Arguably one of the most important aspects to creating a believable ‘world’ in a film is its production design, especially that which is seen by the camera. Set design, makeup, costumes and props, each as important to the other so that we, the audience, are really in Victorian England, or exploring other world’s on the intergalactic spaceship Prometheus.
So how can you ensure that when the viewer watches your film that they believe what they see is really happening? Well the first answer to that question is in the people around you, those that help with the concept, design and construction of the film’s world. I am currently seeking a Production Designer to help me do just this. Over the next few months I’ll be making a short film set six months after a zombie apocalypse. The world needs to be abandoned. Belongings, cars, offices, homes. Everyone has taken what they can, and left. Imagine picking up a town, shaking up it free of its inhabitants, then putting it back down. Then you’re getting into the world I’m trying to create.
Hello Film Dudes & Dudettes!
That’s right. I’m back!
It’s taken a while to narrow down my focus and work out what it actually is that I want from this filmmaking malarkey. Since my last post (years ago it looks like), I’ve gone from struggling filmmaker, determined to find an outlet through film around my soul-crushing day job (I worked in insurance), to working videographer using my storytelling and technical abilities as my day job (which is an incredible feeling in itself), but at the cost of me completing very little creative work ‘for me’.
I started 2014 determined to get back on track on my journey to becoming a filmmaker. I decided that I wanted to use this year as a platform to achieve three things:
1. Become a better filmmaker. This means make more than 1 short film a year…
2. Meet other creatives. There are far more talented people than me out there, and I want to work with them to help bring my stories to life; like never before.
3. Get my films seen! That point seems obvious, but I don’t want to make films for myself. I want to make films to entertain people. That’s hard to do if you make a short film for a film festival, wait 6 months before its seen and then put it online as an afterthought. I want people to enjoy my films, as much, and as regularly as possible.
So my focus has been to create a YouTube channel, a place to achieve all of those points above. It will be a place for me to showcase mine and others hard work, but also a place where people can come to learn about the process of filmmaking. not so much the technical or how to, but an idea on the processes involved in communicating with cast & crew to create something more than just ‘words on screen’.
So watch this space for a more updated website, follow along with me, and if you like what it is I have to say, I would be eternally grateful if you shared this post.
Thanks Guys! – Nick
Getting anyone to give up their time and work for free is difficult, especially getting a stranger to give up their time and work for free to work on a short film for an aspiring filmmaker who will likely amount to nothing. It is however, the key to creating engaging stories. I like to think that I can tell an OK story. Why would I try to be a filmmaker if I couldn’t? What I believe will help me move from creating OK stories to great stories, is by utilising the talents and skills of others involved in the process of screen production. Film/video is a collaborative process after all. Getting creative people is difficult. I’m not in the film industry, I don’t have many contacts or networks to call upon. Getting creative people for free is even more difficult. Here are my thoughts on securing the help of others if you are in the same boat:
1. To get people interested enough to be involved in whatever part of the filmmaking process that you need help with, you need to be able to back up your claims of ‘if you work with me, you will be creating a great film’. I was as transparent as possible on ‘Journey From Madness’, and presented the full script to anyone who would be interested in reading it. Local based professionals, online talent, whoever I sent it to, I went back to the story and made sure it was as good as I could get it. So..give your script one last read through.
2. Reaching people who have some creative talent and can help contribute to your project is difficult. There are however, a number of online forums that I have personally had success with. Online casting directories such as Star Now offer a great platform to post casting calls for not just acting talent, but valuable crew as well. Here is a link to my most recent casting call, with over 60 applications. In it you can see that again, I have tried to be as transparent as possible and give as much information as possible. Other venues such as vimeo give you the opportunity to browse and post videos created by the users, and you can hunt down and communicate will sorts of creative types.
3. Whilst you may not be able to arrange payment, make sure that on your shoots/during post production that your cast/crew are as comfortable as possible and get lots of food/snacks/beverages together to keep everyone going. It really keeps the morale up, and gets to have a quick chat around the eskie or coffee dispenser.
4. Have fun. This should actually be number one I think. Oh well, too late. By making it an enjoyable day for all involved, you are more likely to get better performances out of everyone, and more importantly, secure some more of their time and effort in the future should you ever need it.
There you go, four simple ideas for trying to get some more creative input into your projects.