Learning about film

So I just graduated and one of my classes this year was a film class at a co-op.

     Over the past year I learned a lot about the world of films. Some of the most enjoyable ones were learning film terminology (So I now know what the crew means when they talk on set), learning about acting(And how hard it is to keep a straight face when something unexpectedly happens. Needless to say most of us burst into laughter), and learning the different crew positions and what they do. My favorite thing was the process of film production, including creating and gathering props, designing the look of the characters and sets we used to film, filming, and directing(Which is all harder than you think).

     For my crew position I was selected as the Production Designer, also known as the Creative Director. That crew position meant I was responsible for creating the physical and visual appearance of the film. I worked closely with the Location Scout, Set Decorator, Props Master, Costume Designer, and the Make-up Artist to figure out which rooms we filmed in and the props that were needed in them, the costumes for each character(It sure is hard trying to figure out accessories for everyone in the film. Should this person have a matching necklace or just earrings?), and the hair and make-up styles for each character. I also worked closely with the Director and the Director of Photography to achieve the “look” of the film.

     When filming started I was extremely excited. Even though it was a student-made short film, it was still the first movie set I had ever been on. I learned that filming is not as easy as it looks from the bloopers and special features on the DVDs. Although I have done theater, the way you learn your lines and get into character for filming is different, and I think it is actually harder. It was also hard to get costumes to look the same week after week and to get the set to look the same every time we filmed(And other stuff like ‘Which side of the face was this guy’s bruise on?). I learned how sometimes you have to change the script on the spot and memorize new lines in a couple of minutes, too.(Which isn’t as easy as it seems. xD)

     I think the hardest thing was learning how to direct. When I directed, at first I had no idea what to do besides yell “action” and “cut.” I had watched the teacher and other students do it, but when it was my turn it suddenly became much more challenging than it looked (Especially since all of the other kids were 12-17). It took a lot of effort (and patience) to keep everyone in line, on time, and focused on what we were filming. Nevertheless, it was a great experience with a leadership role in the class and it did get a little easier as time went on. But sometimes it’s really hard to keep jr. highers and young highschoolers in line!

     Overall it was a pretty awesome experience. The teacher even invited me to help film a webseries he’s working on. He also said that if I ever had any stories that would be easy to film I should show him. So who knows? Maybe one of my stories will be turned in a short film or a movie.