Basic essentials in filmmaking for beginners
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How to Become a Filmmaker: Basic Equipment and Knowledge You Need

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Maitri Seth

Filmmaking, i.e., the craft of making films is a beautiful blend of art and technique. It empowers an individual with an excellent mode of storytelling. A film is not only meant for entertaining the public but also generates a different perspective about an issue. Also, if you wish to know how to become a filmmaker, you need to follow this article.

It has a major therapeutic effect on the human mind as it distracts them from the hard-hitting realities of life. Therefore, the responsibility of a filmmaker is not just to entertain, but to entertain in a progressive and ethical manner. Especially, in a country like India where Cinema and Cricket are celebrated as traditions and where this world of celluloid, to some extent, is an opinion creator too.

Hence, the craft of filmmaking is not as easy as it seems. A skilled individual filled with extreme passion can only perform this art well. Also, it is a huge business consisting of major investments. But, for beginners, there is only a set of limited essentials, required.

So, given below are the Basic Essentials and Knowledge required for Filmmaking

The Pre-Production Stage

In this stage, every aspect of the film is penned down and decided, and all the arrangements required for the production are made. Hence, before shooting a film, the following basic essentials in filmmaking need to be given a check.

1. The Budget

The budget

Yes, before even the initiating the process of filmmaking (during the development stage), it is first important to understand your boundaries, financially. Your budget is actually the most important aspect as the content of your film also depends on that.

For instance, if your film is of a low budget, you cannot shoot in different cities or may not create a set. So, you should create your story in such a way that it does not involve any location of a different city, or train or flight scene, as you cannot afford shooting at such locations.

Also, you also have to see the technical aspect of filmmaking as you cannot buy the best of technology with a limited amount of money in hand.

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2. The Idea- Basic Essentials in Filmmaking

The Idea

Once your budget is decided you can begin with the process of filmmaking. And the first of all is idea generation, which creates the foundation of the film. The idea of the film includes the basic plot, genre, characters, and the notion or emotion which you wish to portray through the film.

And not just generating an idea is enough, but staying passionate and dedicated towards the idea throughout the making is also equally important.

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3. The Script

The Script

Coming to the next important essential, is the script. This would help you understand that how to become a filmmaker.On the basis of the idea generated you need to design your story. Scriptwriting majorly consists of story formation, screenplay writing, and dialogue writing in a particular format.

The story defines your plot in the script in a detailed manner, the screenplay determines that how will the story be presented, and dialogues form the mode of communication between characters. All these three components carry equal weightage when it comes to defining a good script. It becomes the Bible for all the people associated with the film.

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4. The Equipment -How to Become a Filmmaker

Filmmaking Equipment

Do you wish to know how to become a filmmaker? Well, Filmmaking is not possible without a camera as it is a technical craft that requires the use of technology. The following equipment is necessary for making a basic film.

Camera

A video camera is the primary basic essentials in filmmaking. What you shoot with the camera is what your audience perceives making the process of shooting the most important.

The cost of a basic video camera ranges from around Rs.5000 to around Rs.50000. However, the professional filmmaking cameras are even costlier. But you need not to worry. The camera or the lenses used, only determine your picture quality and this doesn’t affect the quality of your content.

So, once you get skilled in using these basic cameras and generate some revenue out of your films, you may switch over to better cameras in the future. Above is the list of some basic video cameras available on Amazon.

Today, the beginners are even using mobile cameras for shooting films. Apple and Vivo produce the best of mobile cameras.

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Tripod

The tripod is another basic essentials in filmmaking which keeps the camera stable and move swiftly.

Tripods are important for filmmaking as, else, your shots will be shaky leading to poor picture quality and disappointing cinematography. Above is a list of some tripods available at different prices

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Microphone

Although, when it comes to feature films, dubbing is the best option in order to provide better audio quality. But, if you are a documentary maker or a YouTuber, collar microphones are also a great option.

But yes, without an external microphone it is difficult to make a good film as one cannot depend on the internal microphone of the camera.

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Reflectors And Lights (Optional)

If you have a good movie budget, reflectors and lights can act like a cherry on the cake. The work of reflectors is to redirect sufficient light by bouncing it back to the subject in case of low-light conditions. Also, they are used to block harsh or excessive light or create soft lighting.

So, you can shoot your film even if the light around is not good. Hence, it leads to good lighting conditions thereby increasing the picture quality.

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The Production Stage

In this stage, the film is actually shot.

5. Actors

Actors

Actors are responsible for giving life to a feature film. They imbibe the soul of their respective characters and make your film look real by getting into their skin. Without them, it is impossible to make a feature film.

Hence, casting the right actors in the right manner is a basic essential in filmmaking and is an art in itself.

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6. Location- Basic Essentials in Filmmaking

Location- basic essentials in filmmaking

In order to gather more information on how to become a filmmaker, understand that depending on your budget and accessibility, the locations are decided.

From finding the appropriate locations for the shoot, to fixing the dates and making schedules, everything is a part of this. For instance, if you need to shoot in a college, or at a public place you have to take some permissions from the respective authorities.

Scheduling is important for determining the time of the shoot and the duration of days up to which the film will be shot at a particular location. However, all this is done in the pre-production stage only.

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7. Costumes and Props

Costumes and Props

The costume of a character says a lot about it. It helps to define the personality of an individual, his choices, status, profession, and many other character traits. Hence, they may not be very attractive but should be made in accordance with the characterization of the role or the story of the film.

Similarly, the props, both the hand props (which the actor uses in the scene) and the set props (which form the set like furniture, etc) should be able to make the story clearer and relatable.\

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8. Other Crew Members- How to Become a Filmmaker

Other Crew Members

Apart from the actors and the director, many other people are involved in the making of a film who contribute equally in its process. In every basic film, there is a director, a bunch of actors, and a team of some crew members who ensure that the film gets shot in an efficient manner.

In a low budget film, the team could be of just two members, and on the other hand, a high-budget film may consist of hundreds of people including technicians, cinematographers, stylists, set designers, spot boys, and even choreographers.

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The Post-Production Stage

Here, in this final stage, the film shot is enhanced and given a ‘finishing touch’, in order to make it worth watching.

9. Editing- How to Become a Filmmaker

Editing

The Post-production stage majorly consists of Editing as basic essentials in filmmaking. Editing, in itself, is a great skill, and requires extreme professionalism.

Therefore, you need a proper software for editing or adding special effects.  Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects are the most popular software used for editing and adding visual effects respectively.

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10. Music

Music

Also, music is another important thing which is also, mostly a part of the post-production process. Background score adds a lot of feel to the story and is a great enhancer. Wave Lab, Sound Forge are some of the famous audio editors.

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Therefore, filmmaking is undoubtedly, not an easy craft and requires immense skill and diligence. But, if one is passionate enough, it is not at all impossible. Also, a mindful use of money and time is required in order to avoid any wastage.

There are certain filmmaking institutions in the country that teach this craft and provide degree courses for the same. So, one can enroll themselves there, if possible. If not, don’t get disheartened.

There are many other online sources available. Analyze films and learn. With limited requirements and unlimited skills, you can definitely create a masterpiece. So, go for it!

For suggestions or reviews on how to become a filmmaker, use the comment section below and describe your reading experience.


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