7 DIY Production Tips for Indie Filmmaker

The production of a movie has its challenges. Anyone involved in the industry can tell you that a production crew’s job is to solve these problems as they pop up. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is good, but it’s always best to stay flexible and creative. When it comes to independent films, budgeting time and cost is challenging as these resources are limited, but it doesn’t mean you can’t overcome many problems as they arise.

Scouting Locations

This is an integral part of the production process. Bring another person with, whether it’s the production manager, audio supervisor, cinematographer. These members will help judge whether a location is actually manageable.

3D Printer

If you have one and are missing a prop, 3D printers are an efficient solution. Major studios use them, and they help speed up this part of the production process.

Make it Rain

Does your film require a change in the weather? If the answer is yes, then some of the most common effects in movies are rain. This is great for areas where it doesn’t rain a lot or making a rain rig isn’t practical.

C-Stands and Capturing Sound

There are times when your filming with a limited crew. Everyone is there but the sound guy. Get a C-Stand and boom holder to set your mic up wherever you want. They are cost-effective and perfect for narrative film sets.

Furniture Dolly

A shot list and script need a good going through as scenes for the camera to move with space are usually required. While a dolly track is great, some cost a considerable amount of cash. So, if the budget is low, a furniture dolly can help. Your viewers will never know. This works best on a smooth surface.

Create Movement by Standing Still

This is a decades-old technique for simulating movement with a car, without actually moving it. This involves using lights and other effects like artificial rain or fog with a large fan, or anything that creates a sense of movement. This creates a very controlled scene compared to filming in a moving vehicle.

A Window and Reflector

Natural lighting has always been a popular choice for photographers, and the same lighting techniques can be used by filmmakers. While a set of studios lights are great, for some, they aren’t feasible or cost-effective. Using light from a window bounced off a reflector will soften the light and allow you to capture challenging imagery.

While some of these tips may not be seen as upscale compared to bigger studios, they do provide practical solutions to production problems. If you’re limited on budget or wanting that extra cash for the VFX needed in your film, these hacks will help you produce a great movie and the only ones who’ll know are the crew and actors in front of the camera. In the end, it’s best to be prepared for all sorts of problems and be quick to fix them as they arise.

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