3 Tips for Shooting an Indie Film with a Cheap DV Camcorder

You have an awesome script, a great group of friends that can act, and your cheap DV camcorder in tow. You’re ready to make waves in the indie filmmaking scene and create a groundbreaking masterpiece. But, before you start planning your route as the next Tarantino, keep in mind that you have to work with your limitations. One cannot expect a glossy, film-like masterpiece with a cheap DV camcorder. So, before you set up your lights and sound off that clapper, here are some tips for making do with your cheap DV camcorder.

1. Improvise

You don’t have a high-end, high-resolution, high-tech camera. Just because you have a cheap DV camcorder doesn’t mean that your final output needs to look cheap. When working with a limited budget, you have to learn to improvise. Gather those lamps to create more light, maneuver your scenes outside and work with daylight, use an office chair and create tracking shots. Focus on style and camerawork, and you might just be able to wow your audience.

2. Focus on Other Elements

You can’t rely on special effects and great visuals to captivate your audience. Now that you have cheap equipment, the other elements in your film need not come off cheap. Make sure your story is riveting and spectacular. Get your local drama club to act in your film, to make sure that the cast can carry out your script. Find great locations and do a little production design. During post-production, do professional-level editing and moving musical scoring. All these great elements put together can still spell a groundbreaking indie film, even if your equipment is low-grade.

3. Work with Your Limits

Do a documentary style, like "Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal Activity." Simply having a great story is enough for creating a fantastic indie film.