Filmmaking Amateur | Learning Storytelling and the Importance of Interviews (Day Seven)
by Scott U
Learning can be fun! :)) Whatever. Learning is mostly a pain in the butt. You want to do something...you don't know how to do it...so you have to sidetrack getting what you want while you learn how to get it. I'd rather just get it.
So much of filming is not filming. It's learning new things like, "How much gear do I really need for this shoot?" Or, "What does User Setting Two do?" And, "How do I get this interview with that lawnmower rambling over rocks off camera?"
Editing is something that I am focusing on now. And within the editing category you have mixing audio, pacing, storytelling, actual video editing, color correction, render times, video and audio organization and storage, connecting camera to computer, screen calibration, audio calibration, aspect ratio, frame rate, processor speed, power and electricity-it just keeps going.
Editing goes closely with writing as well. If you're on top of your game, you will have some sense of what you are going to say with regard to the footage and interviews you gather. Obviously, the story has to unfold on its own, but you should be holding on to a guard rail.
I mentioned interviews. Interviews are very important, I have learned, in being able to tell the whole story through video. I should note that I am not the kind of guy that likes to be the reporter on-camera describing the scene, so it's key to get other people to tell the story for me.
The latest story I covered took place last night at a local event called the Taste of Sumter. It's a street fair where local restaurants share their food, not for cash, but for special Tasty Tokens. Subway has a booth there to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Problem was, I live in this town and spent most of dusk talking to friends instead of interviewing people. I didn't want to interview my friends. They would not act normal around me. I probably should have interviewed my friends.
As it turns out, I only spoke to three people on camera. A little bit of a story emerged, but I think the viewer is left wondering why they chose to forego those past 90 seconds.
The video doesn't suck, like my last attempt at a local fair last week, but it is not good. Not good in the fact that I didn't convey a well told story(or any real story) to those who would know nothing of the event. The video may have some merit for those that were downtown last night simply because people like to see themselves and people they know on "TV".
It's also important to thoroughly review your edits before you hit "save". I have one big edit flaw and another minor one in this clip.
If you want to forego the next 90 seconds, have a look and let me know what you think in the comment section below.
I just wanted to say that I think your website is amazing. I am a beginner with an idea, and the info and articles on your website are easy to understand and answer many questions I have. I can't wait to start filming!
--Sarah (Sydney, Australia)
I am a professional filmmaker, and I applaud this site for detailing the ABC's of documentary filmmaking. It serves as my own checklist as I continue making my own films... Thanks!