Jump to content


Photo

First steps a student should take to become a serious filmmaker

Student Filmmaker

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Vinicius Marconcin

Vinicius Marconcin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Student
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:10 PM

Hi, Im a new member to this site and the world of filmmaking so I would like some experienced individuals teach me what a good first step would be to take

Edited by Vinicius Marconcin, 24 September 2018 - 04:10 PM.

  • 0

#2 Michael LaVoie

Michael LaVoie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 771 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:26 PM

A good first step is to think of specific questions you would like to pose to the forums various members and then go through the site and search if threads have already been created that answer those questions.  You may find a lot of useful information that way.  Good luck.


  • 0

#3 Macks Fiiod

Macks Fiiod
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1554 posts
  • Director
  • Og from DC, Now in NJ

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:37 PM

A huge first step is the willingness to make the hobby your life. Millions of others are in the same place you are. Maybe only a few thousand of those millions are willing to go all in.


  • 1

#4 Vinicius Marconcin

Vinicius Marconcin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Student
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:44 PM

A huge first step is the willingness to make the hobby your life. Millions of others are in the same place you are. Maybe only a few thousand of those millions are willing to go all in.


Thank you for the advice, I feel as if I have the passion to take this all the way, I guess a more specific question would be what should I start shooting with and what should I shoot?
  • 0

#5 Macks Fiiod

Macks Fiiod
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1554 posts
  • Director
  • Og from DC, Now in NJ

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:47 PM

Thank you for the advice, I feel as if I have the passion to take this all the way, I guess a more specific question would be what should I start shooting with and what should I shoot?

Whatever camera you can get your hands on that allows manual control of focus, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and color temperature.


  • 0

#6 Vinicius Marconcin

Vinicius Marconcin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Student
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:50 PM

Whatever camera you can get your hands on that allows manual control of focus, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, and color temperature.


What is your opinion of shooting with an iPhone 8 with a stabilizer?
  • 0

#7 Macks Fiiod

Macks Fiiod
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1554 posts
  • Director
  • Og from DC, Now in NJ

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:51 PM

What is your opinion of shooting with an iPhone 8 with a stabilizer?

Eh.. Does those have control of all the things I mentioned? If not then I don't like iPhone for learning.


  • 0

#8 Vinicius Marconcin

Vinicius Marconcin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Student
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

Posted 24 September 2018 - 04:57 PM

Eh.. Does those have control of all the things I mentioned? If not then I don't like iPhone for learning.


Why are those things you mentioned so important to. Filmmaker?
  • 0

#9 Macks Fiiod

Macks Fiiod
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1554 posts
  • Director
  • Og from DC, Now in NJ

Posted 24 September 2018 - 05:02 PM

Why are those things you mentioned so important to. Filmmaker?

Learn what they are and you'll know why.


  • 0

#10 Vinicius Marconcin

Vinicius Marconcin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Student
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

Posted 24 September 2018 - 05:05 PM

Learn what they are and you'll know why.


Ok thank you for all youre advice
  • 0

#11 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20303 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 September 2018 - 05:17 PM

If you want to be a director without handling the duties of cinematography, then perhaps having all-manual control over the camera settings is less important, however, in principle, the reason you want that is that the image is part of your toolkit as a filmmaker, and do you really want a machine to be making decisions for you as to how the image looks?  

 

Making a scene dark or bright or cold or warm, or putting the focus here instead of there, are all creative decisions so you need to wrestle control over these elements.

 

If an iPhone is all you really have and can afford, then it's better than nothing, and there are some apps that allow you more manual control though nowhere near enough.  You'd be better off getting a digital still camera that shoots video with some manual controls over the image.  At some point, you'll also have to deal with audio, though I got my start by shooting silent Super-8 short films with music added in post.  Just seemed that writing dialogue, doing sound recording and sound editing were all a bit more than I wanted to master right at the start, and I figured I'd become a stronger visual storyteller if I avoided the crutch of dialogue to propel the narrative.  Plus it took (some of) the curse of having non-actor friends acting in my shorts.

 

My general philosophy was, and still is: read about movies, watch movies, and then make movies, applying what you learned by reading about and watching movies.  Repeat forever and ever.

 

I learned by doing very short, short films with simple goals in each -- one, for example, was all about creating mood in b&w using silhouettes as often as possible, another was all about intercutting two simultaneous events to build to a climax, etc.  The idea was to keep them short and manageable, not try to make an epic at the first go (though my very first Super-8 short film was an attempt to tell the story of the Trojan War in the style of Monty Python!)


  • 1

#12 Jon O'Brien

Jon O'Brien
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 536 posts
  • Other
  • Brisbane

Posted 25 September 2018 - 06:53 AM

Do you want to stay digital, or get into film? If the latter, I'd save up money and get started straight into that if you can. The sooner the better. Buy a cheap Super 8 camera and a reel of film. If it's got a zoom, zoom in close for each shot, focus carefully, then zoom out and frame the shot before pressing the run button. Exposure should be automatic. Keep your pans and tilts slow enough if you want clarity of image. Best to get a cheap tripod and use a mix of tripod and hand held shooting. Hand held is better with wide angle. As David says, read a lot, and watch a lot. Learn about telling a story with image. Learn the time honoured basics before knowing what rules to break, and why. You don't need sound to get started if you're shooting film. Learn about simple things like avoiding a jumpy look (eg. from the well-known 'jump cut', a fault of shot length and in-camera editing style really). Tell a story with moving pictures. Make some of the shots nice and long. Others can be shorter to save film, but if all the shots are too short the look will be choppy, like literature that has a series of sentences that are too short. So for instance at a wedding, do a nice long shot, probably best on a tripod, of the bride walking to the altar. That calmly sets up the scene. From there, try as best you can to edit in camera. Anyway, just some thoughts for getting started. These are the basics that I was taught at the very beginning, from the books I read. Most of all, do what you are interested in. That will guide you.


  • 1



The Slider

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Glidecam

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Glidecam

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post