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Starting a short


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#1 Nick Seferos

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:01 PM

I am a high school student in a film production class. My teacher really seems to see talent and potential in me so she is having me do a short. I have almost all of the pre production done but I have no idea what I should be doing as far as production goes. I have all of my equipment ready and some of my crew. How do I get actors? Keep a schedule and most importantly how to get cheep lighting? Any advice would be great, Thanks Nick

Edited by Nick Seferos, 25 February 2011 - 02:01 PM.

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:32 PM

Getting actors really depends on the nature of your story and the characters involved. You could check some drama groups or societies to see there are possible actors there. Auditioning is important, so you need to be careful in your casting of the actors for parts. The right actor may not be the larger than life character and film acting is different to stage acting.

Schedule wise, don't be too ambitious in how much you want to shoot each day and allow for meal breaks, travel time and the need to load and unload at each location change.
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#3 Jon Amerikaner

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 01:27 PM

I am a high school student in a film production class. My teacher really seems to see talent and potential in me so she is having me do a short. I have almost all of the pre production done but I have no idea what I should be doing as far as production goes. I have all of my equipment ready and some of my crew. How do I get actors? Keep a schedule and most importantly how to get cheep lighting? Any advice would be great, Thanks Nick


First, it's great your teacher is encouraging you. You should take every opportunity to film. Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

Step back a bit though. You aren't quite done with pre if you have little idea about production or actors...usually your first steps after writing, even before crew.

With that said, realize that you are going to make mistakes, and it's okay. We all do. This is the time to do it.

I highly recommend 3 books that, in my opinion, really encompass the basis of great filmmaking without getting too specific on individual crafts. These books are: Screenplay by Syd Field, Making Movies by Sydney Lumet, and In The Blink Of An Eye by Walter Murch.

They are short reads, they are good reads, and they are essential for any filmmaker of any age with any experience and in any field.

Cheap lighting. That's another matter...
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#4 Nathan Blair

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:27 PM

I hope I'm not late in the game here, but I noticed no one answered the cheap lighting question and I thought I'd give some suggestions...

Cheap lighting depends on your definition of cheap... Professional lights cost, at minimum $135 a piece, maybe for some Lowell Totas. They're great... basic lights... but pretty hard to control. Also check out the "hardlight fixture series" at www.coollights.biz

If you just simply want to get the scene lit and don't have $500 to spend on a couple of Tota lights and stands, then consider getting some of those really cheap reflector clamp lights at Home Depot or Lowes. You can use 150w bulbs in them, and the reflectors allow for pretty decent directionality, so you can sort of sculpt your lighting just a bit with them. I've used them before when I had nothing else to work with.

For light stands check this out: http://www.instructa...nd-for-Under-5/

There are tons of "DIY" tutorials for any film equipment you can't afford, but would be willing to build yourself. They are also kinda fun projects to get into B)

For outdoor scenes, you can use foam insulation sheets, also found at most Home Depots and Lowes. They usually have a white side and a shiny side. Use the shiny side reflect light where needed. Use the white side for a softer fill.

Good luck with your shoot!

Edited by Nathan Blair, 08 March 2011 - 11:30 PM.

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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:39 AM

For a one off production I'd rent lights, or if your school has theatre lights check those out, although the problem with these can be getting stands and/or the connections.

If you're renting, check getting insurance through your school, also be enthusiastic and responsible about learning about lights at the rental company and see if they'll do a deal on the rental over say a weekend.
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Glidecam

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Aerial Filmworks

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

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