each person to create the dream and the vision for the film. Arron, a film course participant, who completed the course in early 2015 has now created his first short film.

The 10 minute short film has been selected by the worlds top Film Festivals including Toronto. How did he do this? He found the very best Team he could find.  He found the best DOP the best editor the best in every area and created an awesome short film that now has his name on it as Director and Producer.  It is his movie and he gets all the acclaim and cutes that comes with a successful film.

When I interviewed him for Indie Film Club, I asked how he found everyone. His answer was I googled them and paid them. He committed to a huge casting process which he learned how to do on the 3 month Film Course and found the best actors for his film. He used his network off the 3 Month Film Course and filled in production management and smaller roles such as grips and production assistants, continuity  from the course. His mum helped with the catering for shoot dates. .

 Your team is everything.   This is your network.

How do you find the network?

Firstly do a 3 Month Film Course where you learn to make a shot film by actually making a short film.  Then commit to making your short film as  soon as possible. Without the 3 Month Film Course, Arron would have been blind and would not have known who and what to find. He would not have known how to do a casting how to work with a DOP and crew.

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Data Wrangler. Preparing the data and syncing for the edit.

With the help of the 3 month film course and his own commitment and passion, Arron made a world beater film and is now travelling the film festival circuit with his first 10 minute film.

Some people who do not have the budget to pay experts, often network on the 3 Month Film Course and meet other people on the course who do the crew roles.. That can work too. The team grows over three short film productions and by Film 3 will be making wonderful world beater films.

What ever way you do it, start with a film course,  build your network and find the best team that your budget can allow.

Colm O’Murchu      Director

Tip 3 – Every shooting Day, Prepare a Shot List

May 10, 2016 by · Comments Off on Tip 3 – Every shooting Day, Prepare a Shot List 

It amazes me if a Film Director chooses to wing it on Shooting Day. That means do minimal preparation and turn up on Shooting day with no shot list.12747868_10208310152209130_7276638341045919815_o

A Feature Film in Australia takes on average 6 – 8 Weeks to shoot or 30 – 40 Shooting Days. Currently our film, Tabernacle 101 will take 33 Shooting Days total.

One of the most important preparations for a Film Director is to  Prepare a Shot List.  There are two ways to do this.

  • On Location on the actual set, with the script
  • From the Script and see photos of the actual set and prepare your shot coverage.

We make sure that people learn how to do this properly on the 3 Month Film Course.

A Shot List is a list of shots that cover a scene. A Director shoots the maximum coverage with the maximum amount of angles to give the editor the maximum amount of choice in the edit room.

Never edit in camera, always leave the edit to the editing room and cover your scene in its entirety with ever single shot. Some scenes are very complex and may require a storyboard. A Storyboard is a series of drawings of each shot in the shot list.

For most indie Films and most short films, a shot list is all that is required. Most shot lists can easily be written down and described by the director on the day.

It is a good idea to include an experienced DOP (cinematographer) in the shot listing 12711246_10208310150089077_3964111110367352729_ocreation process. Two minds collaborating will create a wonderful visual style.  The DOP can have great ideas and shots to suggest. As always, you only take the ideas that make sense to you or feel right for you.

When creating a shot list, start with the wide shots first. The Wide Shots are often called the Master Shot. When you start you may work with static shots as in TV.Once you get experience you can design wide movement shots that look more filmic and movie like.

Cover mid Shots next and  then come to your  Close ups of your actors, completing with any cutaways ( close ups of objets or body parts)

Many scenes require a dozen shots but some scenes may be very simple and only require 4 shots. There are no rules except get as many shots as you can to give the editor a choice in the editing room. Always leave full reverses till later as this will require a reset of lighting and video village.

Depending on your budget, you may use one single camera and shoot all of your shots at separate times. This is called single camera shoots.  If you have a substantial budget you may have two camera crews with two cameras and shoot two shots simultaneously.

What ever your budget you will still have to get multiple shots of the whole scene from12768126_10208310150929098_8871665908478073659_o different angles.  Shot listing is a skill that can be taught. It is very important to learn properly on a film course such as the 3 month Film Course from experienced people. 

As we actually have a real film shoot that you crew on over 3 full days , you learn how to prepare a shot list by actually doing the process.

You learn to actually block actors. That means choreograph the movement of the actors on set. Learning off experienced people is the best way to move your film making career ahead.

All our film coursesare starting very soon, this is the solution to learning off experienced people.