So you want to learn, how to make a movie? Well in today’s world it is very simple to make a movie, but most books on movie-making are too complicated or have too much theory. Our aim is to give you the basics of movie making in a simple and straightforward way.
So if you have access to a handycam or a digital camera that records movies, and own a computer which has internet, then you are at the right place. In this introductory lesson we will teach you how to start watching movies in a different manner. The first step towards making movies is to be able to think like a filmmaker.
Step 1. Make a movie in your head
Every movie is made of three basic shots. To start visualizing a film, one needs to know the three basic shots, which are as follows:
A long shot is basically used to show and establish the scene. It shows all the elements in the scene from a distance to establish where the scene is taking place. Hence, it is also sometimes referred to as the Establishing shot or a wide shot. The shot given below shows a man standing in the forest. But we can’t make out who he is and what are his expressions.
A close shot is used to show the subject in detail. In case of an actor, his face dominates in a close shot, to show his expression. The main objective is also to try and capture the emotions of the subject. Unlike the wide shot, it focuses strongly on one element and in detail. If you have ever come across TV soap operas, you would have noticed the attack of a large number of close up shots.
A medium shot is somewhere between a close shot and a wide shot. When there’s a character in the frame, a medium shot shows the action that the character is performing. Majority of the shots in the movies are medium shots. They are used to move the story forward.
Just like the english language is made up of 26 alphabets, every movie is made up of a combination of these three shots. Most scenes in films start with a long shot (also known as wide shot) and then move in to medium shots followed by a lot of close ups.
How to make a movie exercise:
Watch this short movie and identify the different shots used in the movie.
If you were able to identify all the different types of shots used in this movie, then you have already started thinking like a filmmaker. Now you know how to make a movie in your head. Congratulations! In case you found this lesson interesting you may consider purchasing our ebook on ‘How to make a movie‘. Click here to know more about the ebook. We’ll keep posting new tips on movie making occasionally and also post amazing short movies every Friday. To stay updated – Subscribe.
Movie making: End note
We’ve just given you a taste of movie making. Every movie begins with an idea in someone’s head. How do you translate the stories in your head into movies that people can watch? How do you raise funds to make your movies? What does it take to create good movies? Find out all this and much more, in our ebook ‘How to make a movie‘.