Making a professional looking movie is no longer a pipe dream for the average person. Anybody can make a movie of any length for just a few thousand dollars. Obtaining access to a decent quality, high definition video camera is no longer the hurdle it once was. You can rent, borrow or purchase cameras fairly easily. After getting one, next comes actually making the movie. Once you’ve started, there are a few things that you can take into consideration during preproduction and production that will make your film stand out from the rest.
1. Perfect the script. If it’s your own or someone else’s, the script is likely to get rewritten to some extent during the production process. Cut down on this by proofreading it several times prior to productions. Have a reading to make sure you can flesh out the script far ahead of camera time.
2. Buy or rent a decent quality lighting kit. One thing that will immediately make a film stand out as “low quality” or “home made” is the lighting. Make sure to get filters with your kit. Test and set up lighting well before shooting time.
3. Buy or rent some external microphones. Sound quality is a big thing to consider when making an independent movie. You won’t get your film into most festivals, even if it’s the best script ever written, if the audience cannot hear what the actors are saying.
4. Get a cast and crew who are willing to work for little to no money. Check references and make sure these people are still willing to show up every day. One thing that can kill a shoot is people dropping out in the middle of production, whether it is cast or crew. Make sure everyone knows up front you can’t pay very much. Add any other incentives possible, including a producer cut of the profit if it makes any.
5. Create a clear shot list. Give this to the director of cinematographer well before he has to set things up for the shoot. Knowing what you want will help the shoot go smoothly.
6. Communicate well with all involved throughout the process for a successful shoot. Let people know how much you appreciate the hard work they are putting in for your vision. Compliment the actors on jobs well done, yet let them know what needs to be altered for your vision to be achieved. Clear communication will make for a successful production.