Tips for Indie Filmmakers in Using VFX

Simplifying your post-production process allows you to focus on other important things related to your film. Many indie filmmakers rely heavily on a minimal crew for everything related to their movie. At times, the ideas are too big for the team and the technology at hand.

When it comes to a film, the main focus is the storyline. While VFX can turn a movie into a visual masterpiece, it can also bog it down with useless effects that are unrelated to the project. It can also be a time and cost-consuming endeavor. Before heading forward, be sure to keep in mind if your story needs it, and if so, how much is actually necessary. Less is more, and when it comes to VFX elements, they should enhance the storyline, not tell it.

Film Saving Tips for Indie Filmmakers

  1. Post-Production Supervisor: You are not this person. As much as you may want to be, your time is limited, and this part of the projects needs a separate person to fill this role. A post-production supervisor needs strong management skills to keep things from falling through the cracks.
  2. VFX Supervisor: Like going to a new country, the VFX supervisor will guide you from pre-production to post. Open yourself up to ideas or suggestions. One small fix can save you months of work and save money.
  3. Divide and Conquer: Have a strong team of artists on board to carry the workload throughout the process.
  4. Clear and Concise: Do your due diligence and provide clear references to your crew. Whether it be a look book, sample images, or video clips from a film, be prepared to show the VFX supervisor what you want.
  5. Stop Procrastinating: Work on the hardest and important shots before all the others. This gives your VFX team time to execute.
  6. Devil is in the Details: Watch your film on a large screen instead of your laptop. There’s a better chance of catching mistakes that could be missing by viewing on a smaller one. Especially useful if there are many VFX elements in one shot.
  7. Picture Perfect: Not every shot is going to be perfect. As much as we want them to, and Indie film’s budget may not allow for enough do-overs or limits a VFX artist’s effects.
  8. Meet in Person: Always hold a meeting with your VFX supervisor in person. This can involve video meetings as well for the geographically challenged. This can help eliminate unnecessary changes and keep everyone on the team on track.
  9. Budget Extra Time: Add in extra time to your post-production process. Two weeks or more in case you hit a bump in the road. You want to make sure you don’t miss any shots.

While Indie Filmmakers may not have the budgets of larger studios, their freedom of diversity and creativity allows them to do so much more. Budgeting time and money are essential, but concessions will need to be made to keep your film on track and moving forward. These tips will help

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