General Questions, Probably Super Common

Hey guys, first post here. i'll introduce myself a little, but not enough to warrant a "Welcome!" thread. I'm Jon, last year high school student, and I know a little about the basics of film. Not going to be a film student or anything, to be honest more interested in (stationary!) graphic design. Still would like to keep it as a hobby though.

Equipment wise:
So right now I'm shooting on a Sony Nex-3 with a 16mm wide angle, and two manual Canon FD lenses: 50mm 1.4 and 28 2.8. I've ordered a cheap HTDZ shotgun mic off ebay, going to be recording line in to an iRiver X20, and I DIY most of my shit (very close to zero budget filmmaking). I've made a PVC rectangle to act as a steadicam, and if held straight out i can use it as a shoulder mount.

Now, on to the questions. I'm looking to make a trailer for a book that I really enjoyed, starting on a screenplay first because I've always been bad at organizing.

Something to keep in mind when answering: I'm an avid photographer so I do know raw elements of photography - so you can relate those to video if it helps.

Any guidelines to lighting/shooting outdoor scenes? I have a reflector disk I might be able to use, but no other lighting equipment (besides a homemade ringlight, but that's not what i'll be going for)

Any suggestions with regard to trailers? I mean - lots of short, punchy action scenes, minimal dialogue because I have shitty non-actors.

How might I light a night time fire scene? I want to crush the blacks and have lots of emphasis on the actor.

It's more of an action short, how should I key the color to emphasize?

Any tips on organizing an... unorganized by nature crew? I can almost guarantee half my friends won't take it seriously and will dick around.

I had more questions, but I forgot them. I'll post more when I remember. Thanks for sifting through this huge ass post.
 
Last edited:
Welcome! Hope we can all help.

Any guidelines to lighting/shooting outdoor scenes? I have a reflector disk I might be able to use, but no other lighting equipment (besides a homemade ringlight, but that's not what i'll be going for)
If you're shooting in daylight, reflectors and bounce cards are about all you can do. 12k HMI's can work if fairly close, but not cheap and require a lot of power. You can always take away light. Flag off areas to make shadows or use something for diffusion. I've heard of people hanging shower curtains over the talent for cheap difusion.

If night-time, that's tricky. You'll need a lot of light. Local hardware stores are selling 500k work lights for $10 each here which work great on a budget. Try to soften/diffuse it and put it far away for moonlight, or write in some light sources (like headlights). You can also shoot day for night.

Any suggestions with regard to trailers? I mean - lots of short, punchy action scenes, minimal dialogue because I have shitty non-actors.
Watch trailers you like, look at how fast the cuts are and listen to the music behind it and pay attention to how it all flows together. It would be wise to storyboard each of your shots and edit together a cinematic o see how you like it.

How might I light a night time fire scene? I want to crush the blacks and have lots of emphasis on the actor.
Is it a bonfire or a house on fire? Cn you describe the shot more?

It's more of an action short, how should I key the color to emphasize?
Color grading? Orange and teal arethe summer action blockbuster colors. Whatever you pick, try to match the wardrobe, props and set design to the pallette it'll help it look sharp and bring the colors you like outing post. Color grading helps, good production design helps more.

Hope that helps!
 
Thanks Paul! Very warm welcome from you.

For the fire shot I was thinking sort of bonfire/campfire. I might shoot it from behind or in front of the fire facing actor's face - not sure yet. Also, I was thinking I'd actually start a legit campfire - if that'd provide enough light.
 
Top