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Making Movies


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Guide to making short films in PMHS HSC English assignment June 07. Support information for students on applications, approaches and facilities available

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Making Movies

  1. 1. Making Shorts (Help, I’ve got this English Assignment and I’ve got no idea how to make a cool movie short) D/Groom/PMHS/2007
  2. 2. What is in this? • Quick and dirty short production • Getting organised • Software available at PMHS • Great work has a learning overhead • Applications to manipulate film • Suggested approaches
  3. 3. Quick and dirty 101 • Editing film requires TIME and PATIENCE • Know your limitations and boundaries • You can use a video camera to record a standard MONITOR, so play your film clip, tape it and then you’ve got your content the easy way. • Edit your footage using Nero 7 (Vision Express) and export to VCD.
  4. 4. Quick and dirty 101 • Nero allows you to import footage from a DV or USB based video camera. • You can cut it up and then export it to a VCD format. • It won’t be HIGH on ‘eye candy’ but it will work • You can do the same thing using Windows Movie Maker
  5. 5. Quick and dirty 101 • Nero 7 (Vision Express) and MMaker are ENTRY level editors. This method will allow you to make a short in about 4 hours including the filming off a MONITOR • TV recording often means you get the flicker effect - use a monitor - it still won’t be smooth - but it’s better.
  6. 6. Getting Organised • Mucking about with video apps is a time wasting experience! - get organised. • You need to be clear on the clips you want. • You need to get them ALL into the SAME FORMAT to edit (this is the hardest part) • Once you have your footage in the same format, you can then edit it down.
  7. 7. Getting Organised • On paper - you need to draft a storyboard. • What is on the screen - how long is each scene on the screen for. • Trailers tend NOT to have any single ‘shot’ on the screen for more than 6 seconds. That is a lot of editing! • What is the voice over during the scene - exact words • What is the sound track or effect behind it. • What volume is each piece of audio (high/mid/low)
  8. 8. Getting Organised • Before considering cutting up the footage - you need to BE ORGANISED • Have a STORYBOARD completed (this gives you something to work to and sets limits) • HAVE all your footage in the same format and in the same SIZE - ie MP4 at 320x240 pixels. • WITHOUT THE ABOVE DONE DONT WASTE YOUR TIME ATTEMPTING TO START EDITING AND PRODUCING ANYTHING ... you will burn time!
  9. 9. Software Available • Windows Movie Maker (all PCs) - basic stuff • Ulead Video studio in C1, C2 (MID) • Audacity (open source) in C1, C2 (MID) • iMovie in the LC on the Apple (MID) • Garage Band in the LC on the Apple (MID) • Adobe Premier in Creative Arts (HIGH END) • Final Cut Express - on the Apple (HIGH END)
  10. 10. Overheads • Video editing is HARD, the software at the high end has a massive GUI to get your head around ... you need to READ tutorials and use the HELP menus and LEARN it. • High End = More Time. The results are SEMI- PRO, but there is a LEARNING CURVE. • BIG SCREEN SIZE = more memory/storage and MORE time to edit and RENDER.
  11. 11. Manipulation • The No 1 error students make is to decide on footage - and not understand the FORMAT that it is in. • Video has a gazillion formats and CODECs. You need to UNDERSTAND the nature of these to ensure what you have or want is going to be useable on the application you intend to use.
  12. 12. Manipulation • Confused yet? • Apple can handle MP2 Layer video, MOV (quicktime), AVI, MP4, DIVx, Xvid • Windoze Media likes MOV, AVI and WMV • CODECS are add-ins that allow APPLICATIONS like Windows Media Player to show Compression formats for the above. There are at least 20 popular CODECS in use • FLV (Flash) - YouTube et al, are a particularly difficult format to manipulate and convert.
  13. 13. Manipulation • DVDs use VOD files and are BIG (4.7gig) • VCDs are about 700meg for a full film, but lower quality than DVDs • DV (digital video) is HIGH QUALITY and makes BIG files. Tape video cameras • Hard Drive cameras use MOD files which are MPEG 2 layer and need converting if you want to edit them.
  14. 14. Manipulation • Bit Torrent and Ripped movies are usually in AVI format using MP4 compression which require CODECS (DivX or Xvid) usually. • Can your editing software deal with MP4 format files? • The audio layer in MP4 may also be MPEG2 audio, so the video might import, but it will drop the audio ...
  15. 15. Manipulation • I recommend you use the following • Premiere - AVI or MOV format files • iMovie/Final Cut - MP4, MOV files • Movie Maker - AVI files • Keep clear of FLV and WMV files.
  16. 16. Manipulation • Daemon Tools - mounts virtual drives for VCD format films from ISO and CUE files • AShampoo - converts RAR files to ISO and CUE files for use with Daemon Tools • Steamclip - converts most formats to other formats (MAC) • RIPPING software converts DVD to AVI or other formats (4.7gig) to approx (700meg) for full feature films.
  17. 17. Approaches • You have to have all your RAW footage in the same format before editing • You need to record voice overs in WAV, AIFF or MP3 format before editing • You need to ‘crop’ you clips using an editor (Premiere/iMovie) and then sequence them • When you’ve added voice over and sound effects, then you can add scene transitions and video effects
  18. 18. Approaches • Make small video clips (160x120), with low frame rates (12fps). • Assemble a RUSH version with no transitions or fx, just to establish if your film actually works. • Time each clip, and not it. When you come to the REAL thing, you will know what and how long each clip will be - saving time.
  19. 19. Approaches • Expect a 3 minute trailer to be made up of 180 seconds - or about 30 edit points as a rough guide. • Converting 3 minutes will take 3 hours to get into a common format if you’ve never done it before - and assuming you’ve got access to the right software to convert it • Producing 3 minutes will take 8 hours. • Exporting and Rendering will take 2 hours. • 14 hours to make 3 minutes - if you’ve never done it before
  20. 20. Resources • There are no MACS for hire. • 1 in the LC currently (see Mr Groom to book it) • 20 PCs in Creative Arts (Premiere) • 30 PCs in C1 - Ulead/Audacity
  21. 21. Final Word • You cannot GOOGLE this work. • You will get frustrated because you will have to LEARN new skills and READ tutorials and the HELP menu. • You have to MAKE TIME to learn and do this task, there are NO short cuts • The internet is packed with FREE help and tips - don’t ask staff to do your work for you. We don’t have time. • Don’t ask unless are ORGANISED with the storyboard, raw files etc., 75% of this is PREPARATION.