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Basic Tips For Student Filmmakers

By Eliza Mendoza

People who study film are usually passionate about it. They want to know about the process, both in theory and in practise. However when it comes to breaking into the film industry passion is not enough. With a few simple tips it is possible for student filmmakers to build up experience and to give themselves the best chance of making it in the film industry.

The good thing is that the tools needed to make films are now much less expensive and far more accessible than in recent years. Whereas people would previously have to buy a lot of expensive film and rent unwieldy video cameras nowadays people can use relatively cheap cameras and shoot digitally. Furthermore it is a lot easier to view and watch footage so you can avoid wasting time reshooting scenes that do not need to be reshot.

However with a bit of inventiveness and budgeting you would be surprised what you are capable of on a limited budget. How you get that budget depends on what is available in your local area. A good example of entrepreneurial inventiveness in this respect is the director Robert Rodriguez.

The truth is that the best directors are often passionate about film themselves. A good example was the French New Wave of the Sixties. Influential directors such as Jean Luc Goddard learned their craft by studying and critiquing other filmmakers before then using that knowledge to apply it to their own movies to create a distinct visual language that took those influences and created something new.

While watching a film hundreds of times may not be necessary it is still a good idea to watch with a critical eye. Think about why a scene is effective. As well as lighting, camera work and other practical elements look at the actors and how expressive they are. In some cases a look or a gesture can be as effective as pages of dialogue.

The truth is that it is unlikely you will produce an instant hit. There is an old joke about how the people who become overnight successes took twenty years to get there. While this is intended as a joke there is a serious point in that people often see the finished product as opposed to the amount of work that went on behind the scenes.

While the theory is important practise is vital too. As well as making your own work during a course it helps to get work experience as well. Whether it is other student productions or a professional film set you can learn more about the craft of making a film. Furthermore it is a good way to establish connections that are often useful when it comes to making your own productions.

In simple terms being student filmmakers does not begin and end with the course you work on. It is worth looking online to find various accredited local courses as well as more information about who runs them and how much is theory and practise. This will allow you to find the ideal school to help you develop your skills and prepare you when it comes to creating your own masterpieces.

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