Youtube Saturday: Looking at sound in Film

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

It’s been a while since my last post, but it’s finally back. This week’s youtube saturday is focused squarely on sound in films. This isn’t just limited to film scores, but dialogue, sound effects, atmospheric noise, and tips on how to get these best. But anyway, on with the show!

Read the rest of this entry »


Free filmmaking

Do not pass go, do not collect £200

Filmmaking can be expensive. Even free filmmaking that we do, we absorb any costs ourselves – such as acquiring equipment and the like. But I’d like to outline how you can make your own videos – without virtually any cost.

First of all, detail what equipment you have. This will in turn tell you what you can do. Don’t have a camcorder? What about a regular camera that can take moving image video. Don’t have one of those either? Mobile video phone? Webcam? How about doing an animation then? Being able to get footage is the first step to making a video. You can try and get royalty free footage, but be careful! There can be charges that you hadn’t thought of!

A webcam - as long as it can take video, you can make a film!

Second of all, figure out your idea. If you’re limited with resources, this usually allows innovation and creativity – camera phones aren’t very good quality, especially for making a film, but if the film incorporates the idea that the footage is taken on a mobile, it’s fine. What do I mean by this? Well, if you’ve only got a mobile phone to make movies with, you could do a film about a character trying to track down a monster, recording all the details using his mobile phone. Same goes with a webcam – they’re very useful for blogging, so why not a film where a blogger descends into madness over the course of a year because he’s a moderator and main person of a conspiracy site? In fact, that sounds like the beginnings of an entertaining film, if you ask me!

Third, just because you don’t have professional equipment, doesn’t mean you have to look unprofessional. Read up on techniques of filmmaking – see what you can come up with! Use polystyrene and kitchen foil for reflectors, lamps for lights and such. Voice recording? On board mics are usually bad, because they don’t get a clear enough sound. How about you re-dub in the editing – use the onboard microphone, or use a headset, etc…

Anything that can produce light... You get the drill!

There’s plenty of free video editing software out there – Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, etc… Use the lack of resources as an advantage – see how good you can make something look just using any means you currently have. I used to edit together music videos using tracks from CD’s and video game footage either gained through the internet or by downloading software that could read disks themselves – and I used Windows Movie Maker to edit them. Everyone starts somewhere, and you don’t have to spend any money to actually acquire an interest in filmmaking.

The timeline of Windows Movie Maker - not the best editing suite, but it'll do!

Distribution is actually easier now than every before, with sites like youtube, veoh and other video steaming sites. Not to mention having on your mobile phone, laptop, burning your own DVD, etc.. Hand a copy out to a friend, then tell them to give it to someone else to watch, rinse and repeat.

Fast, easy and you can get feedback! What more could you ask for?

Everything within filmmaking can be done for free, from pre to post production and beyond. Just make sure you read up on filmmaking first – there’s an excuse for poor equipment, but there is none for poor filmmaking.