Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start.

~Nido Qubein

A Nikon D3200 and few talented people were all I had when I decided to pursue the dream of making our first short film, Riddance. I spoke with my friend Shubham, the editor of the film and he was equally excited about the initiative and that is how the journey began.

To all the people who have the same dream that I had but don’t know what or where to start with, here are a few tips on how to get started.

1. Brainstorming

Determine the genre.

Are you making a narrative or documentary? Comedy or action? That is something you need to think about when starting your short-film script. Write out your script, if you have never written a script before, pick up a book that explains script writing and character development. You can also get the necessary help from the Celtx program.

2. Gear

For around twenty thousand rupees, you can buy a camera that produces cinematic results. And if you can’t afford to grab a professional camera, then just utilize any camera you can get your hands on.

Yes, this includes camera phones.

Again, making something is better than making nothing.

3. Cast and crew

Assemble your cast and crew according to the character demand of your script.
For a crew, you are going to need as many people as possible, but at least the following:

  1. A camera person
  2. A sound recorder
  3. Someone who knows something about lighting

4. Location

You need to determine the location where your film has to be shot. If it’s an outdoor shooting then you might need to take permissions for non-public locations.

5. Scheduling

After you plan out your shots you may find some of your scenes happen at different times in the story but in the same location. This means when you make a schedule of filming your scenes, that you do all of the different scenes in the same location on the same day.

Be careful! Your characters may need to be wearing the same clothes for different scenes on different days that in the film are the same day. This is called ‘continuity’.

6. And, action!

Now comes the fun part: filming.

Filming takes longer than you think.

Try and film the same scenes from different angles so that when you edit, the audience will have different things to look at. If you only use one camera, film the same scene several times from different angles. Be prepared to have hours of footage for what will be your final 3-minute film.

7. Post-production

Now comes the most time-consuming part: editing or post-production. If you are new to editing, YouTube has a bunch of video editing tutorials using different editing software, both free and paid, that are available in any online store.
There are many free softwares like Movie Maker with Windows or Apple iMovie. If you have a bigger budget, look at Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro or Sony Vegas Pro.

With that done, your film is now ready. So, now go and upload it on YouTube and share the link for your friends to see. Ask for their reviews. You’ll make mistakes, a lot of them, but learning from your mistakes is one of the best ways by which you can improve.

It seemed unexpected at one point of time, but our film, Riddance received many positive feedbacks.

Here are some shots from the film:

Riddance (1)

Riddance (2)

Long after the release of the film, Sreyan Mullick Chowdhury, co-owner of the Anon. Productions, saw the film and asked me and Shubham to join his team. I knew Sreyan and the splendid work he and his team had done. So, when he asked us to be a part of that team, it was an instant “Yes!”

After that, it has been quite a journey – Anon.’s official website launch, promotional photoshoots, TramTales and more.

All said, I would like to end this article with a small word of advice:

In life taking the common road is easy but the biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.

The Anon. Productions has temporarily suspended all operations in Kolkata. This unavailability is for an indefinite period of time.

We hope to return soon.

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