Top 15 Mistakes Beginner Filmmakers Make
Beginners in the film industry are always making mistakes, so when a video like this comes along, it’s like striking gold, maybe that’s why it has close to 1.3 million views. Created by D4Darious , it's definitely one of the best vlogs you’ll find on the net about starting out in filmmaking.
“I didn’t make the rules of the game, I’m just letting you know what game you’re playing” - Darious throws down some serious home truths that no one tells you when first starting out. It's informative, entertaining, and aimed at filmmaking noobs (as well as those needing a refresher). The video is chock-a-block full of visual examples as well. If you can know which mistakes to avoid, you will not make them in the first place. Here are some practical tools rookie filmmakers should learn and implement before trying to go out and do their thing.
Let’s count down Darious’s top 15 blunders:
Weak story: If your characters lack clear goals, the audience will not be able to follow along with them.
Undercooked scripts: Scripts with loose ends, that lack clear intent or don’t carry a strong story will leave your audience confused. Make sure your script is strong.
Poor Sound: Sound matters…a lot. Bad sound screams amateur. It’s probably the first thing your audience will notice. You need to give it as much - if not more - attention as your visuals.
Poor casting choices: The right actor will have the right sensibilities for the role he/she is playing, and that will make your job a whole lot easier, so cast with care.
Poor shot composition: Beginner filmmakers generally have a lot of dead space in their films. Take the time to balance your composition, as well as add symmetry and depth. And get rid of those bare white walls.
Poor lighting: Lighting isn’t an option, it’s a requirement. If your shot is not lit properly it can look dull and uninteresting.
Unnecessary Insert Shot: If your insert shot does not add value to the scene, cut it. Use close ups only for important things. Zooming in your camera to emphasize something is good, but when overdone it destroys a film.
Lingering: Lingering on unnecessary bits of action like walking from place A to B can affect the pace of your movie.
Too many pregnant pauses: Silence must be earned. The fewer the pauses you take, the more powerful each pause becomes, so be selective of where you place your moments of silence.
No blocking (movement): Use the space effectively, too much standing or sitting in one place makes the scene static and boring. Use motion to help tell your story and keep your scenes alive.
Too much chit chat: Use action to tell things, not just dialogue. Too much talking kills a scene.
Action for the sake of action: On the other hand, too much action just becomes redundant.
Clichés: Overused ways to start your film - such as your actor waking up in bed - is just one of the filmic clichés newbies can fall victim to. Either find ways to avoid them or use them in a fresh way.
Weak starts: Pay attention to the first few moments of your film. You want to draw your audience in or grab them with something interesting.
Generic music: Don’t just use music for the sake of using music. Your music must fit what’s going on in the story.