Everything starts with an idea, which you believe is extraordinary.
Write a script, define your characters and their goals clearly, let the characters push their limits to achieve their goals. A good opening, intermission and a good climax will always be remembered and cherished. Embed contrast in all aspects. Remember your movie is not just a video. Audio / sound is an equal 50% of your movie. Rope in your sound designer in the script stage to guide you on a sound consultation. Find an editor you can trust and trust his decisions always as long as your vision is being worked on.
Title your script and make a script that justify the title. A right casting for the characters solve most of your headache. A good casting makes a watchable movie. Seriously. Try to avoid casting your friends and neighbours unless you find the perfect fit. While doing the above it is a must to keep a candid check on the budget you might require. Find ways to fund your project.
Make sure you rope in a producer who believes your vision, encourages your efforts, stand with you no matter what, respects artists, pay them promptly, committed to release the project on time and be a friend with you forever. Most importantly, you must be true and committed to your producer. ‘Honesty’ !
Get the right crew and technicians who understand your vision. Design your own workflows.
Scout locations that is unique as much as your script is unique. Plan shoot dates well.
A quality make-up artist should be your best buddy. Just trust me blindly on this.
Go ahead a do all you can to shoot the script with clear sound, get the best performances out of your cast and unleash the creativity of all technicians, have a blast. Shoot like an editor, shoot what you only need, maybe a little bit more. Allow your cinematographer to shoot some montages that you may or may not require.
Don’t forget to enjoy your work every single day and cherish your moments. Never forget to capture the making of your movie.
Backup and secure the footage. Life saver. Once your production is over, take a break and get into the post production mode. Forget everything your did while shooting. Now the screen and your ear is what make your movie.
Edit your footage. Editing is storytelling. Edit while keeping the sound in mind. Now the editor is your hero. Let him be the hero. You did your best. Let him do his best. Make a single cut the final cut. Do not hesitate to cut something that hinders your storytelling. Take bold decisions and believe it. Once you are happy. Lock it. Of course, be ready to unlock it if the need arises.
Bring your actors to the studio to capture/dub their voices, synced to the performances if you have not captured the live / Sync sound during the shoot professionally.
Time for some music. Go ahead and spot your movie for good places to add music. Remember music is like a doctor’s consultation if you do not know the job, Let the musicians take care of their work and do some magic. Be with them and enjoy the background score. Learn the process of music making for a better knowledge for your next project. Get the individual tracks. You might want to re edit to suite the music. Watch your movie with the music and you might come up with some great ideas to adjust your edit to elevate your story telling.
Now comes the world of sound. Remember music and sound design are different. Sounds need to be added by your sound engineers who recreate the location sounds, sounds of the performances of your actors(foley), additional sound FX and More. As I said sound makes an equal 50% of your movie. Be patient and work with critical care. Mixing is the process of being the dialogs, music and sound on the appropriate levels so that your movie is enjoyable. A bad video can sometimes be tolerated but never a bad sound. Never mix the sound in competence with the loudness war. Let the background score be on the background and not the foreground. Mix the foley sounds to a level that can just be heard if you concentrate. That’s the beauty of foley. Mix in surround format. Soft sounds must be soft and loud sounds must be loud and the dynamic range between them must be maintained to have an enjoyable experience. Always keep in touch with all the sound technicians, invite them for your preview. Do not forget them.
Go ahead and meet a colourist who can colour your picture to suit the projection standards and also to make the footage visually right.
Finish off Vfx additions if needed & embed the same with sound, on the master project. Add title credits to all the people who have helped you. Give appropriate credits to your technicians & actors. Build the right title animation that suits your story. Watch your movie with your technicians to look critically for any technical glitches and correct them immediately. Sit back, relax and enjoy your movie yourself. Feel elevated and proud that you are a filmmaker. Your film must satisfy you primarily. Get a graphic designer to make a poster that pulls the audience to watch the movie. Cut out a Teaser and a Trailer that best markets your movie. Now watch your movie again with your producer. Take his feedback. Implement it if it is meaningful to you else convince him that your decisions are better. Call your team and your well wishers to watch your movie privately. You will start to hear the other side of the world. Keep yourself cool. Take a break. If you find a sensible / convincing feedback, implement it. You are the judge now. Be strong and make right decisions. Trust your gut feeling. Never sell your vision. Finally, deliver the master file to your producer with all additional versions and sound tracks, to sell the movie to different parts of the world. Thank your producer, market and bring out the movie as a team.
You did the best you could in the available resource and time. You learnt. Most importantly, You enjoyed your work. Life is a learning curve. Keep learning and keep doing what you love. Take a break and build your next great idea !
~ An Article by Arunkanth ~