Getting into film making as a kid
We are in the final stages of taking Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg? out on a big screen tour around the UK. Why is it coming to an end? Because it will be out on DVD and streaming sites soon so you can enjoy it from your own front room. Sweet!
But one of the best things about the tour has been that we can answer questions from film makers of all ages. Questions about how to get into making films or how to get better at writing, filming and editing.
On probably our final Q&A / screening (10th April, London) we aim to do that again. It's the Easter holidays and we picked that date to make it easier for children to attend. More info here and tickets here - https://www.ourscreen.com/screening/43244
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In the meantime, we've boiled down the results of our previous Q&As to create this top five pieces of advice for young film makers everywhere.
1: GET TOGETHER
It is hard to make films on your own. We had sometimes 30 people on the set of Nelson Nutmeg. And we were a very small film. But you don't need that many people. 3 or 4 friends is enough. They may change over time as people get different hobbies or go on holiday. But that's okay. If you can get together and shoot a short film in a single day its not a problem.
2: PLAN SOMETHING
When I started out I got too excited and just wanted to shoot stuff. So I'd get filming and then after a while realised it was all rubbish. I was just filming anything and everything. Don't be like I was. Have a plan. It doesn't need to be a script or a storyboard or anything professional that takes ages. But maybe write down a general story or a list of shots or at least have the ending decided before you start.
3: DON'T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT EQUIPMENT
It can easy to think that your film maybe doesn't look as good as other films because you don't have the right equipment. It is true that better equipment can help. But its not an excuse to not be filming. Maybe someone will eventually lend you their better camera - but only if you show how great you are already. Framing, telling a story, good shots, good editing can all be done on the simplest camera, including the camera in a phone or tablet.
If you like comedy, editing makes the jokes snappier. If you like action, editing makes the scene more exciting. If you like drama, editing helps the viewer to focus on the story and characters. All types of films benefit from editing. You can get free editing software for your computer, phone or tablet. Definitely get into it and get better at it.
5: WATCH "BTS" CLIPS, BUT DON'T WORRY ABOUT THEM
'Behind the scenes' clips from big movies are fun. And you can learn a little bit about how they make films from watching them. But don't feel bad if you make a lot of mistakes in your movies - and you see they don't seem to on those real movie sets. Remember, they make the BTS clips to try and advertise the movie, so they want to look good. They make mistakes too - but they don't put it in the official behind the scenes clips.
6: KEEP GOING
I made 50 short films before I made Nelson Nutmeg. Keep making movies. It's fun anyway. And you should see you get better over time. Maybe even have a show or screening yourself on the big TV at your house or a friend's house. Nice!