We all need to flex our creative muscles from time to time. This could be for a select financial reason, such as promoting your product line or small business services. It could be that you’re hoping to increase your filmmaking portfolio for entrance into film school, or you’re hoping to attend a prestigious photography college. It could be that you simply want to make hobbyist films professional. You might have found that decades in a highly mathematical career, you simply want to get paid to express yourself in some creative form.

No matter your reason, it always pays to begin, develop and publish your project within the right parameters. For this reason, we’d like to offer you some small yet essential useful tidbits of advice to help you achieve your goal in professional terms.

Purchase Professional Equipment

If your project requires a visual component (and many do,) it’s worth purchasing a camera that’s worthwhile. The Canon 5D Mark II & III’s are the new standard for the personal hobbyist, and many of these cameras are used to instruct with in film school. Seeing one of these SLR’s in close range might not look that impressive, as the bulky broadcasting quality of old news cameras might still be fixed in your mind. However, these cameras are perfectly great to use, and allow you a wide range of options regarding the minute details you need to adjust your framing. Also, be sure to upgrade your soft key lighting when filming indoors. Ideally, you need three points of light, a spotlight, a backlight and a fill. This allows for a natural and exposing light to illuminate your subjects in the most attractive way, and there are a large array of creative options this permits.

A green screen is also a wonderful tool to use, and comes relatively inexpensive. You needn’t purchase a custom-made green screen, although these can be useful from a convenience perspective. However, a large sheet of one tone green material can work here, provided you are able to iron all the creases and hold it firmly in place. Lit well, and the dividing line between body and background should be blurred, allowing you larger creative freedom from the get-go. Just be sure to add a tasteful background in your chroma key, so that the artificial replacement isn’t obvious.

Professional Actors

It’s ALWAYS worthwhile to get the best in creative talent involved in your project. Talented voiceover, those with acting ability, as well as those who are able to adapt to your needs is so much more useful during those long shoots. Not only that, but their professionalism on a shoot will help you avoid wasting time with a less experienced person struggling to subdue their nerves. As a general rule, these guys are worth their weight in gold.

Editing Suites

No matter what media frame you are working with, you will need a solid digital workstation to collate and publish all of your recordings in an appropriate way. This is true whether you’re a hobbyist or professional videographer, photographer or musician. To suggest some, Avid Media Composer & Premiere Pro can work well for film, Audacity, Reaper, Ableton & Apple Logic Pro are by far the best for audio. For photography, Photoshop is and will most likely always remain king.

With these tips, you’re sure to begin on the right footing. Plan, plan, plan your project with military precision, and you’re sure to continually increase the quality of your chosen work.


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