4 Tips for First-Time Filmmakers

It’s difficult to know where to start when making a film, and even more so when you’re a first time film-maker. Should you wait until your perfect story comes along, or just use any old one you have lying around? Should you invest more in cameras or cast? And if you’re low on numbers, are you allowed to hire your mum and your dog? Well, here at Cine2DVD Transfers, we know a few things about filmmaking and so we’ve put together this blog post to put you on your path to winning a Best Director award!

Have a Great Story


Amazing stories have the power of capturing a viewer’s full attention. This means that if you make any mistakes, or are unable to do certain things due to time and budget constraints, your viewers will be forgiving (to a certain extent). Having a solid script will mean that you’ll still have a shot, unless something totally disastrous happens on set. A brilliant screenplay doesn’t have to be written from scratch of course, it’s perfectly acceptable and often a lot quicker to base a screenplay on an already existing story. However, don’t just wait around all your life for that perfect story to come along!

Find a Good Cast


If you have any friends that have ever had a dream to be a famous actor, when they find out that you’re making a film they’ll no doubt be nagging you for a part. Unless you’re friends with someone who’s actually a professional actor, casting your friends is almost certainly an awful idea. It’s difficult to tell a friend that they’re doing something wrong, and unless they’re a trained actor it’s likely that they’ll be making plenty of mistakes. Instead, focus on finding a cast that’ll be able to effectively act out the story you’re telling. Remember that making a film is a serious task.

Work with What You’ve Got

If you only have 10 actors to fill up your credits, it’s unrealistic to write a huge crowd-scene into your film. Unless you’re infinitely rich and have decades to make your movie, you’re going to have limits when making your film that you will have to deal with. Thankfully, you can almost always adapt the film to accommodate what you do have, and leave out what you don’t. Tweak the script, use effects, or even sneak some shots of crowds at events to make your film; after all, being flexible is essential in film making.

Break the Rules


Like all creative pieces of work, breaking the rules is one of the most important rules in filmmaking. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore any and all advice you’re given and do whatever you want, but advice should be treated as a tool in your toolbox that may or may not be useful for a certain film. If you strictly follow the rules then your film will lack originality and innovation. Contrary to how the saying goes: rules are not meant to be broken, but it’s certainly fun to do so!

Here at Cine2DVD Transfers, we specialise in 8mm film to DVD conversions, so if your film calls for some old footage, or you just want to modernise your collection, we can surely help! If you’d like more information, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 592 433 or email info@cine2dvdtransfers.co.uk and a member of our team will be happy to help.