#1
Hey all. Three friends and I have entered an amateur/fun film-making competition. It is called "The 48 Hour Film-Making Challenge" and we pick a genre of film out of a hat and have to make a film on that genre in 48 hourse. The film has to be between 1 and 7 minutes in length. The genres range from Horror to Sci-Fi to Mockumentary, so we have no idea what we're going to get, but we still want to have some tips/tricks and ideas up our sleeve. As well as an idea of some problems we could face or just any general info. There is a total of $100,000 worth of prizes. Although I am not expecting our team to do very well (this is our first time anyway), it would still be nice to produce something that is quite good. So I ask you, do you have any tips on making low-budget, just-for-fun films? Any stories of what can/will go wrong? Any tips on what time of day to shoot, how to write the script at, or just any info or experience you have is most welcome. Please just post anything that could possibly help our little team compete a tiny bit better.

Thank you very much for your time.
You are like a hurricane
There's calm in your eye.
And I'm gettin' blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I'm getting blown away.
#6
do something with stop motion... or maybe do a reverse vid
Quote by Lolcheez324
1 time i was home alone and i said i want a cheeseburger and then mah dad got home and he had a bag of potatoes
#7
ive got a plastic cup, you find 2 girls with some spare time and i guess i could throw something together
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without having read this thread and just seeing the title since i've been not on the forum for a month i'm just going to say

"why can't we be friends"
#8
unless youve got some kind of lighting rig film outside. make sure the sun is lighting your subjects faces so you dont get silhouettes. use as much ambient sound as possible. the better the sound the easier it is to watch. save plenty of time for editing.
Life is short and hard like a bodybuilding dwarf.
#9
Ok, so use a ****in tripod for gods sake.
Do everything with a single camera, there is no way you can make two different cameras picture like the same in 48 hours.
Good lights are really important, almost equal with tripods.
Dont zoom, its lame.
Try to add as much sounds, music, conversations as possible after the recording with an editing software because built-in microphones sucks. (wind noises, distance, low-quality)
Try to find someone who can edit or you can forgot sleeping. Once i and my mate edited a 5 min normal schoolproject film for about 25 hours/person. Yeah and it sucks after because we have no time to make the color corrections.
#11
Make sure you actually use different shots. Nothing looks more unprofessional than just one hovering camera for the duration of a scene. Unless of course you're going for that documentary look.
#12
Quote by Liam4
What sort of camera are you going to be using?


+1 watch some Kubrick or Scorsese for some inspiration
#13
cinematography's really important, but when you only have 48hrs lighting and camera movement shouldnt be your priority

most importantly is a good sound recording, people can stand bad lighting but people cannot stand bad sound recordings or out of sync audio.

and spend more time on the actor's performance, if your cast is good enough it'll at least draw your audience to the plot more than anything in your frame
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#14
Quote by Daneeka
Ok, so use a ****in tripod for gods sake.
Do everything with a single camera, there is no way you can make two different cameras picture like the same in 48 hours.
Good lights are really important, almost equal with tripods.
Dont zoom, its lame.
Try to add as much sounds, music, conversations as possible after the recording with an editing software because built-in microphones sucks. (wind noises, distance, low-quality)
Try to find someone who can edit or you can forgot sleeping. Once i and my mate edited a 5 min normal schoolproject film for about 25 hours/person. Yeah and it sucks after because we have no time to make the color corrections.

These.

What program will you use to edit it?

And if you have time now, practise with the program! Google tips for it, and get used to colour editing while you have time.
Now 100% humour free, in accordance with the rules.

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#15
When you begin filming, make sure to add a 5 second "cushion" for any scene. That is, press the record button, wait 5 seconds, and then begin the action of the scene, and when said scene is completed, wait 5 seconds before stopping recording. This will ensure you captured the full scene, so when you go into editing, you don't run into the unfortunate accident of cutting off the ending or beginning of scenes.

Never use your zoom, as previously said. If any zoom is to be used, never use the digital zoom of the camera (it's hard to say exactly when it begins, but it's usually at the extreme end of the zoom range, where the actual lens will no longer move). If you do use zoom, never use it in the middle of a scene. Set it first and then film.

A tripod works wonders, though if you must use your hand (moving scenes, scenes where a tripod is just unwieldy), never put your arms over your head (causes shaking), and keep the camera at about chest-to-waist height, arms close to your body. This reduces shaking. If you must walk, make full, heel-to-toe steps. It helps to have a person behind you leading you, if you're walking backwards while shooting.

Not every scene has to involve a person or any sort of action. Set up shots are perfect for providing the audience with a vision of where you are. Pointing out small details or just shots around the area where action takes place can prove to be artistic, and can provide as filler for your editing.

Lighting is also a major factor, and if you're short on budget, a basic flashlight set to a wide splash can work wonders for scenes that are too dark for the camera. Position lamps to provide for the best lighting and contrast when you have indoor scenes. When outside, try to place the action in a proper angle with the sun, athough use of shadow can be greatly used for artistic effect. Don't be afraid to experiment with lighting; just be sure it's appropriate for the mood of the scene.

Make multiples of the same scene, with different angles. Repetition can get tiresome, but the allowance of multiple takes on a scene definitely helps in the editing process. Mixing it up with multiple angles on the same scene keeps things visually interesting, though you might want to extract the best sound from one take and use it universally over multiple angles when in editing. Multiple takes can result in varying performances of actors and other outside sounds.

A script helps with what the actors will say; a storyboard helps envision the scene. Not every movie requires a script, though it helps when actors forget what to say. Storyboards, or at least, rough sketches of scenes you'd like to do helps when describing to others what you would like to achieve with the scene. It depends wholly on your actors and time allowance; you might want to write a script if you have a definite idea of what you want to achieve. Including stage directions (written cues to action, such as character raises arm or lunges forward) with the script helps describe the actors job even more. Utilizing both script and storyboard helps keep the project clean and devoid of extraneous, possibly useless scenes and takes.

You can shoot at any time of the day, really. Again, use lighting and the locale to your advantage. Nighttime, however, is a whole different creature, especially in low-budget applications. Unless you have the proper lighting or are using the darkness artistically, it's difficult to film anything with a basic camera in darkness. Utilizing the "night vision" feature (if any) on the camera can result in an interesting take (Blair Witch), but in my experience, can be ridden with lag and provide nothing more than a blurry image of action.

If there's any other questions, I'm sure I can try to expand more. I'm a bit of an amateur moviemaker myself. Good luck with the whole process.
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Last edited by graybass_20x6 at May 13, 2008,
#16
Plan it well!
Organise the shot types as well. For example, draw out your shots in a storyboard type style, and label the shots with "Longshot", "Extreme Long Shot" or whatever.
#18
Quote by graybass_20x6
When you begin filming, make sure to add a 5 second "cushion" for any scene. That is, press the record button, wait 5 seconds, and then begin the action of the scene, and when said scene is completed, wait 5 seconds before stopping recording. This will ensure you captured the full scene, so when you go into editing, you don't run into the unfortunate accident of cutting off the ending or beginning of scenes.

Never use your zoom, as previously said. If any zoom is to be used, never use the digital zoom of the camera (it's hard to say exactly when it begins, but it's usually at the extreme end of the zoom range, where the actual lens will no longer move). If you do use zoom, never use it in the middle of a scene. Set it first and then film.

A tripod works wonders, though if you must use your hand (moving scenes, scenes where a tripod is just unwieldy), never put your arms over your head (causes shaking), and keep the camera at about chest-to-waist height, arms close to your body. This reduces shaking. If you must walk, make full, heel-to-toe steps. It helps to have a person behind you leading you, if you're walking backwards while shooting.

Not every scene has to involve a person or any sort of action. Set up shots are perfect for providing the audience with a vision of where you are. Pointing out small details or just shots around the area where action takes place can prove to be artistic, and can provide as filler for your editing.

Lighting is also a major factor, and if you're short on budget, a basic flashlight set to a wide splash can work wonders for scenes that are too dark for the camera. Position lamps to provide for the best lighting and contrast when you have indoor scenes. When outside, try to place the action in a proper angle with the sun, athough use of shadow can be greatly used for artistic effect. Don't be afraid to experiment with lighting; just be sure it's appropriate for the mood of the scene.

Make multiples of the same scene, with different angles. Repetition can get tiresome, but the allowance of multiple takes on a scene definitely helps in the editing process. Mixing it up with multiple angles on the same scene keeps things visually interesting, though you might want to extract the best sound from one take and use it universally over multiple angles when in editing. Multiple takes can result in varying performances of actors and other outside sounds.

A script helps with what the actors will say; a storyboard helps envision the scene. Not every movie requires a script, though it helps when actors forget what to say. Storyboards, or at least, rough sketches of scenes you'd like to do helps when describing to others what you would like to achieve with the scene. It depends wholly on your actors and time allowance; you might want to write a script if you have a definite idea of what you want to achieve. Including stage directions (written cues to action, such as character raises arm or lunges forward) with the script helps describe the actors job even more. Utilizing both script and storyboard helps keep the project clean and devoid of extraneous, possibly useless scenes and takes.

You can shoot at any time of the day, really. Again, use lighting and the locale to your advantage. Nighttime, however, is a whole different creature, especially in low-budget applications. Unless you have the proper lighting or are using the darkness artistically, it's difficult to film anything with a basic camera in darkness. Utilizing the "night vision" feature (if any) on the camera can result in an interesting take (Blair Witch), but in my experience, can be ridden with lag and provide nothing more than a blurry image of action.

If there's any other questions, I'm sure I can try to expand more. I'm a bit of an amateur moviemaker myself. Good luck with the whole process.



The longest post wins. Listen to this man.
#19
Wow, thanks for all the feedback guys

To answer some of your questions:

Quote by Liam4
What sort of camera are you going to be using?


We originally had some fairly basic Sony Handycam, but at the moment we are trying to borrow one of the school's shoulder-mounted cameras that should have a better lens and take better shots.

Quote by Rocking-Rob
Make sure you have good lighting

Nothing says crap like **** lighting


Ok, I'll try to keep that in mind at all times. I think I've seen some low-budget movies with poor lighting and it's very noticeable, so I'll try to remember that. Thanks.

Quote by dangorironhide
Best tip? Don't phone Uwe Boll for advice.


Hahaha, Uwe Boll. Someone made a petition to try and get one million signatures in order to make him promise to stop making films. I think Uwe agreed to it, thinking it wouldn't get anywhere near one million, and right now it has like 250,000. Would be soooo funny if it got one million signatures.

Quote by bazz_aaron
ive got a plastic cup, you find 2 girls with some spare time and i guess i could throw something together


As much as I love 2girls1cup, I think we're going to opt for a different inspiration.

Quote by darianivan
unless youve got some kind of lighting rig film outside. make sure the sun is lighting your subjects faces so you dont get silhouettes. use as much ambient sound as possible. the better the sound the easier it is to watch. save plenty of time for editing.


Okay, will keep that in mind also. Thanks.

Quote by Daneeka
Ok, so use a ****in tripod for gods sake.
Do everything with a single camera, there is no way you can make two different cameras picture like the same in 48 hours.
Good lights are really important, almost equal with tripods.
Dont zoom, its lame.
Try to add as much sounds, music, conversations as possible after the recording with an editing software because built-in microphones sucks. (wind noises, distance, low-quality)
Try to find someone who can edit or you can forgot sleeping. Once i and my mate edited a 5 min normal schoolproject film for about 25 hours/person. Yeah and it sucks after because we have no time to make the color corrections.


Okay, that's all very good tips. Thanks, and I'll try to keep it all in mind .

Quote by DanRev
Make sure you actually use different shots. Nothing looks more unprofessional than just one hovering camera for the duration of a scene. Unless of course you're going for that documentary look.


Duly noted sir.

Quote by Fleabag
These.

What program will you use to edit it?

And if you have time now, practise with the program! Google tips for it, and get used to colour editing while you have time.


If we use the HandyCam (hopefully not) then some program called SonyVegas I think. If we use the better, shoulder-mounted one, then I'm not sure.

Yeah, that's a good idea to get familiar with it, thanks.

[graybass_20x6]When you begin filming, make sure to add a 5 second "cushion" for any scene. That is, press the record button, wait 5 seconds, and then begin the action of the scene, and when said scene is completed, wait 5 seconds before stopping recording. This will ensure you captured the full scene, so when you go into editing, you don't run into the unfortunate accident of cutting off the ending or beginning of scenes.

Never use your zoom, as previously said. If any zoom is to be used, never use the digital zoom of the camera (it's hard to say exactly when it begins, but it's usually at the extreme end of the zoom range, where the actual lens will no longer move). If you do use zoom, never use it in the middle of a scene. Set it first and then film.

A tripod works wonders, though if you must use your hand (moving scenes, scenes where a tripod is just unwieldy), never put your arms over your head (causes shaking), and keep the camera at about chest-to-waist height, arms close to your body. This reduces shaking. If you must walk, make full, heel-to-toe steps. It helps to have a person behind you leading you, if you're walking backwards while shooting.

Not every scene has to involve a person or any sort of action. Set up shots are perfect for providing the audience with a vision of where you are. Pointing out small details or just shots around the area where action takes place can prove to be artistic, and can provide as filler for your editing.

Lighting is also a major factor, and if you're short on budget, a basic flashlight set to a wide splash can work wonders for scenes that are too dark for the camera. Position lamps to provide for the best lighting and contrast when you have indoor scenes. When outside, try to place the action in a proper angle with the sun, athough use of shadow can be greatly used for artistic effect. Don't be afraid to experiment with lighting; just be sure it's appropriate for the mood of the scene.

Make multiples of the same scene, with different angles. Repetition can get tiresome, but the allowance of multiple takes on a scene definitely helps in the editing process. Mixing it up with multiple angles on the same scene keeps things visually interesting, though you might want to extract the best sound from one take and use it universally over multiple angles when in editing. Multiple takes can result in varying performances of actors and other outside sounds.

A script helps with what the actors will say; a storyboard helps envision the scene. Not every movie requires a script, though it helps when actors forget what to say. Storyboards, or at least, rough sketches of scenes you'd like to do helps when describing to others what you would like to achieve with the scene. It depends wholly on your actors and time allowance; you might want to write a script if you have a definite idea of what you want to achieve. Including stage directions (written cues to action, such as character raises arm or lunges forward) with the script helps describe the actors job even more. Utilizing both script and storyboard helps keep the project clean and devoid of extraneous, possibly useless scenes and takes.

You can shoot at any time of the day, really. Again, use lighting and the locale to your advantage. Nighttime, however, is a whole different creature, especially in low-budget applications. Unless you have the proper lighting or are using the darkness artistically, it's difficult to film anything with a basic camera in darkness. Utilizing the "night vision" feature (if any) on the camera can result in an interesting take (Blair Witch), but in my experience, can be ridden with lag and provide nothing more than a blurry image of action.

If there's any other questions, I'm sure I can try to expand more. I'm a bit of an amateur moviemaker myself. Good luck with the whole process.

Wow. Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is all sooo helpful and will help our film to no end. .

Quote by lotsofvolume
Plan it well!
Organise the shot types as well. For example, draw out your shots in a storyboard type style, and label the shots with "Longshot", "Extreme Long Shot" or whatever.


Good suggestion. Will keep in mind. Thanks.

Quote by Sabu
Hire Samuel L Jackson as an angry black man.


If only. He is one bad motherfucker


Thank you guys so much, this is extremely helpful and please know that it is very much appreciated. Any other advice/info/tips/general experience or whatever is most welcome.
You are like a hurricane
There's calm in your eye.
And I'm gettin' blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I'm getting blown away.
Last edited by estranged_g_n_r at May 13, 2008,
#20
Fire the friends who can't act.
Take more than one shot of every scene, even if you're happy with the first one. Maybe add some alternative script or ideas to the alternative shots. That way you will have more options to choose from once you're editing. If you only have one shot for each scene the movie will be bad. Real bad, unless you're professionals.
#21
Quote by estranged_g_n_r
We originally had some fairly basic Sony Handycam, but at the moment we are trying to borrow one of the school's shoulder-mounted cameras that should have a better lens and take better shots.


In that case, make sure you know how to set it up e.g. white balance, exposure, focus, frame rate etc.
#22
Best tip: have a dozen midgets on standby.
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the prove is u because u did n create urself and ur parents dindt and their parents didnt and so on and we are not monkeys peace

#24
Quote by Liam4
In that case, make sure you know how to set it up e.g. white balance, exposure, focus, frame rate etc.


Good idea. Thanks.
You are like a hurricane
There's calm in your eye.
And I'm gettin' blown away
To somewhere safer
where the feeling stays.
I want to love you but
I'm getting blown away.
#25
Just remember as long as it has zombies eating people and female nudity it can't possibly fail.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!

Last.fm
#26
Quote by Daneeka
Ok, so use a ****in tripod for gods sake.
Do everything with a single camera, there is no way you can make two different cameras picture like the same in 48 hours.
Good lights are really important, almost equal with tripods.
Dont zoom, its lame.
Try to add as much sounds, music, conversations as possible after the recording with an editing software because built-in microphones sucks. (wind noises, distance, low-quality)
Try to find someone who can edit or you can forgot sleeping. Once i and my mate edited a 5 min normal schoolproject film for about 25 hours/person. Yeah and it sucks after because we have no time to make the color corrections.


I'd actually recommend not necessarily using a tripod. It really depends what kind of look you're going for and what kind of film you're shooting. Steady handheld looks much more fluid. Tripods are necessary for longer takes and immobile focal points.

The key points to amateur films are that you don't need to focus on story, film is a visual medium so your lighting, shot composition, editing, white balance, focus and sound MUST be good. If these are good and the story and plot sucks, at least your films looks the part. If you have a poorly lit, out of focus film with a great story, people will still hate it.
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#27
naked girls = gold
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#28
Quote by Rankles
The key points to amateur films are that you don't need to focus on story, film is a visual medium so your lighting, shot composition, editing, white balance, focus and sound MUST be good. If these are good and the story and plot sucks, at least your films looks the part. If you have a poorly lit, out of focus film with a great story, people will still hate it.


I know this isn't your fault because the threadstarter didn't make it clear but the V48 hour film challenge is a bit a fun, and most of the videos are humorous. The videos must have a clear plot with a clear beginning, middle and end. They recommend not doing anything arty and just to have a bit of fun with the genre you are given.

Keep in mind the videos have to the be between 3 - 7 minutes as well.
"There are millions of people in the world, and none of those people are an extra. They're all leads in their own stories."
<//////>~
#29
Get actors who will be commited. Getting some friends who can act a little is a bad idea. It'll waste alot of time you really need. Also, brainstorm some ideas now. Maybe some original lines/jokes you could add in, or even a storyline. It might be helpful, and sure is better than nothing. Oh, and don't leave your release forms to the last minute.

Graybass and the others have covered probably everything else.

Good luck, man. I was going to enter but decided I couldn't be bothered. Hope you and your mates do well.