Part 3 - Making A Film = People

Updated: Mar 29

Hello Everyone!

Alright people, here’s the last part of this series! This one is very important, because it’s the deal-maker or the deal-breaker on any production. Actually, it’s the same for any project or job that requires a team. To make a good film, you have to have the right people. What I mean is, it doesn’t matter if you’re team is a genius one; if you can’t work with them, or if you don’t mesh well together, you won’t have a good film, regardless of how much talent you have amongst you.

This is why having the right people to work with is important. It’s all fun and games when you great ideas, but if they’re different, to the point where you can’t agree on anything, then nothing will get done.

Work With Who You Can, Not With Who You Want

While a lot of people look to talented people as inspiration, or aspirations, it doesn’t mean that you and they will get along. Sometimes these people present themselves in a way that makes them desirable, but underneath it all, you could have someone with an ego, and even if they’re talented, they’re pretty hard to work with.

So, work with who you can work with. They might not be as talented as you want them to be, but they will understand that you are trying your best, even if you don’t have the resources. In fact, they might just come up with something that might surprise you and actually make your production better than you thought it’d be. So, don’t ignore the people who have the same skillset as you. You could find yourself with someone with a fresh eye on your project, who’ll actually improve the quality of it, with something so cheap.

Beginners Have The Best Solutions

It’s all well and good, when you have the resources you want, like a set designer who’ll provide their own props, or a camera crew with their own equipment, or even a studio you could make up into your own world, but remember, you’re just starting out. You don’t and you won’t have the money to get all these resources. In fact, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get the backing you thought you would, because you know this, that and the other.

Most of these professionals want to see what you're capable of without help. This is because they want to know that you have what it takes to think outside the box. A lot of people will do the same thing you’re doing, and they might have a better production than you, because they managed to do that by thinking outside the box, and not relying on their contacts.

So, don’t get hung over by the fact that you’re not getting the help you think you deserve. If you have an idea that you think you can’t achieve, find a way that will ensure you can. For example, you want to make your film look magical, use lighting tricks and gels to achieve the mood, or let the makeup artist go crazy. You won’t need CGI to create the magic.

Example Time!

Remember Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park? Most of that was animatronics. They built their own robots to make the dinosaurs look and act real. While we have CGI nowadays, they didn’t. So, the best way to make a dinosaur was to create one gigantic, robotic puppet that they could manipulate.

Still think it’s an impossible dream. Let’s go back to Star Wars. They didn’t have CGI when they made the first one. In fact, CGI came about because of Star Wars. Instead, they used close-ups, optical illusions and black screens, to make it look like the ships in the film were giant megastructures that traversed the galaxies. In fact, those ships were probably the same size as a bathtub toy ship!

Here’s our last example, and you’ll see what I mean. Take a look at the Harry Potter series. Hogwarts, the building does not exist anywhere in the world. They might have used some real locations and built sets to make it look like it was all one castle, but the building you see in all the landscape shots does not exist anywhere at all.

In fact, the building is just a model that the camera crew, CGI editors and directors used, to make it look real. If you ever manage to come by London, check out the Warner Brothers studios in Leavesden, where you can see the full model in all its glory, at the Harry Potter Studios tour. You’ll see what I mean. It’s literally a glorified doll house that is used to make Hogwarts look like it belongs in the world.

Feather, These Are Large-Scale Productions!

I know they are, but remember, the very first of these productions are the pioneers of their genres. So, their budgets would have been significantly less than their successors. Ok, do you want one that’s not well known? Fine, then. Do you remember The Blair Witch Project? That was a relatively unknown film, until it came out at the Sundance Festival. It had very little by means of a budget, all they used was a handheld camera, and shot in the forest for 20 days. Now, it’s a cult classic in the horror genre. It gave way to films like Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity.

So, you see, you don’t need a massive budget, just a few good people with good ideas that you could put together to make a cohesive plot. Remember, you need to make the film compelling enough, because if you just mash a bunch of ideas together, but not have a substantial plot, you’ll just get a showcase of your ideas and nothing to show for it.

Well, that’s it from me today. I hope you guys have learned a little more about film production and what it takes to make a good one. Remember, you don’t need the resources, you can make them yourselves. All you need is the drive to make something worth watching for you, because if you don’t want to watch your own film, who will?

With love,