It Wasn’t A Sequel To Begin With
November 29, 2012 – 18:32 | No Comment

My 3rd novel wasn’t meant to be a sequel to the 2nd novel in the first place. Then something happened. Characters began to beg to be included in the story. Thus, a sequel was born.

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Home » Media & Arts, Production

5 Steps To Filmmaking

Submitted by on August 13, 2009 – 23:144 Comments

Many people think that having an idea is all it takes to filmmaking. While most editing process can be done digitally, the basic filmmaking process applies across the globe. You don’t usually step into scene and start filming aimlessly. Scripts need to be written, storyboards sketched and visual directions confirmed. A big idea is just the starting point of creating a film.

Here are the five basic steps to creating a film.

1. The Script
Whether the film is a silent one with no dialogue or one filled with conversations, producing it need to start with a script. Although most directors leave room for actors to improvise, a script acts as a guideline for actors to understand characters and plots. Some directors, like Wong Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love) is prone to changing his script and prefers his cast to create dialogues as they go along, but a script is necessary, nonetheless, and it can take years to develop.

2. Crew & Cast
Usually, a screenwriter’s job is done after the script is written. Once it is submitted to the producer, the script is officially out of the writer’s hands. The producer then makes changes according to his or her preference, and chooses the director and crews to work on the project before holding an audition to select the cast. However, not all actors need to be auditioned and not all directors will cast their actors through an audition.

3. Cameras & Storyboards
Besides the story script, another set of script is needed before filming could take place. It’s known as Shooting Script which includes scene breakdowns and technical notes such as camera angles, lighting, prop placement, audio notes and location lists. The film director will then develop storyboards – equivalent to a comic book for the film – which shows how the film will look like visually.

4. Production
With the script and storyboards in hand and a good cast, you’re ready to create and start shooting the film. This process can take months though ironically, it’s only two hours onscreen. The cast and crew can spend more than twelve hours on the set just to film a four-page script. Bear in mind that filming costs a lot. It’s important to identify your budget and work with it.

5. Post-production
This is the most important stage as it creates the rhythm of the final film. There are three things involved in the post-production process: film editing and correction, re-shoots and marketing. As sound is recorded separately during filming, it needs to be synched up at this stage at the post-production office. Sometimes, certain scenes require re-shooting sessions if the story doesn’t seem to blend properly after editing. While the film editor and director edits the unnecessary footages and puts the story together, the marketing team goes out to negotiate distribution deals and work out strategies to promote the film.

So there you go – five simple steps to producing your first short film. Filmmaking is essentially an art that demands lots of talent and hard work. Award-winning films are made with lots of money and a large, knowledgeable crew. But ultimately, regardless of how well-made a film is, it will be useless if one is not savvy about marketing and gaining an audience. It is after all, a business.

If you are inspired to be a filmmaker or be part of the filmmaking process, you should stop talking about it and get involved. The best way is to work in a real production as a crew or production assistant because that will provide you with the right training and exposure. Or if you are looking at making short films for fun, you could always pick up the digital video camera. In today’s digital era, it is relatively easy to produce one. Get creative!

Originally written by Gina Yap Lai Yoong © 2009

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