Q&A: Short film/music video making as a hobby – how exactly is it done? Other video-making questions included…?

Question by Spludge: Short film/music video making as a hobby – how exactly is it done? Other video -making questions included…?
I have made a couple of videos using an older version of Imovie. One was a seven-minute music video / joke I made for a friend, and it came out quite nicely. The other was a three-minute joke short that I also filmed. However, getting my friends together to film (it was a collective project, as most films are) was INTENSELY annoying/difficult. I had to organize dates, times, and heckle reluctant friends for props and participation for ages. However, I enjoyed editing it and putting together the clips a lot, and I was really happy with the outcome. (It took me about five months, but it was worth it!) However, my friends seem iffy about wanting to make more films, which I would love to do. They were jazzed about the idea originally, but when they realized how much work it really was, I think they were turned off the idea some.

The thing is, I still want to make videos. The other common option I know about for video making is making things like music videos to tv shows and whatnot. This would be good I suppose because it would be entirely my own project and I wouldn’t have to involve/pester anybody else. Problem is, it’s so COMMON! Everyone seems to be obsessed with making “fanvids”. It’s kind of annoying to me, and I can’t really see myself as a fan video maker.
I still really enjoy making videos, though. While I’m working with a relatively simplistic and annoying editing program (First version of imovie – it’s pretty crappy) and I certainly don’t have anything more than a common camcorder and tripod, I want to do it as a hobby, as entertainment. What other kinds of videos can I make that aren’t fanvids, and don’t really need the commitment/obligation of other people?

My other question is, when people DO make fanvids, what is your process? How do you get the clips and film onto your computer? Do you buy DVDs or get the clips offline? I’ve had quality problems with getting videos from the web – usually, youtube videos are kind of crappy. I want to start making higher quality videos. Can someone explain what their whole process to making fanvids/ videos in general?

Best answer:

Answer by earthshinemusic4u
I don’t make fanvids, but I am an amateur movie producer. I can relate to the problem of friends not wanting to put in the work. Organizing all of that is part of being a movie director. I tend to write scripts (I’m also a writer) with only a few human characters to limit the problems with friends who aren’t interested in putting in work on a project they are not getting paid for (and you have to face that fact, they don’t always share your vision and enthusiasm and don’t want give up their time for free). I often use imaginary creatures (still animations and 3D computer models) to fill in some more characters. My movies are very low budget. I spent money only on equipment (movie software, camera, and some props) – you can watch some on youtube… http://www.youtube.com/user/earthshinemusic4u (my feature length movie “Intergalactic Archeology is there — though it’s divided up into 8 parts). I start with a script (which I usually write). I write it keeping in mind what I am capable of producing with what I have. I then find “friends” to help with any characters needed (and we often play more than one character). Then, of course, the hard part is getting people together to film, but remember a movie isn’t usually filmed all at once or even in order. Try to arrange a shoot schedule around your friends schedules and try to do all the scenes that the friend is in all together (even if it’s scene 2, 5, and 20 — you don’t have to do them in order!) Then I design and animate fictional characters. I use a digital still camera to take pictures of a model (often made out of Legos, to tell the truth) and then run the pictures together in a super fast slide show on the computer to make the animation. I do 3D models on a free program called anim8or… http://www.anim8or.com I only ask my friends to do filming, I do all the tedious editing myself. I use Pinnacle Studio 11plus(with the “ultimate upgrade”) for my final editing which allow s me to do blue/green screen effect (where you film in front of a blue or green screen and then remove the screen on the computer and put whatever background you want behind it). My blue and green screens are pieces of cloth I bought at a craft store (you need lots of light to make them work right). I also use a free photoshop-like program called The Gimp for special effects and I have access to a powerful special effects program (thanks to my work with “The Virginia Film Co.” called “Adobe After Effects (it’s about an $ 800 program).
For filming I use a Digital Camcorder with a built in hard drive, and so I can upload the movies directly to the computer for editing.

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