You will need the right equipment to make your film, get in touch with your Regional Screen Agency (download the PDF on the right hand side of this page) for some advice of where to get filmmaking equipment locally.

a. Direction

The Director chooses the right camera shots for the film. Here’s some more information on getting started with directing.
Listen to what Georgia Groome and Jason Isaacs think makes a good director.

b. Camera

The camera is the main tool for shooting your film. Read some technical information about the terms used when dealing with camera equipment.

Top Tip: Keep your camera steady! When using a tripod, always check the spirit level before putting the camera on it. When using the camera without a tripod you will need to take steps to minimise shaking, or your audience may start to feel a little queasy!

  1. Keep your legs apart and elbows bent.
  2. Lean against a wall, or car, or anything nearby if you can.
  3. If it’s a low shot, rest the camera on a sandbag or cushion.

For a moving shot try using a wheelchair, skateboard or shopping trolley to get around. Putting your camera in a netted shopping bag can help to alleviate camera wobble.

Which camera should you buy? Read this handy guide.

c. Lighting

You can achieve great lighting in your film without a big budget. Check out this guide for some tips.

d. Sound

Poor sound quality will ruin the audience’s experience of watching your finished film so make sure you get it right – Read this guide on how to get it right.

Top Tip: NEVER use the microphone on your camera. Choose the right microphone and hold it near to the source of sound.

e. Equipment

Think carefully about what you need to shoot a film – a typical short film an equipment checklist is likely to include:

digital camcorder, tripod, dolly, monitor, mains adaptor and power cable, cables: camera to monitor – picture, camera to monitor – sound, instruction manuals, lights, spare bulbs, coloured gels, reflectors, cables, tapes, rifle microphone, clip microphone, mic batteries, headphones, mic stands, boompole, wind shields (for outside), mic leads: mic to camcorder, instruction manual, extension leads, screwdrivers, fuses, gaffer tape.

f. Make Up and Costume

Everyone who appears on camera will need face powder (boys too!). Don’t go for a natural make up look, things look different of film, so don’t skimp on the blusher or lipstick.

Top Tip: Don’t spend a lot of money here. Powder, concealer, blusher, masacara, lipstick, hairspray, wet wipes and tissues will probably be enough on most projects.

The right costumes are also important for your film’s characters. Is your character trendy, sporty or old fashioned? What kind of image would that character want to portray?

For costumes on a budget try local charity shops, or borrow items from friends and family.

g. Props

Props are a very important part of the film which you need to think about. Use your storyboard to decide which props you will need and make a list. Try and borrow items from friends, family or hit the charity shops to save money.

h. Photography

It’s really important that you take photographs whilst filming as they are invaluable when you come to promote your film. You can use them for posters flyers and for newspapers features.

Top Tip: Using a professional photographer can work out expensive, so try approaching local college photography classes to see if students would be interested in helping out.

i. Contributors Release Form

Whoever appears in your film, whether it is your mum, dad, cousin or next door neighbour they need to fill out a Contributors Release Form to say that they’ve given you permission to use footage of them. You can download the form from the right of this page. If you are aged 18 or younger you MUST get a parent or guardian to sign the form on your behalf.

Next Step: Post Production