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7 tips for Independent filmmakers





1. Let the camera create the atmosphere. The DSLR revolution has not only come in the field of light, optics and speed, but also size. With such small cameras it is possible to shoot much smaller, in different spaces and create a much more intimate atmosphere. They are less intimidating to the actors and you can shoot with several at the same time without disturbing each other. All of this has been key to the filming of our feature film and thanks to which we were able to shoot such an ambitious movie in such tight times and with as many locations as we had.



2. The lenses are the key. Find a good cinematographer who knows them well and invests in having good lenses. Use the one you need at all times even if they are from a different brand but try to give the film a uniformity. In any case, after the multi-year impass of digital cinema in which everything was quite similar to television, cinema has returned. Knowing what narrative effect each lens produces with its diaphragm and shutter aperture variants is one of the most important tasks for a director.



3. Location. Location. Location. If you don't have the money to have a lot of lighting or camera equipment, choosing a suitable location, that already has an atmosphere in itself, that tells something, that allows you to add layers to the story, is almost 50% of the film. Tarkovski talked a lot about the importance of creating the right atmosphere on set because all of this was later transmitted through the actors and technicians to the negative. It is one of the reasons why I decided to shoot all my music videos in common locations and I firmly believe that is what has made the film look how good it looks, that it is 100% credible. No matter how much time you spend locating or how much you spend on a location scouter, it will be worth it.




4. Neutral shots. This advice given by PJ Raval, which refers to shooting in the most neutral way possible to have more options later in post-production.



5. Embrace your limitations. Which is the same as the classic: If you can't beat your enemy, join him. It is, I believe, the advice that every director and PDO should keep in mind over and over again, and not only apply it to their work but try to make their team understand it as well.




6. Keep it simple. Bresson, whom I consider to be the best film theorist that ever lived, has a phrase from his "Notes on the Cinematographer" that I carried in my pocket every day of the shoot: "The ability to make good use of my media diminishes when your number increases ”. Focus your attention on one problem at a time and give it 100% of your attention. Try to reduce the problems to the minimum amount possible. Make things easy as much as you can to be able to do better what you have to do. May the circumstances not overwhelm you.



7. And I add one last homegrown tip: Don't be afraid.


Don't be afraid to be wrong. To fail. Not to make it perfect. That your first movie is not a masterpiece. Not knowing something. To discover it along the way. To change your path if necessary. All of that is part of the process of creating and that is how memorable films emerge. When the uncertain is realized. Of course, try to surround yourself with people who support you in that emotional roller coaster that is to make a feature film and do not get carried away by technique. Trust your instincts and don't be afraid ...



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