PAAB Short Film Competition 2018

What is Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad?
Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad or fondly known as PAAB was established in 2006 as a wholly owned company under Minister of Finance Incorporated and is part of the Federal Government’s effort to structure the water services industry in Malaysia. PAAB is also an agency under Kementerian Tenaga, Teknologi Hijau dan Air (KeTTHA). As such, PAAB Short Film Competition 2018 (PSF2018) was created to further spread the message on being water-wise and to increase awareness on the need to value and save water.

What is PAAB Short Film Competition 2018?
PAAB Short Film Competition 2018 (PSF2018) aims at encouraging aspiring film makers from colleges and universities in Peninsular Malaysia to put their talents at work. Guided by our theme “Slow The Flow. Save Water.”, participants are to produce a short film (maximum 10 minutes) and submit to us by 25 June 2018.

Who Can Enter?
PSF2018 is open to ALL students from universities and colleges from Peninsular Malaysia.

What Equipment Do I Need?
You don’t need any specialist equipment to make a film. So don’t worry if you’re not up to speed on the latest movie cameras, or even if you don’t know much about cameras at all! Being able to tell a story is more important than the gear you use. These days, film making is so accessible, that you can even use your smartphone as a camera and an editing suite!

How Does the Competition Work?
PSF 2018 is open for English and Bahasa Malaysia short films. The story has to be in line with our theme “Slow The Flow. Save Water.” However, we will leave it up to your creativity on the style of your short film – from documentary style to comedy, serious/drama, animation, silent film to horror film or a combination of any two elemets, say comedy and drama. Just use your creative juices and shoot!

You will have until 11.59pm on 24 June 2018 to submit your production. Submissions can be done via submission page at the next section.

All films will be judged professionals in the industry and TOP THREE (3) films will be screened during the 11th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) in October 2018. KLEFF is an annual festival that offers film makers a platform to showcase their environmental films. With close to 6,000 visitors annually, KLEFF engages and collaborates with other exhibitors, businesses and government agencies to stage Malaysia’s largest environmental film festival.

What Can I Win?
Best Film will receive RM5,000, while 1st and 2nd runners-up will receive RM3,000 and RM2,000 consecutively. Top three films will be screened during the 11th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival (KLEFF) in October 2018.

There will also be prizes for short films that are best in few categories – Best Script, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Environmental Message and Special Jury Award.

In addition, a mystery prize will be given to FIRST 20 SUBMISSIONS!*

So what are you waiting for? Register now at www.paab.my and send us your details!

*Submission fullfills rules and regulations set by organiser.

Please click the link below to register.

Click here

To be accepted into competition, your short film has to adhere to the rules. Read them carefully!

All accepted films go into preliminary jury screenings, from which they have the opportunity to be shortlisted and selected as finalists.The team leader is responsible for registering the team and signing the Final Report before submission.

PAAB Short Film (PSF) reserves the right to make changes to the rules before the competition start.
The participants will be informed of any changes via email.

RULES & TERMS

GENERAL
1. This competition is open to participants from Universities and Colleges in Peninsular Malaysia only.
2. Short films must be original and contain no copyright material.
3. Short films produces MUST NOT exceed 10 minutes.
4. Please submit the films through submission link provided.
5. Decision is final, no appeal will be accepted.
6. The organiser has the right to disqualify an entry if ANY of the following circumstances appears:
– Short film exceeds 10 minutes, including title and credits.
– Visual scenes or dialogues touch sensitive topics (sexuality, religion, politics, violence, etc.)
– Short film has been entered to a competition prior to this.
– Participant fails to register and submit all required details/documents.
– Short film does not meet the theme set by organiser.
7. The organiser reserves the rights to use the submitted film for publicity purposes.

THEMATIC
Theme:      SLOW THE FLOW, SAVE WATER.
Language: English/Malay with subtitle

ENTRY FEES
Submission fees waived. Yes, all submissions are free!

REGISTRATION
One member of the team to leave his or her contact details, the name of the film and some optional information such as crew, location etc.

SUBMISSION DEADLINES AND MATERIALS
1. The submission is open from now until 24th June 2018.
2. FIRST 20 SUBMISSIONS will receive mystery tokens from organiser.
3. Submission via email (softcopy) or hardcopy are both accepted.
4. Submitted short film must be in .mov format, with video quality of HD 1080P.
5. All short films must contain at least one language subtitle: English or Bahasa Melayu subtitle

Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB) reserves the right at any time to change any of the terms and conditions without prior notification to all participants.

AWARD PRIZES

GRAND WINNER
RM5,000
Special invitation to the 11th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2018
Winning short film will be screened at KLEFF in October 2018

1st RUNNER UP
RM3,000
Special invitation to the 11th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2018
Short film will be screened at KLEFF in October 2018

2nd RUNNER UP 
RM2,000
Special invitation to the 11th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2018
Short film will be screened at KLEFF in October 2018

CATEGORIES
Final TOP 10 selected films are eligible to win any of the categories below and will also attend the 11th International Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival 2018

Best Script:                                   RM500
Best Director:                               RM500
Best Original Screenplay:           RM500
Best Environmental Message:   RM500
Special Jury Award:                     RM500

*Copyright Indeminity
Participants are resposible for all necessary copyright clearances for material used in their submitted works, and shall fully indemnify the organiser against any loss or damage resulting from copyright infringement lawsuits from other parties.

Please click the link below to submit.

Click here

Note : Participants are required to sign in to Google account first before submitting the form.

Alternatively, you can send hardcopy (DVD/USB) via mail or hand deliver.

Please write PSF2018 on the front of your envelope and send it to us at the following address:

PENGURUSAN ASET AIR BERHAD
CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
24th Floor, Menara Multi Purpose, Capital Square
No. 8, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 50100 Kuala Lumpur

SUBMISSION DATE : Before 25th June 2018

BEGINNER’S GUIDE

After watching a great movie, few people ever sit back and think about how much work it took to make a movie. They may check out how much the actors were paid or what kind of budget the film worked with, but it’s impossible to know what it truly takes to make a film until you’ve been through the process yourself.

Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker or just want to get an idea of the movie-making process, here’s a very basic breakdown of how a film is made.
Think of this as the beginner’s guide to the filmmaking process:

Step 1 : The Idea

Every movie you’ve ever seen first started with an idea in someone’s brain. Although things change as a project goes on, the story you come up with in the beginning will serve as the foundation on which everything else will be built. Start thinking about the kind of story you want your film to tell and all the important story elements involved: plot, characters, conflict, etc.

Our tip: Ideas pop into our heads unexpectedly! Be sure to always carry your phone or writing equipment to take down any cool ideas that enhance your story.

It’s also a good idea to create a folder in which you save newspaper and magazine articles, snippets of overheard dialogue, notes on characters you see on the street, and even dreams. You may not know what to do with these things now but the day will come when you do.

Step 2 : The Script

The script is where you’ll put down the story, setting, and dialogue in linear form. This important tool will be used by the rest of the team to know what’s going to happen in the film. You’ll also be using your own script as reference throughout the process as well since you may need to refresh yourself on certain actions, dialogue lines, and more.

Our tip: Don’t be afraid to make changes to the script even after you think it’s ready. More often than not, better ideas will come to you well after this stage in the filmmaking process.

And don’t be afraid to let your actors improvise, whether it’s in rehearsal or on the set. You may be surprised at what your actors are able to imagine from their character’s point of view. This is especially true for filmmakers who may not be great with writing dialogue.

Step 3: The Storyboards

A storyboard is a sequence of drawings that represent the shots you plan to film. We highly recommend this process because it helps you visualize each scene and decide on things like camera angles, shot sizes, etc. You’ll discover your storyboard’s true value when it helps communicate what you’re trying to go for to other people on the set.

And for those of you who think, “I can’t draw,” photographing your storyboards can be a quick solution. Your camera phone works fine for this. Just take a couple of friends to your location and tell them, “You stand here, you stand there,” and take pictures. Take lots of pictures. From lots of different vantage points. Then select the ones you like best and there’s your storyboard. Doing this has the added advantage of showing you what’s really possible. Because we often draw storyboards, then discover to our disappointment, that we’d have to demolish -+ a wall to get the perspective that we’ve imagined.

Step 4: The Cast and Crew

Assembling your team can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. We recommend you take as much time as needed to find the right people for your film. For crew members, be sure to consider their past work and experience, and request showreels or any examples if available. You should also hold auditions to find the best actors and actresses for your roles.

Our tip: Don’t feel obligated to include friends and family in your project. This is your film, which means choosing the best people for the job. Hopefully your acquaintances are professional enough to accept when you don’t think they’re a fit for your project.

Step 5: The Locations

You may need to construct sets for a setting you’d like to have. But for scenes where an actual location will do, you’ll need to do some scouting to find the best spots scenes. Take a camera with you and do as much traveling as possible, snapping shots of places you think will serve as the perfect setting for particular scenes.

Our tip: Always consider the space required by the cast and crew. Don’t choose a cramped, narrow space where only the actors will fit well and not the cameras, lights, etc.

Step 6: The Filming

It all comes down to this. To prepare, be sure to have a shoot script ready along with an organized schedule of what will be filmed when. Give yourself plenty of time to shoot scenes so that you’re never rushed and can accommodate for changes or problems. It’s common for a scene that will last one minute in the final cut to require more than five hours to film.

Our tip: If time permits, try filming the same scenes from new angles. This way, you’ll have more footage to work with that can keep your viewers engaged.

Step 7: The Post-Production

If you thought filming took time, you were wrong. Post-production is when you edit all your footage to create a rough cut of the film. Once done with the rough cut, you’ll begin adding things like sound effects, music, visual effects, and color correction. This process will require the use of editing software – if you’re not confident, feel free to find/hire an experienced editor.

Our tip: Before you polish up your rough cut, show it to people whose opinions you can trust. It’s better that you find out what isn’t working now rather than when your audience is watching the final version.

FULL GUIDE

For all you avid movie fans who have always dreamed about making a film yourself but never had the opportunity to do it, PAAB Short Film Competition 2018 (PSF2018) is the perfect excuse to give it a try! But if you’ve never made a film before sometimes the whole process can seem daunting, so we’ve collected a bunch of articles and film making websites that will be of help in getting to grips with how to go about making a short film.

3 Things to bear in mind when you’re making a short film

  1. You don’t need expensive gears to make films, all you need is an idea, something to shoot on (you’d be surprised the results you can get from a smartphone) and some editing software, which you can download for free, to edit on. Once you have these three elements you’re ready to go!
  2. There is no limit on team sizes. One person can potentially do it all or you can have 100 people involved, some as cast some as crew. It all depends on what you want to do!
  3. Enjoy yourself! As we’ve said, film making can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before but once you get started you’ll soon find that it’s a really rewarding process and you can have a lot of fun bringing that idea of yours to life.

So read the film making articles and links to websites that we provide in this section, figure out what kind of short film you want to make, and then get filming. There’s no better way to learn how to do something then to jump right in and give it a go!

Good luck with your short movie!

Film Making Steps

Because PSF2018 is about producing a short film in a fixed timeframe, having an organised schedule is of the essence. We’d advise dividing your schedule into four (4) parts.

  1. Organise your team! Ideally you should do this before the start date of the 25th of April. Whether it’s only going to be 1 or 2 people, or you’re getting the whole town involved. Determine who is doing what? People can either have single or multiple roles, but in general there are some key positions that you need to consider;
    1: Writer
    2: Producer/Director
    3: Camera operator/cinematographer/director of photography
    4: Sound Recordist
    5: Editor

On a big budget feature there will be many more roles than this but these are the basic positions that need to be fulfilled to make a film. Below is a link to a full list of roles >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_crew

  1. Write your Script ( We have more details on this below )
    Timeframe : 1 Week. Try to aim to have this done in the first week. The quicker you have your script written the more time you’ll have for filming.
  2. Film your script ( We have more details on this below )
    Timeframe : 2 weeks : Of course this can take as little as a day or even a few hours and really depends on how many locations and how visually complex a script you are filming.
  3. Edit and deliver your film. ( We have more details on this below )
    Timeframe : 1 week : But the more time you can leave yourself the better! Editing often takes longer than shooting so bear this in mind!

Getting Started

A ROUGH GUIDE TO THE FILM MAKING PROCESS
The film making process is commonly divided into five phases: Idea and Development; Pre-production; Production; Post-production; and Distribution. Working according to these phases can help you do the job in a logical order, with as little complications as possible, since each stage of the process is based on the successful completion of its predecessor.

Phase 1: Idea and Development
Finding the initial idea for the film is the core of the whole film making process. Inspiration is often elusive, not only to film makers but to other artists as well, and you might want to ask yourself a few questions in order to find what it is that you want to say to the world: What topics are close to your heart? On what topics do you feel you have a unique voice or a unique perspective? What new ideas do you want your audience to think about? What experiences and notions do you want to share with them?

Not every idea for a film is a good idea for a film, and indeed, most concepts won’t make it to the next level. But once you find an idea that excites you, you will need to develop it so it forms the foundation of your film. This phase of the process will help you understand exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it, and will make it easier for you to convey it to other people, on-set and off-set, thus making sure that everybody’s on the same page.

Working on paper can help you put things in order. Think about the structure of your film: it should have a beginning, middle and end. Think about your target audience, who they are and what you want them to feel after watching your film. In order to make sure you know exactly what your film is going to be about, try to describe the whole story in just one sentence, then in just one appealing paragraph – this will also help you when you search for funding.

Next, write your script using a script format; think about characters, dialogues, sights and sounds. An important tip is to have all details in the script, but not too many details: a good filmmaker should always know his strengths and weaknesses, and allow the professionals who work with him to make decisions in areas he’s not familiar with. You can also make a graphic storyboard.

You will often discover you need to do some research in this phase. If your film refers to times or places you don’t know personally, research all relevant historical and cultural aspects in order to make your film as reliable as possible. Spend time designing round characters, their lives and their motives.

Phase 2: Pre-Production
Many consider the pre-production phase the most important phase in the filmmaking process. In pre-production you plan all the logistical and creative aspects of the production, while trying to think about all possible problems and tackle them in advance. For that reason, a good, comprehensive pre-production can save you a lot of time, money and effort. 

Casting takes place in the pre-production phase, and as the face of your film, the actors you choose are crucial for its success. Schedule auditions, cast actors for all parts and conduct rehearsals. Actors should also have the time to make researches of their own, get to know their characters and understand them.

Planning your schedule is a major part of pre-production. Try to estimate how many days of production you’re going to need in order to get all the wanted audio and visual materials, and plan your days in the most cost-effective way possible. Budget should also be taken under account when planning the production itself and it’s important to keep track on expenses at all times.

Other topics that need to be settled in the pre-production phase are finding locations, designing and constructing sets, planning basic camera movement and coming up with Plan Bs in case things don’t go as planned (e.g. weather problems).

Phase 3: Production
The production is the execution phase of the filmmaking process, during which all the audio and visual materials are being gathered. On this phase shooting and recording take place. A large part of the filming crew participates in this stage, making sure that the script is being followed accurately and that the materials are of the best possible quality.

The camera makes its first appearance during production, and it is important to know exactly what to shoot and how. Shooting must be based on the script and storyboard in order to ensure that the right materials are being recorded; the previous phases should eliminate any need for improvisation. When recording it is also important to keep lighting – both natural and artificial – in mind, as it will help you convey the film’s atmosphere to the audience.

The audio recording of the film must take place on a silent set, since every unwanted noise may be recorded on the sensitive microphones. When starting to record, everyone on set should know they need to be silent. The cast should also know to speak up and speak clearly so that their words are easy to follow.

Phase 4: Post-Production
The post-production phase includes editing all the materials that were gathered during shooting, thus assembling it into a fluent, consistent film. This is also time to insert the overlay of adjustments and effects that creates the full cinematic experience you have envisioned. Post-production usually takes longer than the production itself!

Needless to say, the raw material of a film is not ready for distribution. Editing is the process of going through the footage, cutting and re-arranging it, discarding what is not needed and making sure that what remains tells the story clearly. To do so, choose the best takes and use the script and notes you took during the shooting.

In addition, during the post-production phase special visual and sound effects are added and the film’s soundtrack is edited. Color corrections are made and sometimes an arration is added. This is the time to title the film. Although all those things may seem as “final touches”, they have a great influence on the film’s atmosphere and message.

How to write a good short film script

This is a short article in which to deal with a big subject: how to write a good script for a short film. Rule number one: there are no hard and fast rules. But, if your aim is to get your film funded, there are definitely some guiding principles that will help to ensure that your project is taken seriously.

Why Am I Making this Film?
The most important thing to say is that a short isn’t a feature film and that it is generally a bad idea to try to squeeze a story you are developing (or have written) as a feature into a short.

Most festivals will accept as a short anything that is under 30 minutes, but many programmers and curators also say that they find it difficult to place longer short films (ones over 20 minutes). If your film is over 20 minutes long it may well need and be able to cope with more characters and a secondary story strand….

Finding the Story
Any kind of dramatic story requires 3 basic elements:
– A world
– A character
– A problem

Short films are no different; you just have less time to establish and develop each element. Most successful short films focus on ONE moment or event in the life of ONE main character. Because of that it is unusual for a short film to take place over a long period of time – it’s usually just looking at the immediate build up to and/or consequences of that one event.

The World
Because of the need to establish an instantly recognisable world in order to get on with exploring a character’s problem, it can be useful to set your film around a familiar event or ritual: a wedding, a birthday party, the first day at school, tea with stuffy relatives etc. With a setting of this sort you can take for granted the audience’s familiarity with the situation and you have immediately placed your characters into a story world full of barely suppressed emotions, which is always useful for generating dramatic tension and story events. The other advantage to choosing a setting of this sort is that it gives the story a finite time frame. Another popular setting for the short film is the journey. Most short films focus on a pivotal, significant event in the life of the main character so that the story inevitably takes the character on a metaphorical emotional journey and it can work well to use a literal journey as its setting.

The Character & the Problem
The most important questions to ask yourself when you begin to develop your story are:
– Who is the main character?
– What is his or her problem?
– How will the audience recognise the problem?

The audience must be clear from the outset who the film is about, and they won’t be if you aren’t. Your main character is the one who has the problem and if there isn’t a character in the story with a problem then you don’t have a film, or at least not one that will work as a dramatic narrative.

What is driving your main character through the story must be one of the following:
– A want
– A need
– An obligation

And in all cases it must be clear to the audience, even if it isn’t to the character, what this is. But what must also be present in the story – and apparent to the audience – is something that is making it hard for the character to pursue his or her want, need or obligation. The fact that something is making it hard is what turns it into a problem and, like we said before, no problem, no film.

Making Problems Manifest to the Audience
The way in which you turn a character’s inner problem into the heart of your film and make sure that the audience can SEE it is one of the most important ways that you can demonstrate your skill as a filmmaker and not just as a story-teller. When we’re reading books we can be inside a character’s head but when we’re watching films we need to see characters DOING things that show us what they are thinking and feeling.

Are the Stakes High Enough?
Ensuring that there is something at stake in the story means that the audience can understand what the character stands to lose if he or she does not solve the problem. If the story hinges around a life or death situation then it is clear what is at stake but if it is simply that the car breaks down think about how you set the film up so that the audience knows why it really matters that the character completes this particular journey.

Am I Telling the Story from the Best Point of View?
Think about the story of Cinderella and imagine if you told it with one of the ugly sisters as the main character. You could still make a good story but it would not have a happy ending (in one of the earliest versions of the story the sisters have their eyes pecked out by blackbirds at the end!) and therefore would have a very different meaning – it would function more as a cautionary tale than as a feel-good fairy story.

What Does My Story Mean?
You probably don’t set out to write a film with a theme or even with a conscious awareness of what your story means but every story communicates some meaning to the audience. Once you are sure how the story begins and ends then you have a clear indication of its meaning and this will help you make important choices as you refine and develop your script particularly in relation to…

The Tone of the Film
Tone is intimately connected to genre and though genre is less of an issue in shorts than in features it is still important to think about what kind of film you are writing in broad terms.

To summarize so far…
A good short film needs a story in which something happens that has a discernible effect on the main character. All successful short films focus on one moment/event. That moment is likely to be: one of universal significance– a moment that is of significance to the protagonist (whether s/he knows it at the time)– one that produces a situation in which the stakes are high for the protagonist.

Production and Post Production

FILMING AND EDITING YOUR SHORT FILM
The ‘Grammar’ of Film

This list is an introduction to film making techniques and includes some of the most important conventions for conveying meaning through particular camera and editing techniques (as well as some of the specialised vocabulary of film production). You would have come across all these techniques in Films you’ve seen but may not have had a vocabulary for what they were. When making your film try to use these technical conventions to help you figure out how best to take your script from the page to the screen!

And remember, conventions aren’t rules: expert practitioners break them for deliberate effect, which is one of the rare occasions that we become aware of what the convention is.

Camera Techniques: Distance and Angle
Long shot (LS). Shot which shows all or most of a fairly large subject (for example, a person) and usually much of the surroundings. Extreme Long Shot (ELS) – see establishing shot: In this type of shot the camera is at its furthest distance from the subject, emphasising the background. Medium Long Shot (MLS): In the case of a standing actor, the lower frame line cuts off his feet and ankles. Some documentaries with social themes favour keeping people in the longer shots, keeping social circumstances rather than the individual as the focus of attention.

Establishing shot. Opening shot or sequence, frequently an exterior ‘General View’ as an Extreme Long Shot (ELS). Used to set the scene.

Medium shots. Medium Shot or Mid-Shot (MS). In such a shot the subject or actor and its setting occupy roughly equal areas in the frame. In the case of the standing actor, the lower frame passes through the waist. There is space for hand gestures to be seen. Medium Close Shot (MCS): The setting can still be seen. The lower frame line passes through the chest of the actor. Medium shots are frequently used for the tight presentation of two actors (the two shot), or with dexterity three (the three shot).

Close-up (CU). A picture which shows a fairly small part of the scene, such as a character’s face, in great detail so that it fills the screen. It abstracts the subject from a context. MCU (Medium Close-Up): head and shoulders. BCU (Big Close-Up): forehead to chin. Close-ups focus attention on a person’s feelings or reactions, and are sometimes used in interviews to show people in a state of emotional excitement, grief or joy. In interviews, the use of BCUs may emphasise the interviewee’s tension and suggest lying or guilt. BCUs are rarely used for important public figures; MCUs are preferred, the camera providing a sense of distance. Note that in western cultures the space within about 24 inches (60 cm) is generally felt to be private space, and BCUs may be invasive.

Picture
Angle of shot. The direction and height from which the camera takes the scene. The convention is that in ‘factual’ programmes subjects should be shot from eye-level only. In a high angle the camera looks down at a character, making the viewer feel more powerful than him or her, or suggesting an air of detachment. A low angle shot places camera below the character, exaggerating his or her importance. An overhead shot is one made from a position directly above the action.

Viewpoint. The apparent distance and angle from which the camera views and records the subject. Not to be confused with point-of-view shots or subjective camera shots.

Point-of-view shot (POV). A shot made from a camera position close to the line of sight of a performer who is to be watching the action shown in the point-of-view shot.

Two-shot. A shot of two people together.

Selective focus. Rendering only part of the action field in sharp focus through the use of a shallow depth of field. A shift of focus from foreground to background or vice versa is called rack focus.

Soft focus. An effect in which the sharpness of an image, or part of it, is reduced by the use of an optical device.

Wide-angle shot. A shot of a broad field of action taken with a wide-angle lens.

Tilted shot. When the camera is tilted on its axis so that normally vertical lines appear slanted to the left or right, ordinary expectations are frustrated. Such shots are often used in mystery and suspense films to create a sense of unease in the viewer.

Camera Techniques: Movement
Images and text (c) 2001 Daniel Chandler – no unauthorized use – this image is watermarked

Zoom. In zooming in the camera does not move; the lens is focussed down from a long-shot to a close-up whilst the picture is still being shown. The subject is magnified, and attention is concentrated on details previously invisible as the shot tightens (contrast tracking). It may be used to surprise the viewer. Zooming out reveals more of the scene (perhaps where a character is, or to whom he or she is speaking) as the shot widens. Zooming in rapidly brings not only the subject but also the background hurtling towards the viewer, which can be disconcerting. Zooming in and then out creates an ugly ‘yo-yo’ effect.

Following pan. The camera swivels (in the same base position) to follow a moving subject. A space is left in front of the subject: the pan ‘leads’ rather than ‘trails’. A pan usually begins and ends with a few seconds of still picture to give greater impact. The speed of a pan across a subject creates a particular mood as well as establishing the viewer’s relationship with the subject. ‘Hosepiping’ is continually panning across from one person to another; it looks clumsy.

Surveying pan. The camera slowly searches the scene: may build to a climax or anticlimax.

Tilt. A vertical movement of the camera – up or down- while the camera mounting stays fixed.

Crab. The camera moves (crabs) right or left.

Tracking (dollying). Tracking involves the camera itself being moved smoothly towards or away from the subject (contrast with zooming). Tracking in (like zooming) draws the viewer into a closer, more intense relationship with the subject; moving away tends to create emotional distance. Tracking back tends to divert attention to the edges of the screen. The speed of tracking may affect the viewer’s mood. Rapid tracking (especially tracking in) is exciting; tracking back relaxes interest. In a dramatic narrative we may sometimes be drawn forward towards a subject against our will. Camera movement parallel to a moving subject permits speed without drawing attention to the camera itself.

Hand-held camera. A hand-held camera can produce a jerky, bouncy, unsteady image which may create a sense of immediacy or chaos. Its use is a form of subjective treatment.

Process shot. A shot made of action in front of a rear projection screen having on it still or moving images as a background.

10 Rules of Easy Filmmaking

These tips will help you get the best results for easy filmmaking with phone cameras, Flips and similar basic cameras.

1 Keep the camera still
Shots that don’t move are easier to watch. They are less likely to ‘break up’ when you play them back. Hold the camera steady and use a tripod or rest it on something like a table or a wall.

2 Zoom all the way out
Zoom all the way out, and stay zoomed out (don’t touch the zoom button while you’re filming). Camera shake will be less obvious.

3 Get in close
Get closeups of the important things so you make sure the audience sees what you want them to see. Instead of zooming in stay zoomed out and move closer to the subject.

4 Film separate shots
Instead of waving the camera around or trying to follow action, film each shot separately. Just show one thing in each shot.

5 Keep your shots simple
Simple shapes, strong colours, and shots that are square on, are best.

6 Vary your shots
Show different things in each shot.

7 Use different camera positions
Don’t shoot everything at eye level. Try filming upwards, downwards, and at different places around the subject.

8 Make sure your shots last the right amount of time
If you are going to edit your film, make your shots a few seconds longer than you need.
If not, make them the right length – 3-5 seconds or so.

9 Watch out for the light
Basic cameras give terrible image quality in low light. Shoot where there’s plenty of light but not too much contrast. Shoot away from the light.

10 Mind the sound
If you can, add the soundtrack afterwards rather than using live sound. If you have to record sound, get in close. If there’s distracting sound, try to film with the camera pointing away from it.

Links to Tutorials

General
http://learnaboutfilm.com : Very Good introduction to the film making process
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Movie
http://www.stuff.tv/how-make-film-stuffs-pro-tips-movie-making/feature
http://www.firstlightonline.co.uk/make-a-film/?oo=8039

Scriptwriting
http://www.raindance.org/7-rules-for-writing-short-films-2/
http://filmg.co.uk/files/downloads/Scripting-Resource-Notes.pdf
http://www.scottishscreen.com/images/documents/firstwritesScreenComp.pdf

Filming
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6N2SpA2XPI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_Sov3xmgwg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXRm9s_7ayQ

Editing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LXQg6t4q2A
http://www.lavideofilmmaker.com/filmmaking/film-editing-tips.html
http://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2008/12/16/12-tips-for-better-film-editing/

Editing Techniques
Cut. Sudden change of shot from one viewpoint or location to another. On television cuts occur on average about every 7 or 8 seconds.
Cutting may:
– change the scene;
– compress time;
– vary the point of view; or
– build up an image or idea.
There is always a reason for a cut, and you should ask yourself what the reason is.
Less abrupt transitions are achieved with the fade, dissolve, and wipe.

Matched cut. In a ‘matched cut’ a familiar relationship between the shots may make the change seem smooth:
– continuity of direction;
– completed action;*
– a similar centre of attention in the frame;
– a one-step change of shot size (e.g. long to medium);
– a change of angle (conventionally at least 30 degrees).
*The cut is usually made on an action (for example, a person begins to turn towards a door in one shot; the next shot, taken from the doorway, catches him completing the turn). Because the viewer’s eye is absorbed by the action he is unlikely to notice the movement of the cut itself.

Jump cut. Abrupt switch from one scene to another which may be used deliberately to make a dramatic point. Sometimes boldly used to begin or end action. Alternatively, it may be result of poor pictorial continuity, perhaps from deleting a section.

Motivated cut. Cut made just at the point where what has occurred makes the viewer immediately want to see something which is not currently visible (causing us, for instance, to accept compression of time). A typical feature is the shot/reverse shot technique (cuts coinciding with changes of speaker). Editing and camera work appear to be determined by the action. It is intimately associated with the ‘privileged point of view’ (see narrative style: objectivity).

Cutting rate. Frequent cuts may be used as deliberate interruptions to shock, surprise or emphasize.

Cutting rhythm. A cutting rhythm may be progressively shortened to increase tension. Cutting rhythm may create an exciting, lyrical or staccato effect in the viewer.

Cross-cut. A cut from one line of action to another. Also applied as an adjectuve to sequences which use such cuts.

Cutaway/cutaway shot (CA). A bridging, intercut shot between two shots of the same subject. It represents a secondary activity occurring at the same time as the main action. It may be preceded by a definite look or glance out of frame by a participant, or it may show something of which those in the preceding shot are unaware. (See narrative style: parallel development) It may be used to avoid the technical ugliness of a ‘jump cut’ where there would be uncomfortable jumps in time, place or viewpoint. It is often used to shortcut the passing of time.

Reaction shot. Any shot, usually a cutaway, in which a participant reacts to action which has just occurred.

Insert/insert shot. A bridging close-up shot inserted into the larger context, offering an essential detail of the scene (or a reshooting of the action with a different shot size or angle.)

Buffer shot (neutral shot). A bridging shot (normally taken with a separate camera) to separate two shots which would have reversed the continuity of direction.

Fade, dissolve (mix). Both fades and dissolves are gradual transitions between shots. In a fade the picture gradually appears from (fades in) or disappears to (fades out) a blank screen. A slow fade-in is a quiet introduction to a scene; a slow fade-out is a peaceful ending. Time lapses are often suggested by a slow fade-out and fade-in. A dissolve (or mix) involves fading out one picture while fading up another on top of it. The impression is of an image merging into and then becoming another. A slow mix usually suggests differences in time and place. Defocus or ripple dissolves are sometimes used to indicate flashbacks in time.

Superimpositions. Two of more images placed directly over each other (e.g. and eye and a camera lens to create a visual metaphor).

Wipe. An optical effect marking a transition between two shots. It appears to supplant an image by wiping it off the screen (as a line or in some complex pattern, such as by appearing to turn a page). The wipe is a technique which draws attention to itself and acts as a clear marker of change.

Inset. An inset is a special visual effect whereby a reduced shot is superimposed on the main shot. Often used to reveal a close-up detail of the main shot.

Split screen. The division of the screen into parts which can show the viewer several images at the same time (sometimes the same action from slightly different perspectives, sometimes similar actions at different times). This can convey the excitement and frenzy of certain activities, but it can also overload the viewer.

Stock shot. Footage already available and used for another purpose than the one for which it was originally filmed.

Invisible editing: See narrative style: continuity editing.

Manipulating Time

Screen time: a period of time represented by events within a film (e.g. a day, a week).

Subjective time. The time experienced or felt by a character in a film, as revealed through camera movement and editing
(e.g. when a frightened person’s flight from danger is prolonged).

Compressed time. The compression of time between sequences or scenes, and within scenes. This is the most frequent manipulation of time in films: it is achieved with cuts or dissolves. In a dramatic narative, if climbing a staircase is not a significant part of the plot, a shot of a character starting up the stairs may then cut to him entering a room. The logic of the situation and our past experience of medium tells us that the room is somewhere at the top of the stairs. Long journeys can be compressed into seconds. Time may also be compressed between cutaways in parallel editing. More subtle compression can occur after reaction shots or close-ups have intervened. The use of dissolves was once a cue for the passage of a relatively long period of time.

Long take. A single shot (or take, or run of the camera) which lasts for a relatively lengthy period of time. The long take has an ‘authentic’ feel since it is not inherently dramatic.

Simultaneous time. Events in different places can be presented as occurring at the same moment, by parallel editing or cross-cutting, by multiple images or split-screen. The conventional clue to indicate that events or shots are taking place at the same time is that there is no progression of shots: shots are either inserted into the main action or alternated with each other until the strands are somehow united.

Slow motion. Action which takes place on the screen at a slower rate than the rate at which the action took place before the camera. This is used: a) to make a fast action visible; b) to make a familiar action strange; c) to emphasise a dramatic moment. It can have a lyric and romantic quality or it can amplify violence.

Accelerated motion (undercranking). This is used:
a) to make a slow action visible;
b) to make a familiar action funny;
c) to increase the thrill of speed.

Reverse motion. Reproducing action backwards, for comic, magical or explanatory effect.

Replay. An action sequence repeated, often in slow motion, commonly featured in the filming of sport to review a significant event.

Freeze-frame. This gives the image the appearance of a still photograph. Clearly not a naturalistic device.

Flashback. A break in the chronology of a narrative in which events from the past are disclosed to the viewer. Formerly indicated conventionally with defocus or ripple dissolves.

Flashforward. Much less common than the flashback. Not normally associated with a particular character. Associated with objective treatments.

Extended or expanded time/overlapping action. The expansion of time can be accomplished by intercutting a series of shots, or by filming the action from different angles and editing them together. Part of an action may be repeated from another viewpoint, e.g. a character is shown from the inside of a building opening a door and the next shot, from the outside, shows him opening it again. Used nakedly this device disrupts the audience’s sense of real time. The technique may be used unobtrusively to stretch time, perhaps to exaggerate, for dramatic effect, the time taken to walk down a corridor. Sometimes combined with slow motion.

Ambiguous time. Within the context of a well-defined time-scheme sequences may occur which are ambiguous in time. This is most frequently comunicated through dissolves and superimpositions.

Universal time. This is deliberately created to suggest universal relevance. Ideas rather than examples are emphasised. Context may be disrupted by frequent cuts and by the extensive use of close-ups and other shots which do not reveal a specific background.

Use of Sound

Direct sound. Live sound. This may have a sense of freshness, spontaneity and ‘authentic’ atmosphere, but it may not be acoustically ideal.

Studio sound. Sound recorded in the studio to improve the sound quality, eliminating unwanted background noise (‘ambient sound’), e.g. dubbed dialogue. This may be then mixed with live environmental sound.

Selective sound. The removal of some sounds and the retention of others to make significant sounds more recognizable, or for dramatic effect – to create atmosphere, meaning and emotional nuance. Selective sound (and amplification) may make us aware of a watch or a bomb ticking. This can sometimes be a subjective device, leading us to identify with a character: to hear what he or she hears. Sound may be so selective that the lack of ambient sound can make it seem artificial or expressionistic.

Sound perspective/aural perspective. The impression of distance in sound, usually created through the use of selective sound. Note that even in live television a microphone is deliberately positioned, just as the camera is, and therefore may privilege certain participants.

Sound bridge. Adding to continuity through sound, by running sound (narration, dialogue or music) from one shot across a cut to another shot to make the action seem uninterrupted.

Dubbed dialogue. Post-recording the voice-track in the studio, the actors matching their words to the on-screen lip movements. Not confined to foreign-language dubbing.

Wildtrack (asynchronous sound). Sound which was self-evidently recorded separately from the visuals with which it is shown. For example, a studio voice-over added to a visual sequence later.

Parallel (synchronous) sound. Sound ’caused’ by some event on screen, and which matches the action.

Commentary/voice-over narration. Commentary spoken off-screen over the shots shown. The voice-over can be used to:
– introduce particular parts of a programme;
– to add extra information not evident from the picture;
– to interpret the images for the audience from a particular point of view;
– to link parts of a sequence or programme together.
The commentary confers authority on a particular interpretation, particularly if the tone is moderate, assured and reasoned. In dramatic films, it may be the voice of one of the characters, unheard by the others.

Sound effects (SFX). Any sound from any source other than synchronised dialogue, narration or music. Dubbed-in sound effects can add to the illusion of reality: a stage- set door may gain from the addition of the sound of a heavy door slamming or creaking.

Music. Music helps to establish a sense of the pace of the accompanying scene. The rhythm of music usually dictates the rhythm of the cuts. The emotional colouring of the music also reinforces the mood of the scene. Background music is asynchronous music which accompanies a film. It is not normally intended to be noticeable. Conventionally, background music accelerates for a chase sequence, becomes louder to underscore a dramatically important action. Through repetition it can also link shots, scenes and sequences. Foreground music is often synchronous music which finds its source within the screen events (e.g. from a radio, TV, stereo or musicians in the scene). It may be a more credible and dramatically plausible way of bringing music into a programme than background music (a string orchestra sometimes seems bizarre in a Western).

Silence. The juxtaposition of an image and silence can frustrate expectations, provoke odd, self-conscious responses, intensify our attention, make us apprehensive, or make us feel dissociated from reality.

Lighting

Soft and harsh lighting. Soft and harsh lighting can manipulate a viewer’s attitude towards a setting or a character. The way light is used can make objects, people and environments look beautiful or ugly, soft or harsh, artificial or real. Light may be used expressively or realitically.

Backlighting. A romantic heroine is often backlit to create a halo effect on her hair.

Graphics

Text. Titles appear at or near the start of the programme. Their style – typeface, size, colour, background and pace – (together with music) can establish expectations about the atmosphere and style of the programme. Credits listing the main actors, the director, and so on, are normally shown at or near the beginning, whilst those listing the rest of the actors and programme makers are normally shown at the end. Some American narrative series begin with a lengthy pre-credit sequence. Credits are frequently superimposed on action or stills, and may be shown as a sequence of frames or scrolled up the screen. Captions are commonly used in news and documentaries to identify speakers, in documentaries, documentary dramas and dramatic naratives to indicate dates or locations. Subtitles at the bottom of the screen are usually used for translation or for the benefit of the hearing-impaired.

Animation. Creating an illusion of movement, by inter-cutting stills, using graphics with movable sections, using step-by-step changes, or control wire activation.

Narrative Style

Subjective treatment. The camera treatment is called ‘subjective’ when the viewer is treated as a participant (e.g. when the camera is addressed directly or when it imitates the viewpoint or movement of a character). We may be shown not only what a character sees, but how he or she sees it. A temporary ‘first-person’ use of camera as the character can be effective in conveying unusual states of mind or powerful experiences, such as dreaming, remembering, or moving very fast. If overused, it can draw too much attention to the camera. Moving the camera (or zooming) is a subjective camera effect, especially if the movement is not gradual or smooth.

Objective treatment. The ‘objective point of view’ involves treating the viewer as an observer. A major example is the ‘privileged point of view’ which involves watching from omniscient vantage points. Keeping the camera still whilst the subject moves towards or away from it is an objective camera effect.

Parallel development/parallel editing/cross-cutting. An intercut sequence of shots in which the camera shifts back and forth between one scene and another. Two distinct but related events seem to be happening at approximately the same time. A chase is a good example. Each scene serves as a cutaway for the other. Adds tension and excitement to dramatic action.

Invisible editing. This is the omniscient style of the realist feature films developed in Hollywood. The vast majority of narrative films are now edited in this way. The cuts are intended to be unobtrusive except for special dramatic shots. It supports rather than dominates the narrative: the story and the behaviour of its characters are the centre of attention. The technique gives the impression that the edits are always required are motivated by the events in the ‘reality’ that the camera is recording rather than the result of a desire to tell a story in a particular way. The ‘seamlessness’ convinces us of its ‘realism’, but its devices include:
– the use of matched cuts (rather than jump cuts);
– motivated cuts;
– changes of shot through camera movement;
– long takes;
– the use of the sound bridge;
– parallel development.
The editing isn’t really ‘invisible’, but the conventions have become so familiar to visual literates that they no longer consciously notice them.

Mise-en-scene. (Contrast montage). ‘Realistic’ technique whereby meaning is conveyed through the relationship of things visible within a single shot (rather than, as with montage, the relationship between shots). An attempt is preserve space and time as much as possible; editing or fragmenting of scenes is minimised. Composition is therefore extremely important. The way people stand and move in relation to each other is important. Long shots and long takes are characteristic.

Montage/montage editing. In its broadest meaning, the process of cutting up film and editing it into the screened sequence. However, it may also be used to mean intellectual montage – the justaposition of short shots to represent action or ideas – or (especially in Hollywood), simply cutting between shots to condense a series of events. Intellectual montage is used to consciously convey subjective messages through the juxtaposition of shots which are related in composition or movement, through repetition of images, through cutting rhythm, detail or metaphor. Montage editing, unlike invisible editing, uses conspicuous techniques which may include: use of close- ups, relatively frequent cuts, dissolves, superimposition, fades and jump cuts. Such editing should suggest a particular meaning.

Talk to camera. The sight of a person looking (‘full face’) and talking directly at the camera establishes their authority or ‘expert’ status with the audience. Only certain people are normally allowed to do this, such as announcers, presenters, newsreaders, weather forecasters, interviewers, anchor-persons, and, on special occasions (e.g. ministerial broadcasts), key public figures. The words of ‘ordinary’ people are normally mediated by an interviewer. In a play or film talking to camera clearly breaks out of naturalistic conventions (the speaker may seem like an obtrusive narrator). A short sequence of this kind in a ‘factual’ programme is called a ‘piece to camera’.

Tone. The mood or atmosphere of a programme (e.g. ironic, comic, nostalgic, romantic).

Formats and other features
Shot. A single run of the camera or the piece of film resulting from such a run.

Scene. A dramatic unit composed of a single or several shots. A scene usually takes place in a continuous time period, in the same setting, and involves the same characters.

Sequence. A dramatic unit composed of several scenes, all linked together by their emotional and narrative momentum.

Genre. Broad category of film. Genres include drama, comedy, horror, romance, action, thriller, sci fi etc. or any mix of these.

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