Recently I’ve been pondering the idea of transforming my collections of short stories into short films.  My love for movies, particularly indie films, inspires me to produce my own film.  How difficult could it be? You hear people creating films everyday with no/low budgets.  I decided to do some research and explore how I  could get started without spending out the bank. Here’s some crafty and resourceful information I came across during my research that would be valuable to any rising Director.

A Great Script Makes A Great Film

While the cast and crew are important elements of making a film, I discovered that having a storyline/script that instantly hooks the viewers is very important.  Your storyline/script needs to be engaging so the transformation to film will be effortless. The best way to test that theory is developing a storyboard. It’s a great organizational tool to visually see the direction of your film before production. There are many free downloadable storyboard templates online such as Studiobinder that’s easy to use. 

…99 out of 100 screenplays I read [aren’t] good enough… When you read a good screenplay, you know it – it’s evident from page one.  The style, the way the words are laid out on the page, the way the story is set up, the grasp of dramatic situation, the introduction of the main character, the basic premise or the problem of the screenplay – it’s all set up in the first few pages of the script. — Syd Field Screenplay (1979)

Know Your Options

There are affordable and resourceful equipment in the market that makes it possible for anyone to create a film. You can shoot movies with almost any camera phone with the help of cinema lenses. The lens attaches to your smartphone or iPhone for a real cinematic quality.  It’s very affordable and easy to purchase online and in stores such as Best Buy.  The Techno Universal Professional HD Camera Lens Kit is one of the most popular lens kit sold on Amazon.com for less than $30.00.  

Techo Universal HD Camera Lens

If you prefer the traditional way of filming; Blackmagic Design and Red Digital are industry standard cameras many filmmakers use. Digital Goja Camera & Photo Superstore and Midtown Video are two film production stores in the Miami area that sell and rent Blackmagic Design, Red Digital and other brands of cameras for your production needs.  As always, do you research on the many brands of camera in the market that suits your needs and budget.

The Film Community Can Assist

Don’t want to be a one man show for your project? Websites like ShootingPeople.com and ProductionHub.com are awesome in assembling a film crew.  Seed & Spark is a great organization to connect with filmmakers who can volunteer to work as crew and/or negotiate trade for service. You can hire or join forces with local film students to help with your project. By working with students you can get access to film equipment as well as get a crew with little to no cost.  In return, the students generally gain on-set experience for their resumes. Contact local film schools such Miami Film School and University of Miami Department of Cinema & Interactive Media to see if they have job board or an internship program you can post your project.  

Lastly, consider joining film groups like Filmgate Interactive, and the Florida Film Commission to connect with local film makers and production crews.  They can connect you with additional resources to assembly a crew on a budget. You also can find a lot of funding opportunities when becoming a member.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to these film organizations. 

Are you working with immersive content, you can find some of best equipment recommendations through New Discovery Media.  They will be presenting at this year’s festival-walking our creatives through the immersive content process, from pre to post production. Learn more about New Discovery Media and all of our presenters at the SOFLOWEBFEST

Written by: Sudi Elliott, Soflowebfest Ambassador & lover of Web series and all things indie