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Setting Up a Low Budget Soundstage

The art of creating a believable world starts by creating a believable environment for your story. While shooting on location may be ideal, some shoots require a built set.  The challenge facing every filmmaker is how to get the most for money.  Building a set doesn’t have to be expensive – creative thinking

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The Power of Light and Shadow in Cinematography

It would make sense that lighting a subject would involve aiming a light at the subject and turning the light on.  While this rather direct approach works some of the time, it often makes harsh shadows and creates a very unnatural look, especially when that light is the key light.

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The Actor’s Responsibility

We often think of the director as the master storyteller, guiding the cast and crew towards one unified vision.  While much of the responsibility of crafting this vision falls on the director, the line can be come blurry between the director’s work and the actor’s responsibility. For the actor, much of his

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How to Hire the Best Cinematographer For Your Film

The cinematographer, also known as the director or photography (DP) is one of the three key people responsible for the look of the movie. With the production designer crafting the look of the environment, and the director responsible for the actor’s performances in that environment, the cinematographer photographs the action, creating

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Pre-Production on Low Budget Movies

The process of preparing to shoot a movie can be pretty frustrating because of how many different tasks you as a producer have to juggle. It’s even more challenging when you don’t have a lot of money to spend and you’re wearing multiple hats. After I wrote a 60-minute period mystery

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How to Find a Writing Partner and Keep Your Sanity

Writers tend to be stronger in either structure or dialog and character, so finding a writing partner who complements your skills can lead to a much better script. Finding a competent writing partner can be as easy as contacting local writing organizations, colleges, or university programs with writing courses or

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Get Off Your Ass and Start Writing Your Screenplay

I’ve always hated writing… it requires discipline, focus and a willingness to go back and rewrite something again and again.  I know that I’m not the only person who feels this way. Lots of my writing friends agree that writing the script is one of the most difficult parts of

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The Sun – A Cinematographer’s Biggest Light Source

Summertime is finally here, and so are challenges of shooting outdoors in the harsh summer sun. Although the winter months provide us with plenty of diffused cloud cover to properly expose out actors, the harsh, direct summer sun can be problematic when the light and shadows fall outside the contrast

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Directing – It’s All In the Script

Although we all think of the director as exerting his or her influential on set, in reality the director’s work is mostly done well before hand in pre-production. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the complexities of production. From working with difficult actors, to fighting the setting sun, to trying

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How to Shoot a Short Film

So, you’re thinking about shooting a short film? Short films are a terrific way of learning the process of making a movie, showcasing your talents, and generating interest from producers and investors in future projects. Despite the educational and career benefits, there is virtually no market for short films, making it nearly

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Writing a Great Low Budget Screenplay

It’s easy to get lost in the world of your story, weaving tales of intrigue, romance, action and adventure through the lives of your characters. But as engaging as you would like that world to be, the reality of tighter budgets, fewer shooting days, smaller crews and cheaper equipment force

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How to Block Actors On Set

Blocking actors is one of the main responsibilities of the director. The term blocking refers to the actors’ movements on set. We like to break blocking down into two stages – macroblocking and  microblocking. Macroblocking are the large movements an actor makes– where does he walk, where does he stop, where does he sit, when does

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