4 Step Guide to Digital Movie Making for Beginners

Digital movie making is a fun and creative form of communication. The bare minimum equipment that you need to get started is a camcorder, computer and editing software. With these three tools, you can start making your own digital movies.

Step 1: Developing an Idea

Every movie begins with an idea. The idea can be anything as long as it inspires you. In fact, it is very important for you to feel strongly about that idea because creating a digital movie takes a lot of work and you're going to need passion to drive you.

Once you have the idea, you need to develop it into a detailed shooting plan. For narrative fiction, this is called a script. You're going to refer to this blueprint a lot when shooting, so it is important that it is detailed and well thought out.

Step 2: Preparing to Shoot

A shoot can take up a lot of time and it is always helpful for a filmmaker to come to it as prepared as possible. You should have an idea of what shots you want to get, what the blocking of the actors will be, and where the camera will be placed. When these important decisions are thought of ahead of time, it allows you more time on the set to focus on the details.

Step 3: Shooting

Schedule your shoot to take up more time than you think it will need. When directing your cast and crew, you should communicate clearly and constantly with them. If there was something you did not like in a take then identify it, correct it, and go again. Shooting ten takes of a shot without telling anyone why will only frustrate and tire your actors and crew.

Step 4: Editing

Editing your movie is probably the best thing you can do to improve your work. The editing room is where raw footage becomes a movie and it's here that you can see what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. Maybe your set ups don't match perfectly or maybe you didn't shoot enough coverage. It can be painful seeing your hard work not turn into how you exactly envisioned it, but knowing what you need to do to improve is the first step towards getting better.