Start With Small Stories.

You don’t have to be Communist to agree, the march of a million miles begins with a single step. Big movies inspire us to make films, but you really should start trying to make small films.

Telling a small story allows you to not stress on the mechanics of filmmaking, the process of making a film and start being creative. Maybe you don’t know how to use iMovie or Windows Movie Maker (free editing software, one for Mac, on for PC,) but it’s only 30 seconds. Maybe you only have a point and shoot camera or a cell phone, but it’s only 30 seconds. Maybe you only have $30 work lights and a sheet, but it’s only 30 seconds. Maybe you’re recording audio to your cell phone (cause you have a point and shoot camera, or your camera because you’re recording to your cell phone), but it’s only 30 seconds. Don’t trip, it’s only 30 seconds.

“30 seconds? That’s a short, but it’s too short!” You say?

But look at the average commercial. It has a beginning, middle and end. A set up and a pay off. You get a little character, a little plot and a little resolution. What else do you want? That’s a story. And there are some commercials that are way more entertaining that the shows on most stations most of the day. And you can do it for free, without much help, with props you already have on hand.

30 second stories are a great way to explore the process. Casting, acting, getting a laugh or a scare is hard work. In thirty seconds, you have to execute, just get’er done. Does this sound ridiculous? The average comedy feature should have a laugh every other page, if not every page. (Notice I didn’t say, ‘a joke.’ Jokes aren’t always funny, situations are almost always funny. Look at the silent comedies, funny in any language.) But even if you’ve got a whole film crew at your disposal, writing and directing take practice, and practice to get good. It also doesn’t hurt if you want to learn to edit, or direct photography, or act, or light, or any other film job, so you can work when your not working, because your work will get you work.

30 seconds can be a scene. A very short scene, most scenes aren’t longer than 4 minutes. If you can get a scene right, you can move on to two scenes. Scenes make up movies like organs make up the body. ¬†And after you’ve planned a couple of 30 second shoots, you’ve shot them, cut them and you stand back and know you got exactly what you set out to get, shoot a minute. That’s right, get all wild and crazy and shoot twice as long as you’ve shot before. Exciting, isn’t it? Movies are made one step at a time, and so are careers.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress