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Welcome to movingimageeducation.org!

Create Films

There are five main stages in professional film making, however we have joined "Development" and "Pre-production" together as this is how it works on education projects:

Pre-production

Before you can roll the camera you will need a story or idea, perhaps produce a script, establish the team (cast and crew), plan and organise your shoot, find funds, locations, props, costumes etc. Find out more about Pre-production.

Production

Is the filming part, the staging the action, filming it, drawing the animation, recording the sound etc etc. Find out about Production.

Post-production

Happens after the film has been shot and includes: editing, adding music and sound effects, titles credits etc. Find out about Post-production.

Exhibition.

After it's finished, you'll want to make sure it gets seen. Find out about exhibition in our Screenings section.

We also have separate sections for Animation, Documentary and Found-footage, see the "Types of film" section below, although don't forget you would also have to (for example) post-produce a documentary, and produce an animation film, etc, etc.

The best thing a young filmmaker can do is to get hold of a camera and some film, and make a movie of any kind at all
Stanley Kubrick

Type of film

Films can be broken down into three broad categories: live action drama, documentary, animation and found-footage. There are lots of subdivisions; and also there can be crossover, for example you might make an animated documentary :-)

Live action / drama

  • Can accommodate most themes
  • Requires the most pre-planning in terms of scripts, locations etc
  • You can see results relatively quickly
  • Be aware of derivative ideas, unless they have a twist

Starting points:

  • A drama that moves from location to location, with no dialogue at all, just lots of looking and seeing
  • Script-led, perhaps just a few characters talking around a table
  • Something atmospheric where location and costumes tell more of the story than the words

Documentary

  • Good for subject-based curriculum work
  • You are not relying on good acting, although you still need good 'performers'
  • Good sound recording is essential
  • Potentially sensitive

Starting points:

  • Recording some hard hitting vox-pops on the street
  • Setting up interviews with carefully chosen subjects
  • Following single person around for a day
  • Cover an event or group in action
  • A dreamy montage of different images with a well-chosen piece of music to evoke a work of art, a process or a place

Animation

  • Great for young groups
  • You see results quickly
  • Needs slightly more equipment
  • Your film will probably be short
  • Some techniques are more labour intensive than others

Found footage

Using archive film clips to make your own new film.

  • A quick way to get started
  • Good for subject-based curriculum work
  • You are not relying on good acting or performers of any sort
  • No variety of roles - everyone is doing the same sort of activity
  • See results quickly
I don't know how brilliant we were, but we were very enthusiastic
Francis Ford Coppola

Be adventurous, but be realistic. Aim to keep your first film under 5 minutes - you can always be more ambitious with the next film.

No Time

Top ten tips if you're short on time

  • Test equipment before you start
  • Sound is crucial - get the microphone as near as possible
  • Try not to pan & zoom madly - better still don't pan or zoom at all
  • Use a tripod
  • Compose shots to fully explain your narrative, think about the edit as you shoot
  • Don't shoot too much - you will regret it when you come to editing
  • Don't shoot too little - you will regret it when you come to editing
  • In animation, fix everything down firmly: lights, camera, backgrounds, etc
  • Good ideas & strong narratives are the key to watchable programmes, don't lose sight of your original idea
  • Plan well - Alright, plan the next one well