Get Creative: now. Guide to filmmaking in lockdown, Part 1


Get Creative: now. A simple guide to making a film during the coronavirus lockdown.
Part 1 , ideas and filming.

If there was ever a time to dig deep and connect with your creative self, it is now.

As we all journey together in this very strange lockdown period I think it is a great opportunity to create.

For us at OSBD our focus is film so here are some top tips to develop your film ideas.

Is there something you would really like to say, communicate? Who would you like to say that too, who would your audience be?

I always think it is much better to create something short and meaningful that is not too overwhelming to produce. Take some time to just brainstorm ideas. The simpler the better.

Could be fictional, a short film or factual, a mini-documentary, maybe animation? Take time over this don’t rush it. Once you have several ideas, play around with them. What do you have, what could work taking on board access to resources and locations depending on what type of lockdown you are in, and the restrictions that brings. Decide on the first one you are going to tackle.

What kind of kit do you have access too? Smart phone, iPad, DSLR or better camera? Do you need to capture sound too? Simplest thing is to capture that using the mic on your device but if you do have an external mic, that would be better.

Can you edit? or do you need to collaborate with someone who can. Do you need people to be in the film, if so at this current time how can you access them safely? Again, you may need to adapt your idea against your current circumstances.

Back to your first idea.

Create a simple story board / timeline of how you think the film will look and flow. Often people use a simple comic strip template to help with that. Do not worry if you cannot draw, just do your best, but get the ideas down.

Once you are happy with that then break each scene of the film into a shot list, a series of shots you want to capture that will help you build the edit at that point. Make sure you have a variety, wide shots offer context, mid shots are good for dialogue and close ups offer emotion and detail. You need to have footage of your actor(s) or subject (documentary) and also cut away /GV shots that show details you can cut to in the edit away from the dialogue and speaking. For example, if you are shooting a scene in the kitchen you may want a kettle boiling, pot on the stove cooking, some none dialogue action of someone moving around the kitchen doing something.


Ok so now you have all this sorted, set up when you are going to shoot it, set times and make sure everyone involved knows what is going on. In the current situation, I imagine this group will be small but as said before keep it simple anyway.

Make sure whatever kit you are using it all works and is powered up with full battery and you have any accessories you need.

If you are using smart phones or ipad etc there are some great apps to help with shooting but TBH the camera function on lots of them now are really good. Filmic Pro is one of the best, available for Android and IOS.

Light is really key so make sure whatever you are shooting and where, there is enough light either daylight or using available lights like ceiling or lamps. I love using daylight so pick locations outside where safe or in the house that offer that unless of course, it’s at night when you will need to other light sources.

Have fun!

Once you have captured everything how you wanted to then ensure you have saved all the footage and back it up if you can.

Now you can begin to edit it all together either yourself having a go or collaborating with someone else. If they are not where you are you will need to transfer all the footage to them using a free service like we Transfer to send big files.

In the next Blog, Luke an up and coming young editor with 2 feature documentaries to his name will give some top tips on editing and post-production.

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