Faith Shorts: Tips
Below you will find some top tips from experts in the industry and previous Faith Shorts winners. For more help with your film you can also check out more resources below.
What's more important is what you have to say than how you say it. Don't be intimidated by the camera. Hugh Jackman, Hollywood Actor and Faith Shorts Judge
Oscar winning producer Lord Puttnam shares his tips:
NYU Film School student and 2010 Faith Shorts Winner Esteban Pedraza shares his tips:
Puttnam School of Film student and 2011 Faith Shorts Winner Paulo Reyes shares his tips:
High School student and 2011 Faith Shorts Winner Nadim Merrikh shares his tips:
High School student and 2011 Faith Shorts Winner Amna Aslam shares her tips:
- A tripod helps to ensure that you get a clean shot rather than a shaky film that can make those watching feel a bit seasick.
- Make sure your battery is fully charged before you head out to film.
- Make sure your lens is clean and isn’t covered when you are shooting.
- Watch out for background noise when filming
So what do you want your film to be about? Think about what you want to include in your story, think about the central message of your film and how you want your audience to feel at the end. Be creative, try and tell a story you haven’t seen before. Faith Shorts Judge Hugh Jackman says he's looking for "authenticity, originality, out of the box thinking"
Write a rough script for your film. Now you have to turn that into images you’ll be shooting. One good way is to roughly draw a storyboard. What’s a storyboard? It’s drawings showing what you want to film: like this:
As you can see it doesn’t have to be the best drawing in the world, but gives you an idea of what you’ll be doing with your camera and where you want your cast to stand, and in what order you want to tell your story. Make sure you plan out every scene of your film – how will the story and the characters develop? Pay particular attention to the ending.
Recruit your cast. You can ask your family members, friends, teachers, or religious leaders to participate. Just make sure everyone you ask knows why they’re being filmed and gives their permission!
Find a camera that shoots film – you can apply to our camera competition, use a phone, or borrow a camera from your school or family member.
Sit down with your cast and show them the storyboard. Talk to them about the message you want to get across in your film. If you have a number of locations in your film, visit the sites you plan to film (this could be anywhere from your house or school to a place of worship but make sure you have permission). Test out your camera angles and sound. Watch the footage back after filming to check it looks how you want it to.
Gather all the props, costumes and make up you need to make your film and make sure your cast knows their lines.
Before you film your movie – think about what kind of shots you’ll be using. A close up can help show emotion, whereas a long shot (far away) sets the scene. You can mix and match depending on what you’re trying to show. Different camera angles can also give a different perspective. If it’s an autobiography you might want to film close to the actor so the viewer feels like they are looking through your eyes. Or if you want to make someone seem big and intimidating why not film them from below? Also think about lighting, bright lights will indicate a happy scene whereas dim lighting might seem more intimidating and scary.
Edit your movie – you can film your movie all in one go for three minutes and you won’t need to edit it. However, most the time editing helps to bring together your clips and choose the best footage. Lots of computers come with editing software.
On your pc – go to the start button, click all programmes and try and find ‘Windows Movie Maker’ or download it here.
On a Mac you’ll find IMovie in your applications folder.
If you have a ‘flip’ video camera editing software is transferred to your computer when you plug it in.
Add music, clips and sound effects as you edit. Remember adding music you don’t have permission for is illegal. If you use a commercial music track (music you hear on the radio) you are legally obliged to contact both the artist and the studio where it was recorded to get permission to screen this which can be expensive and time consuming. We will not be able to include your entry unless it complies with copyright restrictions. Below are some options for adding music to your video legally.
Want to make the sound of fire crackling or an earthquake it’s as easy as breaking some chips or rubbing a balloon. There are lots of ways to make your own sound effects at http://www.minimoviemakers.com/sound-effects-archives.html#s24
Or do you know a band, musician, or choir? Why not record your own soundtrack with them?
Want to use some footage in your movie? There are a number of websites that offer some free clips to use in your films where they’ve already given permission!
Prelinger archive library: www.archive.org/details/prelinger
The Federation of Commercial Audio-visual Libraries: www.focalint.org
Stock, archive and news footage network: www.footage.net
Online index to specialist footage libraries: www.stockfootageonline.com
Researcher’s Guide Online: www.bufvc.ac.uk
BBC Archive: www.bbcfootage.com
ITN news footage archive: www.itnarchive.com
British Film Institute collections and archive: www.bfi.org.uk/collections
Getty Images both contemporary and vintage: www.archivefilms.com
British Pathe film archive: www.britishpathe.com
Download a guide to making a film from the BBC that you can print here http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/meandmymovie/download/howto.pdf