What separates the amateurs from the professionals?  It has to be the equipment, right? This is not … [Continue Reading]

How to Frame A Shot

Without a doubt, cinema has changed.  New and old cinemas hardly have many similarities between each … [Continue Reading]

Old Vs. New Movies

Cinematography is the art of motion pictures.  It includes both the technique of shooting and … [Continue Reading]

Intro to Cinematography

How to Frame A Shot

How to Frame A Shot

Photographing Campfire

What separates the amateurs from the professionals?  It has to be the equipment, right?

This is not the case.  It is how one uses equipment that sets them apart from the rest.  Off course, no one is going to ask you to make a professional photo session, if all you have is a cheap disposable camera, but nevertheless, it is important to know that photography has plenty of science to it.

The most basic of principles for photography is called the rule of thirds.  It is the quintessential rule that all budding photographers need to know.  The rule of thirds is an imaginary grid that overlays the screen of the camera.  Now, imagine lines that break up the screen into thirds, both horizontally and vertically.  With this, you get nine equal parts.  It is divided up like a tic-tac-toe game.

This grid gives the photographer the most important part of the photo.  The four points in the middle where the lines intersect are where the human eye naturally goes when first looking at a photograph.   It is of best interest to place points of interest within these intersecting areas.  You then use the lines to guide the eye across the image. Continue reading “How to Frame A Shot” »

Old Vs. New Movies

Old Vs. New Movies

Rick Blaine Makes the Move

Without a doubt, cinema has changed.  New and old cinemas hardly have many similarities between each other in regard to plot and style.

Older film was of course in black and white, due to technological reasons.  It didn’t even have sound until the mid 1920’s; however, this is where the art was cultivated and grown.  Film was experimental and far different from anything anyone had ever seen.  We saw the rise of special effects and the artful stretch of the truth that we love to see; called special effects begin to grow.  The 1927 production Metropolis showed a fantastical world of camera illusion.  It was the first full-length science fiction film.

Films in the older days were much longer than most of today’s features.  Older films were two to three hours long; whereas, newer films are normally right around an hour and a half.

Back in the golden era of Hollywood, roughly between the 1920’s and the 1960’s, film had defined categories.  Some of the biggest genres throughout this time was film noir, musicals, westerns, and political.  Now days, some of the most popular genres are action, romantic comedy, horror, and thriller.

The people in charge of the making most of the older films were the producers or the suits.  Newer films are more controlled by the director (this is also called the auteur theory).

Older films relied heavily on their writing and the competence of the those involved in the production in order to make a great hit; whereas, newer film will use CGI and an over zealous amount of special effects. Continue reading “Old Vs. New Movies” »

Intro to Cinematography

Intro to Cinematography

Cinematography is an Art

Cinematography is the art of motion pictures.  It includes both the technique of shooting and development of film. From the flawless camera shots to the differences of movie styles, cinematography has plenty of components that need to be meshed together in order to make a proper film.

There are four basic elements of cinematography: lighting, movement, film versus digital, and perspective.

Lighting

In many people’s personal opinion, this is the most quintessential element for both photography and cinematography.  After all, without lighting, we would not have not have either of those mediums, but that goes without saying.

Lighting adds depth, tone and mood.  Noir films use low-key lighting to create a mysterious and dark setting to add to the tension that noir films love to build.  A lot of medical T.V. shows, like Scrubs or House, use flat light to convey a very sterile environment.  Sometimes, directors and cinematographers use a very creative light, like in Steven Spielberg’s 1977 production Close Encounters of a Third Kind, to convey something entirely different from out understanding.

The essential elements are Key light, back light, and fill light.  The key light is the main light directed toward the subject.   The fill light is off to the side of the subject; its goal is to soften the edges and to diminish shadows. The backlight is located behind the subject, normally hung above and out of the view of the camera.  Its goal is to create separation from the subject and the background. Continue reading “Intro to Cinematography” »

“Polishing” Your Film; The Importance Of Good Styling In Filmmaking

“Polishing” Your Film; The Importance Of Good Styling In FilmmakingNo matter how small your filmmaking budget, talented and skilled makeup artists, stylists and even professional nail technicians is an important investment. These professionals are truly artists who will help elevate the overall visual appeal of your film as well as give your characters a certain coolness factor and image hard to attain otherwise. Just as costumes and sets create the backdrop to tell your story, skilled cosmetologists and makeup artists can transform an actor’s appearance that turns a cast member into a believable character. Thiswill help give your characters image and personality and will help tell your film’s story and make it memorable.

It may be that a character needs to come off as polished and perfectly coiffed or may need to be seen as disheveled and disorganized. These artists understand the importance of details in a person’s appearance, and how small things can create an overall look that will be understood by the audience.

A character’s appearance doesn’t stop with hair and makeup application; nails are also important and can add to the overall image of a character. In the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, Uma Thurman plays the character Mia Wallace who wears a dark red nail polish called Rouge Noir by Chanel. The popularity of that film, and the image of that character, kicked off a craze for blood red dark nails and lips throughout the 1990s, with many young woman copying Mia Wallace’s manicure. The trend continue even now: makeup lineUrban Decay recently debuted a Pulp Fiction-themed cosmetic line, including lipstick and nail polish,that is inspired by Mia Wallace.  Thurman, by the way, nabbed an Oscar nomination for the now-iconic role.

“Audiences go to the movies to see a great story, but also to see characters who are visually interesting and project an image of cool,” said Michelle, a stylist and nail technician who has worked on independent films and photo shoots. “Hair, make up and nails are all an important part of a character’s image, so don’t underestimate the value of investing in those services – it will help your film achieve ‘the look’ you are hoping for.”

She advised that it’s important to get quality experts – just as you should choose professional makeup artists you also need to choose professional nail technicians who are trained and know what they are doing under pressure. If you are interested in finding professional nail technicians or in becoming one yourself, click here.

Not surprisingly, the popularity of nail polish is also linked to film, specifically the introduction of Technicolor in 1922. Films filled with bright and vibrant color made the characters come to life as never before on the silver screen, and viewers, especially the females in the audience, watched these films with stars like Rita Hayworth and her quintessential red lips and nails and decided to replicate it themselves. An extensive line of polishes quickly emerged and female finger tips have never been the same – at home or in the movies!

“Part of the reason we love movies is we love watching beautiful people do extraordinary things.”  Michelle said. “We all want to attain a piece of the coolness factor that our favorite stars have. A good movie will inspire trends that you can literally see on people lips and nails.”

Using Bullet Time To Amp-up Your Films

Using Bullet Time To Amp-up Your FilmsWhat would-be filmmaker or cinematic aficionado doesn’t remember that super-cool scene from the first Matrix movie, where Neo does a slow-motion backbend to dodge a series of bullets? It’s such a popular scene and so revolutionary when it first came out that it has become part of pop-culture and has inspired many to use the technique in their own films.

Want to know how this awesome technique works and maybe try it out yourself? While it took pioneering filmmakers a boatload of money, time and effort to create this effect in the Matrix, thanks to their prodigious work we can find easy and cheap ways to copy this technique.

To understand how bullet time works, here’s a bit of background: Normally film is projected at about 24 frames per second. In order to slow it down, you can use a technique of forcing more images into each second of film, from 24 frames per second to 120 (or more) frames per second, and then playing it back at normal speed. This allows you to capture the finest details of movement so it can be observed by the human eye.  In a nutshell, this is how you produce super slow motion effects commonly known as bullet time, which the Matrix and other movies made so popular.

Using bullet time, you can capture events that transpire in milliseconds such as the gases and projectiles escaping from an air rifle, an event that would be impossible to witness with the naked eye otherwise, but you can capture in exquisite detail using this technique. A classic example would be shooting an air rifle and piercing an object like an apple or piece of fruit. In bullet time, you canwitness not only the bullet piercing the fruit, but also the shockwave it produces propagating through the apple, destroying it.

Some do-it-yourselfers have found ways to use a ceiling fan, a GoProvideo camera, and a handful ofother bits and pieces tobypass the need for thousands of dollars worth of multiple cameras and rigging, and computer-controlled timing equipment. So we thought we’d give this a try using a slightly differently setup. My colleague, John, happens to have a Ruger’s Blackhawk.177 caliber air rifle. He is an excellent marksman and agreed to help us on our little project, which included setting up the rifle to shoot precisely through a lit candle to try to shoot the flame out. John assured us this is possible because air rifles are very accurate but not as powerful as a regular gun so you can get a great deal of precision without destroying a small object like candle.

We set up the candle in an enclosed space with a dark background so it would stand out on film. We used four cameras, but the more you can use, the better. We aimed one camera on the rifle to capture the bullet being shot, and we set up the remaining cameras on the candle itself and position one from above it to capture it at various angles.

It took some work to get the proper camera settings for recording, and then convert the footage for smooth playback. But the overall effect shows that a well-planned, well-placed slow motion shot can take ordinary footage and turn it into something remarkable that can be used to create drama, or add a “wow” factor to your film. Give it a try. One thing is certain, things just look cooler in slow motion!

A Look At The Importance Of Music In Filmmaking

A Look At The Importance Of Music In FilmmakingMusic plays an integral part in setting the tone, emotion and mood of the movie. Legendary producer Irving Thalberg once stated, “Without music there wouldn’t have been a movie industry at all.”Close your eyes and listen to the score of any popular movie and you immediately know this is true.  Try watching a horror movie without the music and you likely won’t be as scared, but listen to the music alone and you’ll probably still get chills.

For instance, if you listen to a highly recognizable movie score, like the Emperor’s March from the Star Warstrilogy, it will immediately set a tone and heighten drama. Or if you hear just the three notes on a digital piano from Close Encounters of a Third Kindit will evoke that sense of wonder of extraterrestrials and otherworldly advanced technology(This is a movie I happen to be a big fan of and always takes me back to my childhood.)

I was recently discussing movie music scores with my friend Julianne, who is a classically trained pianist and also has a background in film and cinema. She gave me an interesting insight; she said some composers prefer to create their scores the old-fashioned way, writing notes by hand, while other composers write on computers using sophisticated music composition software. She herself prefers the method of writing by hand and playing songs on a piano – in her case she prefers a digital piano as it’s smaller than a regular piano and offers features that make it easier in the development of soundtracks or movie scores.

If you look at the history of music in film, it’s quite fascinating. It turns out pianos have been used in films since the dawn of motion pictures. Before 1927, movies didn’t have sound, but live musicians, often an organist or pianist, would accompany the film in order to create drama, create character emotion and move the plot along. At first, these “talking pictures” followed the same model as the silent films, and used classical music, but as time went on directors began seeing the importance of creative original scores to fit their films. Max Steiner wrote the first completely original score for the movie King Kong in 1933, a movie which still lives on in pop culture and has been remade a number of times.  From then on, the popularity and importance of movie soundtracks grew, and now it’s a main component in how movies are produced.

But even as time goes on, the piano is still one of the most common and popular instruments used in movie music. Many classics utilize piano heavily in their scores, including: Forrest Gump, Chariots of Fire, Titanic, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, and On Golden Pond, to name a few.

Whatever method you choose to use in making your soundtrack, just remember that music is hugely important when creating the mood, tone and drama you are looking for! There are many options out there to help you, and technology is on your side, but never underestimate the importance of a beautifully played piano (whether it be a “real” piano or digital piano) in creating that the right music to fit your movie.

How To Start Filming The Great Outdoors!

How To Start Filming The Great Outdoors!Looking for a bold and courageous topic to film? Why not start with the great outdoors! We have friends who love getting out for a weekend, or even a week, to enjoy the great outdoors and go hunting, fishing, and practice archery. As any avid outdoorsmen will tell you, there are a number of cable channels and shows that focus programming on an adventurous outdoor lifestyle. Watching some of these shows inspired us to try some outdoor filming ourselves because it’s a great way to highlight the bold, enterprising and courageous lifestyle that some of us city folk aren’t as familiar with.

Many outdoorsmen and hunters dream selling their footage to a show or have grand plans of starting their own show (look at the popularity of shows like Duck Dynasty, how hard can it be?).  But it does take a few steps to prepare for capturing great action footage. We decided to follow along on a hunting trip from our friend Jon, who is a real hunter and uses both rifle and bow in his hunting methods.

The first step in getting great footage is to find the right setup. To begin, the setting must being conducive to both a good hunt and good footage. Not being able to see the buck until a split second before it enters a shooting lane might be fine on a normal hunt, but won’t do you any favors on film. Viewers want to see the star of the show, so you will need ample footage of the deer or whatever game your hunt is focused on.

Jon, who is the real hunter of the bunch,was integral in helping us set up the shot and give us insights into hunting with a bow — which is his preferred method of hunting because he like the challenge and he feels it’s a cleaner shot than a rifle. We found that it’s important to capture ample footage of the deer in order to build up the drama and excitement of the hunt. So it’s key to make sure you set up in areas where they’ll have the opportunity to capture lead footage of the animal before the shot occurs. We were able to find a great location in an open area with abundant food sources and good vantage points for shooting (both camera and bow), all surrounded by a beautiful wooded area. We also found that it’s also easiest to use autofocus as trying to do both focus and zoom while tracking an animal is difficult to say the least.

Finally, after hours of watching, the moment we all had waited for! We spotted a buck coming in to the clearing. Having already anticipated its route, we hit the record button and easily centered the animal in the frame. While tracking its progress, John lined up the shot with his bow, a PSE Coyote Recurve. The buck slowed and stopped for a moment, hovering near a thick of wild flower plants that Jon said it would like to nibble on. He was able to take out the buck with a swift, clean shot, with we were able to capture the whole thing on film.

As our excursion showed, there are huge advantages to getting your intended target on film for a period of time before the actual hunting takes place.  This is a chance for viewers to learn something, to see the story of the hunt. If it goes too fast, then there is no drama – nothing to hold the viewer’s attention.

These techniques can be utilized for a number of different outdoor filming expeditions, so go explore and have fun!

How To Film A Golf Swing

How To Film A Golf SwingGolf is one of the most popular and widely played sports – it is enjoyed by a clientele of a wide age range and social-economic status. And nearly everyone who plays golf wants to improve their game! As do I, because I love the game, but the game doesn’t always love me. Which means my swing can use some work! So I thought, why not film my own swing so I can use it to reference how to get better? I decided to give it a try, and figured that filming my own golf swing could be useful to help me improve my game, but could also help me improve some of my camera and filming techniques.

The nice thing about this filming project is it does not require a lot of high-tech equipment, you just need to follow a few guidelines about camera placement, camera settings and lighting to make your golf swing video the best it can be!

Before I even started filming, I borrowed a rangefinder from a friend who is a real golf pro. He said this would help me line up a good shot beforehand and also help me get the ball where I wanted it to go, and this would help me ensure I had a good footage for the camera.  I had never used a rangefinder before, and had no idea how helpful one could be to use.  I was really impressed with how this helped me line up my shots, and made me feel a lot better about putting my swings on film. If you are a golfer or enjoy filming golf, you might be interested in picking up a golf rangefinder for your own use – there are lots of great options out there!

Another important element is setting up your camera and making sure you have good lighting,especially if you are using an automatic shutter speed setting or sports mode on your camera. When filming golf swings – or any subject set in bright sunlight – it is best to have the sunlight shining onto the player from behind the camera. If the sun is behind the player it creates backlighting and you will get a silhouette effect where the player appears too dark to be able to see any detail. Filming at mid-day with the sun directly overhead tends to eliminate these back-lighting problems or shadowing effects. Overcast but bright days also work well as there tends to be fewer shadows or glare –this is little tip holds true for any kind of film or photography you do.

Make sure to use a tripod or a stationary mount to avoid shaky filming and to give you a better video analysis of your golf swings, especially if you plan to use line-drawing features of the video software. It’s also important to consider how far away to set up the camera from yourself (or whatever the subject is you film) – make sure you aren’t too far away or using a wide angle lens.  You also need to consider the camera height – which ideally should be about waist-high when filming golf swings. Make sure to test your shot before hand to make sure you are close up enough to get the detail of your swing, but also far enough to capture the entire arc of the shot. From my research, it seems like for standard camcorders, the proper distance is about 21 feet. But if you are using a smartphone, they typically have wide angle lens that will leave you looking like a speck on a green fairway, so you need to set up closer.

If you plan to email a copy of your video to a professional for critique or to be analyzed, you need to be aware that that video files in AVI format are quite large and may need to be compressed or converted into a more manageable file format. Make sure you get half a dozen or more swings on video, if you can in quick succession so you will have plenty of material for analyzing.

Good luck and enjoy your game – and your film making!

How To Make Your Characters Stand Out Through Costume Design

How To Make Your Characters Stand Out Through Costume DesignCreative costume design is one of the main elements you need to consider before you start filming – especially if your intended movie is set in a specific time period or location, or if the film falls within the science fiction or fantasy genre’. Costumes create interest in the characters, and help the audience recognize what the character represents; if they are good or bad, exuding sex appeal or are more shy and introverted.

I recently had a chance to peak in a small, independent sci-fi movie that was set in post-apocalyptic time that was shot in an abandoned industrial complex. It was quiet interesting to see how creative some of the costumes were, and how they really set the mood and made you feel like you were really watching something set 100 years or more in a bleak and forbidding future.

I inquired about the costumes and I was told that they were the handiwork of one of the filmmaker’s wives, Susan, who has a knack for sewing.  I chatted with her a while, and found out that after brainstorming with the director and producer, she made a number of sketches to capture some of their ideas, including of course her own creative inputs. She then perused local fabric shops for interesting fabric choices set up her trusty Juki serger sewing machine that she has been using for years.

Watching Susan work, I could tell the machine was like an extension of her, allowing her to create interesting and wearable designs that turned a normal cast member into the hero of the movie, or the dark and evil antagonist.  She said she is a tried-and-true lover of serger sewing machines, because they can be used in all levels of design (from the most simple design to the most complicated) and can handle anything you throw at them.

In a film like this one, the sky is the limit for what kind of creativity a designer chooses to express through their costumes. Sci-fi or fantasy films can give costume designers more freedom because they are creating clothes that are not worn in a real-life setting, so as long as the costumes are in keeping with the overall themes and concepts the filmmakers are going for, then the designer has more freedom when coming up with patterns and forms.

In period pieces set in a specific time or era, a great deal more research is required to make sure the costumes accurately represent what people wore at that time. A film that depicts actual historical events will be less believable if the clothes aren’t authentic to the time period. But some of my favorite costumes come from movies that cross over between fantasy and period pieces. Such movies, like Moulin Rouge, tell a story that is set in a time period, but it is not meant to be truly historically accurate. It’s more about telling a story through song, dance and costumes. These kind of movies also allow for more creativity while also needing to stay within a general genre – and the result can be quite unique and visually interesting!

Whatever your film project is about, it’s important to keep costumes in mind when developing your overall themes and ideas. Costumes are just as important as the set, music and script – they help tell your story and keep audiences watching!

How to Make a Killer Video

How to Make a Killer Video

Don’t kill anyone!

With the right video marketing technique online, you can make your business reach unbelievable heights. A well designed video marketing can help your message reach out to the target audience, grab attention in the related field and build a credibility that you can never imagine with the other marketing methods like sales pages, emails or even blog posts.

But I’ve seen many people shy away from using video marketing for their business promotion. Though if done wrong the whole thing could turn against you, it can be avoided, if you know the right way to make a killer video. Here are some important steps that I’ve found very helpful and they’ve got me some important clients. In fact the work I did for the jiu jitsu gi guide website was so much appreciated that the client gave me a stout grappling dummy.

The idea of making an online video for marketing is to reach out to your target audience easily and more quickly. For this you need the confidence and self-assurance, so you can connect and inspire people to buy what you are selling.  Whatever content you post related to your business, it’s the videos that have the greatest impact.

  • The first thing you need to do is keep in mind that you have an audience watching and listening to you and not just the camera box to which you are talking. Even if it might look bizarre initially, you need to talk to the camera, as if you are conversing or interacting with a person in front of you.
  • The next thing you need to do while talking is distance yourself away from the background. When you are plastered against a wall, it will make you look one dimensional and flat, which is not very appealing. You need to look real and for this you should put some space between you and the wall.
  • Okay, now that we have done away with the preliminaries, now it’s time to focus on the talk. What you tell in the first few seconds should be attention grabbing. Don’t start the video by saying that you want to share something or introduce yourself, which is boring. Begin the video with something that’ll get them listen to you against their will. You need cook up something energetic, motivated and compelling, so they are hooked to you instantly.
  • Let’s get into some technical stuff. You want your face to be visible and bright. For this you need the proper lighting. This doesn’t mean you’ve to invest in costly lighting. All you need to do is have natural or artificial light focused on your face, while you talk. You can take the video outside where you get good light exposure.
  • The last tip on making a killer video is you need to enjoy doing it. Though the content and words matter they do not score with the viewer as strongly as your personality. What you are and how you show yourself on screen will make a greater impact. Lighthearted conversation always makes you look more accessible than vocabulary rich speeches. If you look like you’re enjoying the entire process, those watching it will also get into the spirit of the video and like it more.

<iframe src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Le95zzre6V0″ width=”420″ height=”320″ ></iframe>

How to Shoot Underwater Video

How to Shoot Underwater Video

Feels kinda awesome

I’ve always been amazed at the underwater videos I used to watch on TV. The vivid colors, beautiful shapes and the clear waters make an enthralling picture that even now I watch these videos for hours on end. Now that I’m an expert myself in photography, the entire thing has become even dearer to me.

Recently I’d gone on a deep sea fishing trip with a few of my friends. We had a great time catching fish. Technology has improved so much in fishing too. We used sonar equipment to catch fish. The catch was quite good and since the equipment made it easy, we had plenty of time to explore the underwater flora and fauna. Since I never venture out without my camera, I decided to shoot a film.

If you’ve not done a video underwater and are afraid to do so, it’s actually easy if you’ve the right equipment. The underwater scenery with the corals, rocks, caves and new species take on a vivid and alluring effect on the video. Here are some basics on making underwater video.

  • To take an underwater video, you need to know scuba diving. Though snorkeling is sufficient to take some underwater shots, close angles and clearer pictures are possible only when you have the proper scuba diving experience. Free diving has benefits like the absence of bubbles that scare sea life, but staying down for longer periods is possible only with scuba diving.
  • You need to have proper protection for your equipment. There are special camera housings that keep your camera protected, while taking shots underwater. There are digital, mechanical or blend of both types. Mechanical housing are better as the parts can be replaces easily, if something gets damaged provided you keep the switches and buttons in good working condition.
  • You need to get acclimatized to the underwater surrounding first. Since you need clear and tranquil waters to take good shots, you should have good underwater balancing skill. You need to take care of your equipment, see where you are moving to and also capture the scenery in front of you. This needs quite a bit of maneuvering.
  • The underwater colors should also be considered. As you go deep, the colors are absorbed by water and you would not get the right color. To prevent this, you can add a colored filter, mostly red, as it is the first color to go. Another way to tackle the color issue is to have underwater lights. Since in deep water you don’t get any sunlight, the lights are needed any way.
  • While choosing the underwater lights for video, look for energy efficient light s like LEDs. Make sure you get stronger lights that spread out the light widely, so you don’t get circles in you video. While professional lights come as a package, so can be fitted easily to the camera, when you get the lights separately you need to think of a mounting for the lights.
  • While taking the shots white balance needs to be adjusted to compensate the light factor. Having a white slate handy will help you for white reference as you may have to do it several times underwater. Manual focus and getting a more horizontal and upward angle for the shots will make them look more natural.

Filming Short Films and Winning Competitions

Filming Short Films and Winning Competitions

Creative Job

There’s a whole lot of difference between making a short film for viewing and shooting a film for a competition. While there are no set rules regarding what makes a short film competition material some people believe that it mostly depends on the rules the exhibitors set. Though this may be vexing, there is still hope for budding film makers as not all exhibitors have the same rules. So what one rejects will be promoted by another.

I myself had experimented on making short movies some time back. I had made a movie on the importance of wearing top crossfit shoes like Nanos 4.0 and apparel. The movie featured crossfit devotees explaining on the various benefits of crossfit wear. The movie was appreciated well and I also managed to earn a few dollars with the motivational movie. The point I’m trying to explain is there is money to be made in short movie making. You can win competitions and also earn some money in the process.

Here are some tips that I’ve gleaned, while I made the movie and from some of the short film experts I’d had the opportunity to meet with. While some are basic tips that you may probably know already, there are others that will help you out in your endeavor.

  • Emphasize on the concept – Since the time span here is very short, you need to be as precise and concise as possible. Don’t bother with the elaborate set up as in a movie; instead, try to have a well-defined narrative.
  • Not too short – Though this may seem contrary to what I’ve said earlier, don’t make the film so short that it does not make sense. You need to look best with what you can come up with in the short span provided for the film and most probably with little or no capital at all.
  • Don’t go overboard on expenses – Since it is a short film, you need to consider practicalities when using hi-fi equipment. The use of expensive equipment is not necessary. A well-portrayed film will attract more attention than all the filmy gimmicks you resort to.
  • Choosing equipment – For shooting on the hoof a Canon 5D or 7D would suffice. The footage you need can be taken with appropriate lighting and without much fuss. Make sure you’ve backup memory cards and fully charged batteries with you. This is more than sufficient for taking shots, while you are moving around. For static shoots, you need Digital cameras like Red or an inexpensive brand along with the right lighting fixtures.
  • Know your limits – You need to factor in the time involved for making the shots as waiting till you get the shot you’ve dreamed of would be a total waste of time. Consider your deadline and try to improvise as much as you can.
  • Conform to the brief –While planning the narrative, make sure the shots convey everything you need to say as it’s the visuals that create the most impact.

Every competition has its own format and rules. Ensure you are aware of all of them and create your film accordingly. Last minute interruptions because of not adhering to a particular rule may spoil the whole thing.

How to Start Filming Wild Nature

How to Start Filming Wild Nature

Beautiful Scenery

There are many ways to make money. You don’t always have to hold a ‘nine to five’ job to satisfy your money needs. I’ve seen many people building a successful life out of their hobbies. This is what I reiterated to my friend who has his own home based plant growing business. He loves growing plants and spends quite a lot of time with them. His interest has increased manifold in the past few years and he has made many improvements to his green business.

State- of- the -art features need not be confined to high profile businesses alone. He uses efficient indoor grow lights to give his plants more nourishments and health. In fact he’s so happy with the growth of his plants that he has started pondering over the idea of photographing his plants and selling the videos. It seems one of his clients who regularly buys plants from him suggested this idea. It has taken root in his mind and since I’m interested in photography he asked for my help.

There are many ways to make your mark in the film making field. While most of these are based more on chance and luck, I know a few that are effective when done in the appropriate and dedicated manner. Here are five things that can guarantee you a head start in film making.

1. Love for nature is a Must

Having an innate passion for nature and its bounties is vital for building a career in wild nature filming. If you don’t possess this the chances of making it big is not possible. Coming back to nature filming, it’s not sufficient if you love nature, you need to have an in depth knowledge about wildlife, preferably a direct experience on the wildlife present worldwide and some basic geographical knowledge too.

2. Television is your classroom

Though this may seem a far-fetched idea, it is actually a highly effective way to hone your wildlife filming skill. Make it a habit of watching channels like National Geographic and Discovery Animal Planet. Record the wildlife shows that are telecast regularly and study all the aspects of the filming from production, sound, script to scientific content, animal characteristics, music etc. other than the photography, of course.

This is in short like attending a photography course for free. You can create your own style, know your preferences, improve on what has been done already and also keep up with the trends.

3. Educate yourself

Internet is an excellent medium for educating you on any topic you want. Browse through the various websites present on wild life film making. Become a member of all the notable filmmakers’ associations.

4. Hone your talent

You need to have basic computer skills like surfing, emailing, using the different software like Adobe Photoshop, video and website editing, desktop publishing etc. Good communication skills and planning your film budget and the production details are some of the other skills you should develop. Camera equipment, sound recording and picture editing skills are important, if you want to do a professional job.

5. Connections are vital

Knowing all the big names in the industry is must to get exposure for your film. Whether you want your name to be known or you are selling any product or trying to land a big opportunity, it helps to network and have the necessary connections. This will tip the scales in your favor mostly.