Learn Basics to Becoming a Film Maker
Film Making Start With a Good Story
To begin with, in a nutshell, filmmaking is broken down into three parts. Pre-production, Production, and Post-production. Distribution is the last part, way down on the timeline and doesn’t come into play until everything is in the can. However, if you are ever going to get to distribution you willneed to spend a great deal of time in the Pre-production phase. There are times when you don’t have that luxury, especially if you are shooting on the fly, but more often than not a film can take years to make. This can keep it in the Pre-production process much longer. If I was to write about filmmaking, and I am (wink), I guess I would have to start with the script, story, or concept.Screenwriting is usually split into three different styles. They are: narrative (linear), non-linear, and documentary. Narrative stories follow a timeline taking the story from beginning and moving chronologically to the end. Non-linear is the opposite of chronological. An example of a non-linear is the movie “Momento” or “Pulp Fiction”. These directors chopped up time and used time sequencing to throw theviewer off balance. While non-linear has gained popularity, it seems that the narrative film is the more enduring style. It is much more difficult for folks to figure out what is going on in the non-linear format, that may be one of the reasons it is used. The third format would simply be, documentary. This is a real-time reality presentation letting the facts present themselves with little or nodirection or editing. Documentary is different from Narrative in that the director works to keep from manipulating the production as little as possible. Narrative film is all about the director manipulating a scene to illicit certain reactions from the viewer, therein lies the difference between the two. Depending on the story you are telling, you will choose the best format to use. While thenarrative and linear may have traditional scripting, you may have to refer to an interview script in the documentary format. This may simply be a list of questions to be asked, usually by an off camera interviewer, allowing the subject/talent to drive the dialog. Many times there is no real dialog to script except for the questions an interviewer will ask. Much of documentary film is done by showingup and filming things as they are happening with some narration to explain to the viewer what they are watching. There was a type of documentary films referred to Cinema Veritέ. This means “cinema truth” in French and of course was made popular by the French in the 1950’s. This was done as an effort to remove artifice from film to allow a more truthful depiction of a story. In Veritέ the camera isto be merely set up and turned on. Additionally there is to be as little editing as possible. The theory being that even the act of editing a film is
manipulating the true representation of what is really (truthfully) happening. Hey, these guys would have loved Reality TV, but at the time (1950’s) Veritέ was considered cutting edge.So now you need an idea, a concept, an inspiration. If you want to make film you have to have a story or two in you, so if you don’t already have a story itching to get out, then you need to brainstorm. The word brainstorm means that your brain puts out, literally, a storm of energy with all the ideas pouring out like swollen rain gutters. This will happen somewhere after your first cup of coffeeon a Sunday morning or in the shower, maybe even on a street corner. You got into the idea of filmmaking because to some extent you must be a creative person. So, I recommend lots of caffeine and your favorite conditions for daydreaming. Your most comfortable chair, and a good computer are always good, but inspiration can come at inconvenient times when you are away from the comfort of your own...