Forums » General Forum

Can you make a film with no experience?

    • 9 posts
    August 4, 2022 5:48 AM PDT

    Good day student filmmakers from all over the world! I have seen many tutorials online of teenagers making great brolls using their iphones and it made me think if someone can make a film with no experience. I have always wanted to make a film but the fact that I did not go to film school and I do not have the budget to purchase the expensive cameras discouraged me. I have found this community and I really wish to know your opinion about this because obviously most of you have already made feature films or short films. Is there a possibility for me to make a film with no experience? How can I become a filmmaker with no experience or film school studies?

  • August 4, 2022 8:35 AM PDT

    The simple answer is yes. Find people with experience. Do a lot of research. Don't over-stretch yourself. The first time around you will make mistakes, mistakes cost money and time and that is somthing that you want to use to its best. If you want any advice, drop me a line. You might find some useful resources on my www.submittingtofilmfestivals.com/resources page.

     

    • 181 posts
    August 5, 2022 1:53 AM PDT

    Hello Colton and welcome to our extended community!

     

    You have asked if someone can make a film with no experience and the short answer is YES! However, there are some things that you need to consider, and I will go into detail.

     

    1. Making a film has a few requirements: gear, actors, editing software, props, a budget and a lot of time. Don’t worry if you don’t have a big budget, expensive gear, actors or props when you are just starting.

     

    2. You don’t need professional gear to get started. As you mentioned, you can use a smartphone. You might, however, need a Lavalier, preferably a wireless one.

     

    3. Lights are important and they can better the quality of your films. If you don’t have at least a ringlight, try making the most out of natural light: use windows, for outdoor shoots, try to shoot early in the morning when the sun rises, avoid Contre-jour (it’s best to have the lights in your subject’s face, not in his back).

     

    4. At first, you might not have professional actors or a budget to hire them. On the other hand, you can ask your friends and family to act in your films. You could also ask a local acting club to help you out or actors that are just starting in their career and need a portfolio.

     

    5. When you write the script, you need to consider the locations you have available and the props that you can use. You will need to adapt your script and story accordingly. Because you probably have a low budget, you cannot afford to rent a location or purchase many props. You will need to get creative and improvise a lot but don’t worry, there are plenty tutorials on the internet that can help you out.

     

    6. You can use editing software on your smartphone but it will be more difficult than using an editing software on your PC or laptop. You will need to learn editing skills or you will need to find someone who already has these skills and is willing to collaborate with you. You can find plenty tutorials on YouTube on how to use editing software but it will require a lot of time for you to learn the basics.

     

    It will be difficult to shoot your first film because there are so many things that you don’t think about. The good part is that the more you do it, the better you become! There are many examples of self-taught cinematographers who learned everything by themselves: Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg etc.

     

    Good luck and keep us updated!

     

    [Later edit] Don’t forget to take Production Stills while you are working on your movies and share them with our community!

    • 40 posts
    August 5, 2022 2:10 AM PDT

    I am not going to sugar coat this: experience matters. You cannot compare someone like Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino with someone who is making his first movie right now. But you know something? None of them had any experience when they made their first one! Experience comes with time and by actually doing things! If you start today, I doubt you will make the best movie out there but it will be the best movie that you can do at the moment. It is the first step. 
    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

    • 9 posts
    August 5, 2022 3:04 AM PDT
    Anthony Straeger said:

    The simple answer is yes. Find people with experience. Do a lot of research. Don't over-stretch yourself. The first time around you will make mistakes, mistakes cost money and time and that is somthing that you want to use to its best. If you want any advice, drop me a line. You might find some useful resources on my www.submittingtofilmfestivals.com/resources page.

     

    Thank you, Anthony! I will start by looking up the resources that you provided.

    • 9 posts
    August 5, 2022 3:05 AM PDT
    Maura Nicolaita said:

    Hello Colton and welcome to our extended community!

     

    You have asked if someone can make a film with no experience and the short answer is YES! However, there are some things that you need to consider, and I will go into detail.

     

    1. Making a film has a few requirements: gear, actors, editing software, props, a budget and a lot of time. Don’t worry if you don’t have a big budget, expensive gear, actors or props when you are just starting.

     

    2. You don’t need professional gear to get started. As you mentioned, you can use a smartphone. You might, however, need a Lavalier, preferably a wireless one.

     

    3. Lights are important and they can better the quality of your films. If you don’t have at least a ringlight, try making the most out of natural light: use windows, for outdoor shoots, try to shoot early in the morning when the sun rises, avoid Contre-jour (it’s best to have the lights in your subject’s face, not in his back).

     

    4. At first, you might not have professional actors or a budget to hire them. On the other hand, you can ask your friends and family to act in your films. You could also ask a local acting club to help you out or actors that are just starting in their career and need a portfolio.

     

    5. When you write the script, you need to consider the locations you have available and the props that you can use. You will need to adapt your script and story accordingly. Because you probably have a low budget, you cannot afford to rent a location or purchase many props. You will need to get creative and improvise a lot but don’t worry, there are plenty tutorials on the internet that can help you out.

     

    6. You can use editing software on your smartphone but it will be more difficult than using an editing software on your PC or laptop. You will need to learn editing skills or you will need to find someone who already has these skills and is willing to collaborate with you. You can find plenty tutorials on YouTube on how to use editing software but it will require a lot of time for you to learn the basics.

     

    It will be difficult to shoot your first film because there are so many things that you don’t think about. The good part is that the more you do it, the better you become! There are many examples of self-taught cinematographers who learned everything by themselves: Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg etc.

     

    Good luck and keep us updated!

     

    [Later edit] Don’t forget to take Production Stills while you are working on your movies and share them with our community!

     

    Thank you, Maura! You have provided a direction for me to get started. 

    • 9 posts
    August 5, 2022 3:06 AM PDT
    Anong Lawan said:

    I am not going to sugar coat this: experience matters. You cannot compare someone like Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino with someone who is making his first movie right now. But you know something? None of them had any experience when they made their first one! Experience comes with time and by actually doing things! If you start today, I doubt you will make the best movie out there but it will be the best movie that you can do at the moment. It is the first step. 
    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"

    Thank you, Anong! It is time for me to start making my first step!

    • 23 posts
    August 11, 2022 9:33 PM PDT

    Yes, you can make a film with no experience. Anyone can make a film. You just need a smartphone and imagination. Some low-budget movies even won awards. It is all in the story that you will tell and the way you tell that story. You should watch the movies made by others on a low budget and that also won prizes. It will inspire you!