PDA

View Full Version : I want to be a filmaker - need tips



rednova
11-28-2015, 09:55 AM
Hi:

Even though I am learning lightwave, I want to become a filmaker in the future.
Can anyone give me tips about becoming a filmaker ?
Thank you !!!

prometheus
11-28-2015, 10:03 AM
A bit of a loose question is what I perceive it to be, the term "filmmaker" accomodates a lot.

would not call myself a filmmaker exactly, but doesnīt seem that hard.(not hard in terms of where to start..but following the course and education might be :) )

you have to express something in the world of film, write a story, or express motions, or do documentaries..just pick up paper and pen and write something short, take a cam and film it.
if you want to go with 3d, same basics..just move the real cam to a 3d cam.

sounds simple..guess it starts with at least a premise and somekind of expression of something in itīs simplest form, followed by a story..
So doing it from a simple point of view..then expanding it etc, playing with that for your own, story, storyboard, actual filming or creating of 3d animation and then put the pieces together (editing), followed by sound & music.
Look for courses or books on filmmaking...thatīs a starter before going to more advanced schools.

and here is where I actually should ask you..what kind of filmmaker? specific direction? :)

prometheus
11-28-2015, 10:13 AM
There was a tv series, called the story of film in 15 parts by Mark Cousins, interesting to follow along..check if you can find that.

rednova
11-28-2015, 10:19 AM
I love watching movies and really would love to make one.
I would like to make a movie like mars attacks or who framed roger rabbit.

prometheus
11-28-2015, 10:47 AM
I love watching movies and really would love to make one.
I would like to make a movie like mars attacks or who framed roger rabbit.

Thatīs already been done :) , make something new, something original..or tweak the hell out of those other stories enough to make it interesting.
Seems you ment purely animated filmmaking? A warning..it could suggest taking a long long time, or you need a lot of folks helping you out to complete, think about how many persons are involved in
creating animated films..especially a full long movie.

there are some guys making shorter animated stuff All by themself, like Timothy albee (Kaze ghost warrior) Richard Mans (abiogenesis)
https://www.lightwave3d.com/news/article/abiogenesis-one-mans-labor-of-love/

Kaptive
11-28-2015, 11:41 AM
The most important thing to do is learn the planning process. The better you can plan what you are going to do, the easier it will become to achieve it.

1. Come up with a solid idea that will (and this is important because you are going to be working on it for potentially a long time!) ...a solid idea that will hold your interest.

2. Write a script. Let others read it. Listen to their ideas and criticisms, then go away and do a re-write. (I'd actually really recommend you buy a couple of books about the subject if you are unfamiliar with writing).
Note: I bought the following book for my brother in law who does a lot of screenplay writing, and he highly recommended it... http://www.amazon.com/10-Day-Screenplay-How-Write-Days/dp/0692582622/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448735040&sr=8-1&keywords=The+10-Day+Screenplay

3. Storyboard your screenplay. The more work you do here, the easier the actual production becomes. You'll be able to visually work out whether your ideas make sense, and then you can make adjustments. You might spot ways to transform dialogue into the visual language, cutting out pointless exposition.

4. Production. Well this is when it gets tricky. For your first film, you'll have to probably make do with whatever equipment you can get your hands on. Borrow and beg. You'll also need people to operate it. So start getting to know other people around you who have similar ambitions. You might have to help them with their projects in exchange for them working on yours. But knowing people is vital if you are going to make it a reality.
You're going to need actors, a cinematographer, a sound guy... at the absolute bare minimum. But ideally you'll have someone for lighting, costume, make up, special effects (if required). The list can get pretty big, so you'll have to make use of who you can find.

5. POst production: You'll need an editor, or edit it yourself. You'll probably need a score... or credits music at the very least. Then of course you have the VFX/animation part.

6. If you can get this far, then you have to try and get it out there and make people aware that what you have created exists. So someone to help promote it will be the big final step.

This is a very VERY rough outline, and each aspect requires a lot of learning. But no better way to learn than to try and do it. If you fail, don't give up. Keep pressing on.

But one thing I would say, is start small. The smaller the better. A music video, a short film (horror works well in shorts). Don't push for a full length feature film from the outset, or you'll probably fail.
Use your first short film to start making contacts and build up a team of trusted friends.

Of course, if you go the full animation route, then you can probably do it all yourself with a lot more time and practice in the various aspects (give or take). You'll probably still need voice actors, but it entirely depends on your idea.
Every completed film is an achievement, whether it sucks or not. You will learn from everything you do and the advantages of going through the process will far outweigh the disadvantages.

Hope this helps. But simply, start by learning everything you can about the process whenever you can. If you can't do something yourself, find someone who can!!!

jeric_synergy
11-28-2015, 11:45 AM
I think the most important part is to have something to say.

Kaptive
11-28-2015, 11:49 AM
Also: There are some great people on youtube who share tips on all aspects of film making. Set up a youtube account and start subscribing to the channels. Learn everything you can. You'd be amazed at what knowledge you can pick up without spending a penny. It's all out there.

I found the following channel which has some great tips and tricks to elevate your video work. There are many many others:-

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSP7E88uFuHASIJLDjAhyKg

Markc
11-28-2015, 11:51 AM
As Prometheus suggests, if your looking at an all CG film, it can take some time.
The 'Shortcuts' animations in 3D world mag are usually about 2-3 mins long and take 3-5 people about a year or more (average, depending how much time you have free to work on it).

Kaptive
11-28-2015, 11:58 AM
ANother one:-

If money is short, then you can find a lot of books online. Not ideal for reading, but it is free. Search google books for any topic and see what is there! For example, I just found the following book about script writing by J Michael Straczynski (The guy who wrote and created Babylon5... one of Lightwaves earliest TV screen outings)

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=j33XTHWIZhsC&printsec=frontcover&dq=script+writing&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=script%20writing&f=false (Though it seems it doesn't have all the pages there. But there are other book sources online which are free)

Like Essential Lightwave V9... A bit out of date, but most of it will still apply.

http://www.bookonrack.com/lightwave/essential-lightwave-v9-the-fastest-and-easiest-way-to-master-lightwave-3d.html

pinkmouse
11-28-2015, 03:37 PM
I think the most important part is to have something to say.

That's never stopped Michael Bay! :D

rednova
11-28-2015, 03:48 PM
Hi:
Thank you for all replies. I believe is true the most important part is the script writing.
Then I have a guideline to follow when filming.

jeric_synergy
11-28-2015, 06:50 PM
That's never stopped Michael Bay! :D
He had other people with something to say: "Make me some money!!!"

(I actually don't have a problem with MB: he usually delivers entertainment of a specific sort. If I want a good FILM, I look to Christopher Nolan.)

jwiede
11-28-2015, 07:18 PM
That's never stopped Michael Bay! :D


https://youtu.be/v7ssUivM-eM

'Nuff said.

roboman
11-28-2015, 08:10 PM
Hi:
Even though I am learning lightwave, I want to become a filmaker in the future.
Can anyone give me tips about becoming a filmaker ?
Thank you !!!
I don't know about Augusta GA, but in LA it's very easy to be an extra on a film and not very hard to get involved with student films. All you have to do is be willing to work for very little money or free :) Doing a film mostly amounts to just doing it and getting involved with some people who are doing it. That's not a 'studio' films.... Don't have any friends who managed to do any thing except bit parts and grunt work on 'real' movies. Doing bit parts and grunt work does seem to be where a lot of people who made it started, as well as doing low budget stuff them self.

Mostly It's a hobby for me. I do end up doing a fair bit of stuff that ends up in trade shows and a bit of that ends up in tv ads. I've also done a bunch of animated titles that ended up in movies that made it into festivals. Mostly that is just from being there and actually doing the work, not from really looking. Not much advise, but it's what I have:)

prometheus
11-29-2015, 05:51 AM
https://youtu.be/v7ssUivM-eM

'Nuff said.

haha..that guy had something to Say about michael bay movies, it sucked..but donīt tell the whole theater..haha.:D

JonW
11-29-2015, 12:20 PM
I love watching movies and really would love to make one.

'I love watching movies' would be the least of one's concerns. Good business skills needs to be at the top of the list. Get a degree in business management skills first.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropfest

http://www.tropfest.com.au

Tropfest was canceled this year due to financial problems.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-11/tropfest-cancelled-over-terrible-mismanagement-of-funds/6933142

jeric_synergy
11-29-2015, 01:20 PM
Start small. REALLY small. Like thirty seconds.

If it's small enough, it will actually get FINISHED. And that's the deal: anyone can start a project-- damn few see it thru to the end.

JonW
11-29-2015, 02:44 PM
Start small. REALLY small. Like thirty seconds.

If it's small enough, it will actually get FINISHED. And that's the deal: anyone can start a project-- damn few see it thru to the end.

Fully agree!

Finish it and treat the project as if it was a real job. A deadline!

It does not matter what field you are in, only once you start working in that field and see the process you start to get some inkling and realise all the hidden issues that one would never have thought of. The unknown unknowns!

I've been in model making for decades. At the end of the day probably actually building physical and computer models accounts for 5% of the actual work at best. The rest is administration, from admin within the job, admin for collecting money and tax and running a business. Keeping up to date with everything and getting new customers.

Actually completing and marketing a 30 second video would be a very good first step. I've done some 30 and 60 second fly throughs for architects, I mostly do photo montages. The first 30 second video I did was a real eye opener, and that is putting it mildly, of simply just how much work is involved, it is really frightening, and I didn't even have to come up with the original concept, the architect did! The good thing about the project is I had a good long term customer to work with, he got a cheap price and I got an actual project which had to be finished! A deadline!

Get someone to be a pretend customer for your 30 second video. They should be demanding so you will be pushed on every level. Ideas, quality, deadline, your presentation through the whole project, still images for marketing, to name a few.

Kaptive
11-29-2015, 04:53 PM
'I love watching movies' would be the least of one's concerns. Good business skills needs to be at the top of the list. Get a degree in business management skills first.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropfest

http://www.tropfest.com.au

Tropfest was canceled this year due to financial problems.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-11/tropfest-cancelled-over-terrible-mismanagement-of-funds/6933142


Though you are right in some degrees, I'd say that money is the biggest creativity killer there is. As soon as you start putting financial pressures on yourself, and what is "marketable" etc etc... all joy is gone.

If you are at the beginning of the journey, forget money!! Just concentrate on making something that interests you, and as Jeric said, keep it small so that you finish it. Starting something is easy, finishing it, keeping up the momentum, maintaining the stamina and patience to see it through is way more difficult. But if you can complete something, you can show it to people. The next project becomes easier and less daunting.

Good places to start might be to tell a little joke. Create a funny scenario that has a set up and pay off. ( Good examples of setups and payoffs... https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-examples-of-Plant-and-Payoff-in-well-known-movies )

Anyways, though getting an understanding of the business side of things is important when you actually have a budget and money to play with (little or lots), I just think it shouldn't be your first steps.

Here is a nice example of a simple and clever short with a good setup and payoff, if a little macabre!


https://vimeo.com/105329112

Megalodon2.0
11-29-2015, 09:08 PM
Doing a short first is probably the best bet. I of course did not follow that good advice, and went for something much larger. And it took YEARS to complete.

Being a filmmaker takes a HUGE commitment. I created an animated fillm - slightly over one hour long - I started writing it at the end of '07, and then rewrote it in '08. Pre-production ran from '08 into '10 - working mostly full time since the recession took most of our business. Animated and edited in 2010 and 2011. Entirely animated in Lightwave - I used motion capture (with MotionBuilder) as well as DAZ 3D characters and Poser to create the many morph targets for lipsync. All of the lipsync was accomplished with TAFA. AfterFX was used as well as Fusion and Sony Vegas Pro. It took about two and a half years of prep - character creation and sets. Many of the sets and props were actually purchased from DAZ 3D and Renderosity and then refurbished in Lightwave and re-textured. It was an incredible learning experience and I'm very proud of the final film. It's called Scotty Chase: 2075. You can check out the website here: www.scottychase.com.

It's currently being viewed at Screenhits.tv - https://www.screenhits.tv/Viewers/Home.aspx - down at "Get it First"

Other filmmakers have successfully animated entire films themselves - MdotStrange and Jeff Lew are two who come to mind.

All I can say is good luck - it takes a huge amount of time, and LOTS of preparation. The five "P's" are paramount - Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. If I were to do it all over again, I probably WOULD take the advice of doing a MUCH shorter film. The thing is... IF you choose to do something longer than a short, if had better be something that you are VERY passionate about and realize that it will take you much longer than you think it will

Again... Good Luck.

Dave W.

JonW
11-30-2015, 12:00 AM
Jeff Lew

I like Jeff Lew's Killer Bean original best, I believe it took him years to make it.

jeric_synergy
11-30-2015, 12:14 AM
I've always felt the "Horse goes into a saloon" groaner would make a good short-short-short.

The horse would resemble Lee VanCleef. Human bartender, and a mix of barnyard animals as patrons. Western-themed.

jeric_synergy
12-01-2015, 09:51 AM
Here's an example of a short 'film' that is actually do-able. Looks good, but very simple to execute.


http://nerdist.com/this-short-film-about-mechanized-boredom-is-freakishly-satisfying/

I admire the visual continuity of the items, and how they look like they all came from the same workshop. :thumbsup:

Davewriter
12-01-2015, 08:49 PM
I don't know about Augusta GA, but in LA it's very easy to be an extra on a film and not very hard to get involved with student films. All you have to do is be willing to work for very little money or free :) Doing a film mostly amounts to just doing it and getting involved with some people who are doing it. That's not a 'studio' films.... Don't have any friends who managed to do any thing except bit parts and grunt work on 'real' movies. Doing bit parts and grunt work does seem to be where a lot of people who made it started, as well as doing low budget stuff them self.

Mostly It's a hobby for me. I do end up doing a fair bit of stuff that ends up in trade shows and a bit of that ends up in tv ads. I've also done a bunch of animated titles that ended up in movies that made it into festivals. Mostly that is just from being there and actually doing the work, not from really looking. Not much advise, but it's what I have:)

Yes! Find something - anything nearby and soak it up.
It's easy to find a college or university film or video class, where students would be looking for... trust me, nobody like wrapping cable. People will be more than happy to let you do their grunt work for them.
Or find a local company doing commercials or filler pieces.
Be nice - Don't be rude -NEVER say no!
Even once you get in with someone and start to make a little $, the first time the phone rings and you say No, the phone stops ringing.
Think about what Really intrests you, then Story Story STORY!
Practice writing. Open a paper or pick a web page at random. Close your eyes. Poke your finger at the screen. Use that word to then start writing for 3 minutes. Repeat several times a day
Watch people. Stories are walking past you all day long. Pick out people and write a brief history of them.
Get the juices flowing :)

kyuzo
12-02-2015, 06:28 AM
I had a friend who wanted to be a film-maker. So in his teenage years, armed with a VHS camera, a short story he wrote, and a few friends, he became a film-maker.
There were very few effects, editing was done on two VHS machines linked together. He produced a number of short films, and progressed that way.

I'd echo comments by other here - Start with a project small enough that you can finish it and see it through all steps of production. Work out what you could do better. Repeat.

50one
12-02-2015, 07:26 AM
You don't need tips, you need tits. Sex sells.