Thursday, 1 December 2011

Tip #100: Free film school

By Dan Parkes (Director/editor)

This is the 100th and final production tip in the making of our low budget film Ambleton Delight.

One question we have often been asked is, should I go to film school? Those in our production team have been to a film school of some sort. Itsuka Yamasaki and Sinead Ferguson went to Raindance and Kieron James studied acting at ACT (Academy of Creative Training) and I went to Brighton Film School. However, we would all undoubtedly say the same thing... that we learned more making this film than we ever did in the classroom, as this blog will testify.

So why go at all? The answer really depends on what you want out of it. If you are wanting specific information or instruction or a particular qualification for credibility, then the answer is definitely yes find the right school or course and go for it. But if you are wanting to learn about practical film production, this will very rarely happen in a typical film school environment. And be particularly careful of film schools or courses run by those who have made super low-budget films, especially if they are charging you an amount that makes you question whether the last part of the course will also recommend setting up your own course to recoup production expenses! We made our film very cheaply which is why we have been happy to provide all information for free.

The best idea is to either get involved in film production in some form, such as through work experience, as a runner or production assistant or to make your own film from scratch. But either way, read as much as you possibly can about filmmaking -not just online but in books- and watch as many film extras such as the behind-the-scenes featurettes as possible. Then go out there and put it into action. It is the hardest way to learn, but it is definitely the best.

This blog as covered each area of production along the way of making our film, so if you need some ideas of how to do it, and how not to do it, check this complete list of tips:

Intro to blog
1. Use what you've got


2. First Draft
3. Writers block

4. Production software
5. Naming a film
6. Production team
7. Financing
8. Public funding
9. Self funding
10. Product placement

11. Short or feature
12. Naming characters
13. Script
14. Budget

15. Locations as characters
16. Finding locations
17. Key locations
18. Seamless locations
19. Unorthodox location scout
20. Location permission
21. Location tips

22. Casting
23. Production design
24. Character design
25. Low budget design tips

26. Sets
27. Auditions
28. Named actor
29. Rehearsals
30. Contracts
31. Actor's agents
32. Crew


33. Cinematic camera
34. Tapeless workflow
35. Second unit
36. Storyboards
37. Shot lists/schedules
38. Send out good press releases
39. Low budget make-up options
40. Call sheets

41. Catering
42. Lighting kit
43. Lighting techniques
44. Props
45. Sound
46. Wardrobe
47. Filming rain
48. 'Guerrilla' filming
49. Film and production stills

50. Director with a vision
51. Director communication
52. Directing basics
53. Acting
54. Successful actor
55. Prima donna actor
56. Night shoots
57. Day-for-night
58. Actors
59. Extras
60. Continuity
61. Making Of
62. Paperwork


63. Editing workflow
64. Editing tools and techniques
65. Sourcing music
66. Special effects
67. Bands and solo artists
68. Tailor-made film score
69. Scoring to picture

70. Colour grading (timing)
71. Final sound mix
72. ADR
73. Voice over
74. 5.1 surround sound
75. Audio commentary

76. DVD master
77. DVD copies
78. Formats
79. Blu-ray
80. Subtitles
81. Film logo
82. Film poster
83. Trailer
84. Credits
85. Website
86. Social networking
87. Free software

88. Artwork permission
89. Final cut
90. Test audience
91. Premiere
92. Film festivals
93. Distribution
94. DVD artwork
95. Classification
96. Copyright

97. Communication
98. Haters
99. Mistakes
100. Free film school

Any corrections or dead links etc please let us know.

And don't forget our videos as well:

Thank you to all the contributors to the blog and those who have been following. We wish you all the best in whatever film(s) you are making and hope that this blog has some part in making your creative dreams come true!