The Biggest Mistakes Amateur Filmmakers Make

Both amateur and professional filmmakers have something in common – they were once beginners. Sure, a handful of them are really talented enough to produce a decent film right out of the box, but most may take more time and practice to shoot the perfect film. For those just starting their career in the filmmaking industry, they’ve done some, if not all, of these mistakes below.

Not Knowing the Story

The story is the foundation of the whole film. Before even thinking about actors and locations, a filmmaker should first decide what his movie will be about. Think about what stories your audience will hang on to, what they are passionate about, and what relates to them. This may mean more research on the filmmaker’s part, but this also means that the film is thoroughly thought through and not just some mere passing idea. Try not to rush everything and plan it out well. Spend more time developing the story and making it appealing to your target audience.

Not Writing the Script Well

Most filmmakers go all out and make their script very unrealistic to shoot. Going overboard with too many characters, too many locations, too complicated sets, and even too many effects is common. Always consider your budget when writing the script. Of course, you want this to be classy and high-end, but it may not be possible to shoot in Paris if you have to fly in a 200-person cast. Stick to the budget, but do not sacrifice the overall quality of the film. It is always possible to scout the nearest and cheapest location and tweak it to your needs. And you don’t need to have too many extra characters if the main story doesn’t need them.

Picking the Cast

It may be difficult to find the cast of your film, especially if you’re just starting out. You may tend to randomly pick out one of your friends who don’t have a background in acting, or simply anybody you can convince to play the part. There is such a thing as the right person for the right role. It may be difficult to find them, but it isn’t impossible. Be patient with your audition process to find the perfect actors.

Not Shooting the Right Angles

Another dilemma can be the lack of proper equipment. A lot of indie films are shot with a single camera, which in turn produces less coverage and fewer angles. If you have one camera, simply shoot the scenes about 4 or 5 times, each time from different angles. This will give your editing team more footage to choose from.

Not Getting the Proper Lighting

Always have a lighting kit that fits the style and mood of your indie film. The lighting is one piece of the budget that will pay off in overall look and professional feel. It gives more emphasis and color to your actors, and thus, makes your film look more high-budget than it actually is.