Charles RochaWashington DC Film Connection

A Camera & A Vision Posted on 2017-12-03 by Charles Rocha

Vision meaning a plan on top of everything. It was sort of hammered in on my last blog post, but you should really know every in and out of your film before you step behind the camera (which is the only tool you really need). The other things are luxuries and while they improve the quality, you can shoot a film on an Iphone 8 and bring forth cinematic quality.  If you want to make a film though, you will also need money. Not everyone will back you so get yourself a job and pay for your first film on your own. I used my income tax money for my first short.

As covered in earlier blogs, studying the past is hugely important. If you don’t know about the different stages of film and how innovations changed the game at each level, you might not remember or think to implement them. And even when you know your film and have been reading an article a day or finishing book after book, when filming comes – everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. 

While all you need is a camera to capture, of course its not all sitting in front of a camera. Most of it is sitting in front of a computer. From writing the script to making schedules to coordinating on the day of and then EDITING.

Don’t develop attachments to your footage, otherwise you will not be able to determine properly if it doesn’t fit during editing.  Your footage should speak for itself without you having to force your preconceived will upon it. Don’t impose YOUR structure o your material. So, perhaps consider the footage as if you found it somewhere (a la Werner Herzog, Grizzly Man). Let it tell you what it has to offer. But at the same time you have to be ruthless or you will end up with a film that is too long. On the same note, you have to have the nerve to stay away from endless tweaking and fiddling. Its painful, but it is a profession. Craft it as a narrative; don’t raise it as a pet.

A practice that I take part in is, while I am looking at the footage for the first time, I write down the name of the file on a piece of paper and the time code. Ill elaborate on why I think it might need to be added or its significance, so I can keep up with everything as I move along. It lets you keep track of those moments that pop or the shot where everything has been pulled off perfectly. You might not want to just write down the best, but the top 3 in order from Best!!! To good! It might take a while, because every book or teacher these days tell you to overshoot. You honestly shouldn’t go into editing without looking through all of your footage. It’s always helpful to have a second set of eyes on your edit as well (but no yes men). 

Audience’s range. There is not a universal audience, so you may end up putting something out that no one in America or on youtube vibes with. The film changes with the audience. The worst part is, no one can calculate the response, even studios that do market research. Feedback is important. Have a screening eventually but at first, run it by a small group. A large test audience is where you will find our final cut. This lets you know if your shots linger too long or if your ending is messed up or your pacing is off.

 

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A Camera & A VisionPosted by Charles Rocha on 2017-12-03

Vision meaning a plan on top of everything. It was sort of hammered in on my last blog post, but you should really know every in and out of your film before you step behind the camera (which is the only tool you really need)... Read More >>