3 Tips For Boosting The Production Value On Your Summer Film School Project

Posted on: 28 June 2017

If you're in summer film school, and you're planning out your thesis film project, then you should be very excited. The summer is the perfect time to shoot a student film. One of the main challenges in shooting a film while you're in film school is the difficulty in getting a good production value. Building sets and renting out large private properties can be super expensive. As a film student, you won't have the huge budget that a Hollywood studio has, or even the budget that a modest indie film has. So, it's important to find some ways to get a good look for a bargain. Here are three ideas:

Use The Mostly-Empty University To Your Advantage

It can be very difficult to get permits to shoot in large public buildings (such as government offices, library's, etc..) and can be expensive to rent out private businesses. However, most schools will accommodate their film students. And as the university will be emptier than usual during the summer, you will have a lot more leeway with where you can shoot. So, instead of having to rely on you or your friend's apartment or dorm rooms, you can shoot scenes in large offices, libraries, the gymnasium, and other spaces that would often be busy during the regular school year.

Get B-Roll Footage At Parks

You will want to have nice exterior shots, and one of the best places to shoot footage is at a park. While some people try and shoot "guerilla" style, with just a small handheld DSLR, you should secure a permit with the local government agency. In large cities, there are special considerations to film students, so you can often get discounted or even free permits to shoot in a park. The permit will allow you to set up your shot with tripods, reflector umbrellas, and other accouterments that "guerrilla" style filmmakers can't afford to use.

Surf Cinematography For A Big Movie Field

If you're shooting a film during the summer, one of the best ways to improve production value is to use surf cinematography. If you're attending film school in NYC or LA, then you can even shoot scenes with your actors on the beach and cut in some surf cinematography. The movie doesn't have to be a Point Break-style thriller, the surf footage will work as great cutaways. If you don't attend film school on either the West or East coast and are not located near a beach, then you can always source out some surf footage and cut it into the film. This is a great way to make a setting more convincing. So, for instance, if you are filming in the Midwest, but the film takes place in L.A., you can use the surf cinematography as B-Roll.

Contact a company like Lieber Films for more information and assistance.