How to increase your brand value within the film industry and how to achieve this

Well, as well as a filmmaker – I used to work in developing brands and how best to capture the audience’s imagination and retain them. It was all about building brand value, brand loyalty, and offering value for free… Yes, you heard that right, for free.

As well as having amazing ideas, cool prose, and an insane concept. You must also remember your audience. What do they want to see? What do they expect? Look at previous statistics and develop future ideas on that. Create a structure that works and always develop forward-thinking, exciting content.

But most importantly it should be fun – for you as well!

Value:

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The value to your viewers must be of a high level. Whether it’s informative, the story is gripping, it’s fast-paced or even interactive – the content must be valuable and exciting for the audience. As long as you play to the strengths of your audience you will provide them with value. For example, if you are a branding agency focused in the education sector – when building content you want to have upcoming trends within the sector and dissect them into manageable clips that your audience can take away and improve their own business/school/education. This will then build trust within your brand and the sector in which your company is submerged in.

Entertainment:

You need to provide entertainment to your audience. It needs to be gripping, catchy but not annoying. A tough balance to keep. But there are steps to take to ensure your amazing idea is planned correctly and executed to your audience with the success it deserves. Have a look at this article on writing your first film.

Quality:

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Quality is nothing to do with the camera you can or can’t afford. It’s all about the story. I mean if it’s a cool story – gripping, exciting and fun. You could record it on a block of cheese, and people would watch. But if you are using a five thousand pound camera to film a load of mud for 2 hours – I don’t care the range of aperture or the MP it has, you’ve lost me. Quality and cost are not the same things – remember that. A mobile phone will suffice.

To see the current projects we are working on and other iFilmThings project head over to @camembertfrosting on Instagram to find out more, and don’t forget to ask any questions to us here or down in the comment section.

Our Favourite films from 2018 – and why you have to watch them!

Hello again, thought I’d offer just an insight into the short films that really gripped me in 2018, there was a lot to choose from so I went for my 3 strongest. For many reasons, these films are here. The creative talent and what they were able to do and produce was incredible and gripping.

I thought I would steer away from cameras I’ve been trialing and other information based blogs to really share what I’ve enjoyed in my spare time.

What was your favourite short film in 2018? Let us know in the comments!

So here it is.

1. Drug Runner

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This, I have to be honest was a shocking but believable insight into a child drug trafficker, it really does catch it right and piques your interest. I took the segment below as a summary from Charlottes film to give you an idea and a little overview:

“In the cinematic world of gangsters and drug dealers, kids are often portrayed as pawns, either serving or sacrificed for the larger game. In HBO’s iconic crime-drama The Wire, creator David Simon masterfully subverted this trope by dedicating an entire season (arguably the best in the series) to exploring how crime, crumbling institutions, and deep poverty impacted the lives of inner city kids in Baltimore. In an emotional season, we saw how four innocent children paid the cost for society’s failures and found themselves lost in the system. In this week’s Staff Pick Premiere, DRUG RUNNER, filmmaker Charlotte Regan takes us further into the psyche of a young kid with a gripping, step-by-step account of his journey into a life of crime”.

2. Stems

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I absolutely loved this art and composition combo. It was a great score really gripping and the stop-motion photography was amazing. Hats off to both loved this work and really does inspire the imagination. It certainly helped me explore other areas of film and helping me think further outside the box with my spec script “Biscuit tin”.

Here’s a quick overview:

“The film is a collaboration between Henderson and the musical artist Poppy Ackroyd who composed the score. However, unlike the traditional process wherein a film is picture-locked and then delivered to the composer for scoring, Henderson and Ackroyd worked backwards. “[Poppy] would send separate ‘stems’ — that’s where the film got its name — of each track of music. I would make characters and instruments that looked like they might make each of the sounds she’d given me and we’d go from there.”

3. The Hanging

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This was a very interesting movie, well… documentary on Kirill. To be honest it’s frightening just watching it on my laptop. The guy was hanging from a skyscraper by one hand just looking far too relaxed for my liking, but there is more to it than these perilous stunts. It’s all about the “roofing” culture and how people who practice this see architecture as a mountain essentially and how they can best scale it to view the city’s incredible views. He certainly caught Geoffrey Feinberg’s.

A little more info:

“When New York City-based filmmaker Geoffrey Feinberg first saw photos of Kirill roofing, it made him break out in a cold sweat. Feinberg is admittedly afraid of heights, but it was the enigmatic nature of Kirill that drew him into documenting the teenager’s exploits. Feinberg wanted to learn what was going on behind those calm eyes as Kirill stands and hangs inches away from a fatal fall. What Feinberg grew to understand through following Kirill and his group of friends on their roofing missions was the sense of beauty and peacefulness that they were able to find only at the great heights of Moscow’s building tops. So for Feinberg, it was important to convey the escapism of spending time with your friends in this uniquely removed environment.”

I hope you enjoyed my round up and please let me know your thoughts below! Also, subscribe to the blog and have our updates, thoughts, and tips straight into your inbox! Finally, don’t hesitate to contact us and tell us about your latest projects. Or, if you need any help, fire it over – we would love to help.

How to get your short film funded: The many ways to finance your film

How to fund my film? The golden question! First, make sure you have your script in it’s best possible form – here’s some help.

There are many ways in this day and age from the good ol’ fashioned film grants to crowdfunding – but what will suit your needs? Let’s find out.

Film funds:

There are many film funds so I will narrow it to the top UK funds and top US funds:

The UK:

The US:

Crowdfunding:

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This can be huge, but there is a lot of work to do before you’ve even one as you will want to build a little furor around your project through your social channels and friend networks.

Just a few options:

Self-fund:

I know, I know you came here for how to get your film funded and I’m now telling you to fund it yourself. But seriously this doesn’t have to be a million pounds, you could go for a no-budget. Source some filmmaking friends and offer to pay for their food. Honestly, there are so many people out there that if you film on a weekday evening or a weekend who will be up for it, especially if your script is compelling – don’t rule it out.

Grants:

You should definitely look to utilise the multitude of grants out there for filmmakers, yep I know some are very obscure and there is room to alter your script a little to qualify for said grants. But they are definitely worth putting in the time and research as you never know this could lead to your script being produced. Here are a few to consider:

 

Canon EOS 5D

But, there is another way. You can get a page or two of your script… bear with me for a second. You take the most exciting scene which stands by itself, then grab an actor or two, a friend? Hell, even yourself and film it, have fun with it. Then contact the production companies with the content as well. Producers are far more likely to help and/or acknowledge you with video.

Let us know how it goes, and contact here if you want to talk or even collaborate.

How you can make an incredible film with no budget

Here we show you how anyone can make a short film and the steps to creating your exciting project.

Making a short film is a great way to gain essential filmmaking experience as well as having a finished product to add to your expanding filmmaking arsenal.

The entry barriers these days in a digital world are now a lot lower than the past – it’s a great time for storytellers to get their material out there. With the opportunity of filming a short film through your mobile phone and uploading it onto many different platforms to get seen by millions, the opportunity is definitely there.

Here we will help set the guidelines from your initial idea/concept and help you bring that through to post-production.

The idea/concept:

The Idea

Coming up with the initial idea can come through a number of avenues, whether it’s an experience, a joke someone told, something you saw, a family members story or just a concept you think “this will be fun to make”. Whatever it is, get that idea down on paper and grow it. Flesh it out and find the starting point and how the story will arc.
Writing the script:

My go-to script software is Celtx – free edition – a fantastic piece of software for a filmmaker. It has everything you need to write your first script and very user-friendly. The best way to plan the script is set out into 3 chapters and work through them individually and iterate. It’s also good practice to map out your characters and build them out – not just “Terrance is in his early 20’s, rough and wears a bag”. I know you are thinking, why do I have to include all of this in my script? It will bulk it out too much. That isn’t the case, you won’t include any of that in the script – simply, what you are doing is building up a character and by doing that you have a detailed idea of the character and can use this to drive the story.

The Storyboard:

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Nb. It doesn’t have to be a work of art. It can even be a stick person!

The storyboard fleshes out the shots you will need for creating your film as well as what is needed in terms of props and multiple shots for post-production. You can use this for multiple other aspects – call sheets, lenses to use for the DoP and the props for the shoot. It also helps for continuity.

My favourite program to create these on – we use good old fashioned paper and a pen but when going digital it’s always: Wonder Unit. It’s fantastic software and free to use.
Filming:
Location: Make sure you look at writing your film to one or two locations max. This will save you a lot of money and also time. It will also help carve a story as you know what your restrictions are. But having a location restriction does not mean your film will flop – check out this short for a one location shoot, it’s incredible.

Camera:

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You don’t have to spend a thing. You have a high-quality filming device right on you as you read this but a low-cost camera that will create an incredible film is also possible.

We love the Canon 2000D, but you can make incredible films on your iPhone and filmmaking apps to change the look by browsing the app store – a great filming app is:

We advise buying a camera once you have got 2-3 films under your belt. This will give you a real idea of what works for your filmmaking style.

Editing:

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Da Vinci Resolve – a free download and it’s at an industry level. The levels of editing in this piece of software are unbelievable in their free edition – definitely the best freemium package! Another option if you want something simple but effective is iMovie. It has the capability to edit a short film to a high standard.

Marketing your film:

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It really depends on the budget. But having 0 budget doesn’t mean you can’t get a huge reach on your film. For instance, you can approach businesses or brands who can relate to your story in some way and ask them to share your film, it will them kick off a domino effect. An Instagram campaign with the right tags and post times can create a buzz, especially within the #shortfilm #indiefilmmakers #filmmakers hashtags.

We hope this is helpful to you, feel free to give us a shout here and remember there are NO barriers to filmmaking, get out there and tell your story!

P.s find out here how to get your film funded!

The top 5 starter cameras for beginner filmmakers

A Canon EOS 2000D
A shot into the horizon

Canon EOS 2000D

Why this DSLR?

This camera is ideal for any newbie to filmmaking. It’s easy to use functioning and crisp picture can really get some amazing footage. It’s definitely one of my favourites, the auto-focus is brilliant and aperture mechanism is easy to use for anyone new to filmmaking. Get those shots out there and don’t forget to get a high-quality SD card to capture as much as you can. Need a script? check out our advice on writing that compelling first script.

Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

Why the Nikon D3500?

This camera is definitely underrated, the functionality of the camera is incredible for a beginner filmmaker and stabilisation is great. The only downfall is the battery drains quite quick so make sure you buy an extra battery or two if it’s an especially long day of filming (but I would advise that with all cameras). Overall it’s easy to use, excellent stability and crisp footage – definitely one of the best we have used.

Canon EOS 4000D

Why this DSLR?

This is an entry-level camera which is a great starting point for beginners. The camera has wi-fi capability, as well as the quick menu, which makes it easier to adjust the settings and get the shot you need. The spec of this camera is great, 18MP and a range of aperture settings. The downfall is no touchscreen but it’s not the end of the world as they have spent the money elsewhere in creating a better spec camera which is ultimately better than a touchscreen.

Overall this is one of the better DSLRs for anyone starting out in the filmmaking world. You get crystal clear shots, gathering that smooth video for those different angles. An overall great experience, one we recommend.

Filmmaking with a Gimbal

K-70 Pentax 

Why this DSLR?

The K-70 Pentax model is weather resistant, rugged and has integral Steadicam features to get the smoothest cinematography. It is easy to use and the functioning of the camera is great for beginners, easy to use and feels a lot like a point and shoot camera. But with incredible technology ranging from the 3.0-inch, vari-angle screen to the APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2MP video capability.

This camera is up there with the best, here is a quick overview for you: View Tutorial

A reel of film

 

And finally…

Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera in Black

Why the Nikon? You ask. Well, we tell you here:

This camera is a smooth easy to use DSLR, with an incredible performing sensor and a
high-res vari-angle screen. The smoothness of filming is excellent and the autofocus allows you to get some incredible footage. Robust and hardy it is great for a first-timer looking to get their material shot, one downfall is the special effects which for some reason only work on JPEG not film, but to be honest none of that is relevant if you are going to be editing the film post-production.

That’s a wrap! Hopefully, you can find value in this and any outstanding questions, whack them over here – we will follow up and help you out.

 

 

How to write your first short film in detail

Here we outline the simple steps to allow you to bring your exciting idea to life! Without further ado…

Outline the core idea/concept.

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What are you looking to tell? How will you decide on an idea? Do you have an initial concept?

Finding the perfect story doesn’t happen in an instance, so you want to brainstorm an idea with your peers. Whether it’s a joke you’ve heard or something that’s happened to you, make sure you sound out the core concept. This will help you flesh out the basics and realise what story you want to tell.

Know your protagonist and Antagonist

Who is the central character to your story and what is their end goal? What are the obstacles for them to achieve their goal? This is where the protagonist comes into play, but most importantly, it is also how you generate a story arc and excitement for the reader/viewer.

Define the tone and style

Who’s your audience? What are you trying to say to them? Are you looking to make them cry? Laugh? To terrify them? What is your main objective? These are the key questions to decide if it’s an action/adventure, a comedy or even a thriller.

This will give you a solid foundation to develop the story further.

The setting

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Define the setting before even starting to write the script. One huge point to consider is budget. If you are a low to no budget shoot don’t go too crazy unless you can haggle a spaceship for free. Focus on single settings – a forest, a house, a flat, a pub (you’ll be surprised in what pubs offer), a warehouse, a restaurant. Make sure

Find exciting moments.

Throw in something exciting to add an arc to your short film. We don’t want Daisy/David getting from A to B with ease, do we? That wouldn’t be fun for us would it. We want them to stumble across something, get taken from the path, find something out that will change their motives – we need something.

David and Daisy get to the shop and successfully pay for a 99p bottle of water.
Or
David and Daisy come across a body, and realise that someone’s following them they realise, they’ve planted it and end up hiding inside a barn to escape the antagonist. Dot hey make it to the shop for that magical bottle of H2O? we are not sure, we will make our own minds up.

I know which one I’d rather watch!

Tell a story but make it visual

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Less is more. Show don’t tell. It’s so easy to slip into the ease of over-explaining and writing exactly what you want the viewer to see. Try to keep it short and simple rather than long lengthy descriptions. It’s key to show that “Damon (21) is gazing across a clothes strewn dingy bedroom” not “Damon (21) dressed in fila sneakers, brown trousers, a red jumper, hair straightened with a bit of wax… etc”. Well, that’s a slight over exaggeration but you get the gist. Allow the audience to picture it they’ll see it in the movie and be able to follow the story without any hiccups – they will be fully focused and with you for the whole ride.

So show, not tell.

Engage the reader

Since you have so little time to make an impression the impact of page one is crucial, just as it is crucial to hook the reader in the first 10 pages of a feature-length script. What is the world of the film? Do we root for the main character? Does the world and story of the film feel authentic? The ending is also essential as it’s rare to truly feel moved at the end of a short, so work towards a meaningful, satisfying ending.

Ask for feedback

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You can get stuck in tunnel vision. It’s great to get the point of view from your peers. This will help flesh out your story, give you another dimension and point of view. Something you may understand may not be as clear to your audience. This will lose them within the story and they may feel disconnected. You want them to feel connected and be on board for the ride.

An added extra

Finally, the most important tip is to actually start writing the script! More often than not you develop a fear of writing anything. It won’t be perfect the first time, even something as successful as Avatar. The amount of draft, rewrites and concept changes would have been unlimited. Never let that fear stop you from writing your film and getting started Good luck and contact us here with any questions.

Any questions, fire them over to our: Say Hello page.