Filmmaking Tips

If you are new to filmmaking or are just looking for some more information on filmmaking before you take the leap and join the ranks of millions filmmakers, there are 9 key steps you’ll need to take to make your first film. This article will give you 9 filmmaking tips that are taught in film colleges around the world.


You’ll need a basic idea or concept before your movie ever takes production. This will include a plot, a storyline, characters and the location where your movie takes place. The best way to do this is write down your ideas on a piece of paper. Write down all the details, big and small. Then sort them out into topics and main ideas. This piece of paper will become your script and you can build off of that.


After you have developed your concept, start putting your script together. Keep in mind that a script is not just dialogue. The script includes the location, what’s taking place and basically gives the overall mood of the movie. Script writing is the longest part of filmmaking, believe it or not. Don’t get frustrated if your script changes along the way, that’s normal. Even for major filmmakers.


This is the fun part of filmmaking. After you have finished the script, put the scenes on storyboards. This will allow you to visualize the movie. You may need to hire an illustrator for this, but it’ll be worth it.


Yes, you’ll need some funds to put your movie together. If this is your first stab at filmmaking, then you’ll probably just pool together your own money along with the people you are working with. However, if you expect a studio to fund your film then you’ll have to follow these three guidelines: have a professional presentation, have a unique script and make sure your film is marketable.


Now that funding is out of the way, you can focus on the location of your movie. Brainstorm a list of possible locations then check the sites to see if you need a permit to shoot a movie there. Many sites will require permits so don’t be surprised at this.


At times this can be a challenging part of filmmaking. Once you have your site location set, you’ll need to hire your cast. Many times you can post an ad in the paper online directories. A great place to start is at colleges. Colleges usually have a drama club and you can hire college kids pretty cheap.


Keep in mind this is not some big production like Star Wars alright? You don’t need all the high tech equipment that Hollywood uses. But at minimum you should have a decent camera, lights, sound equipment, props, costumes and set pieces. Don’t go overboard on this or you’ll break the bank.

Start Filming

This is where the rubber hits the road in filmmaking. A film can be made in as little as 6 weeks, or as long as 6 months. For your first film, you should have it ready within two months. That’s a good goal to shoot for.


You may have six hours of footage for a 90 minute film. Don’t panic. The editing process is where the film becomes a movie. Take your time on this. You might want to add visual effects to your movie – for this, check VFX LA. Make sure to review and edit all your scenes until the movie is to your liking.