Film Production 101: Learn the basics of making a film | Alex Sofonea | Skillshare

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Film Production 101: Learn the basics of making a film

teacher avatar Alex Sofonea, Filmmaker & Full-Stack Developer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Idea & Screenplay


    • 3.

      Pre production


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Post Production


    • 6.



    • 7.



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About This Class

The job of the director is to transform an idea, a script into a film. Behind any popular movie stands a good director. This process has a lot of secrets and if done right, a masterpiece is born.

What will I learn?

In this class we’re going to start with the idea and screenplay of the film, creating it by your own, but also working together with the screenwriter. After the screenplay is done, we’re going to enter the three phases of creating a film: pre-production, shooting, and post-production. Pre-production starts with creating the shot list and choosing the right actors and locations. I can say from my own experience that the production phase can bring a lot of difficulties so I’m going to share a bunch of tips and tricks to do your work right and avoid mistakes. In the post-production we’re going to talk about working with an editor and the tight communication between the director an him. The last phase is sharing our work and showing it off to festivals.

For who is this class intended for?

This class is for any filmmaker who wants to create their own movie and directing it. You can be a beginner or you might already made some films, this class is perfect for you!

Meet Your Teacher

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Alex Sofonea

Filmmaker & Full-Stack Developer


Hi, I'm Alex and I'm a filmmaker & full-stack developer. I'm passionate about filmmaking, cinematography, VFX, and anything that is part of the filmmaking industry, web development & design, and I also want to teach that. So here you will find classes about Cinematography, Lighting, Video editing & Effects, film production, and design. 


Since I started, I searched a lot for tutorials, but all of them were long and boring. I want to change that. Here you will find short classes which invite you to practice everything that you have learned. You will also find quizzes at the end of every class! I will not bore you with theory because I learned from my own experience that, without practice, you will not learn anything.


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1. Introduction: The director is to transform an idea is creep into a fear behind any popular movie. Stein's a good director. This process has a lot of secrets. You've done, write a masterpieces, hello harmonics and funny. And I'm a filmmaker with over six years of experience in this domain. I went with my fumes too many film festivals, becoming even semi finalist at some. I get a lot of e-mails and advice to various festivals. So from the experience I've got, I want to teach how to become a good director and create a wonderful film. This class, we're going to start with the idea in screenplay of the field gradient by your own, but also working together with the screenwriter. After a screenplay is done, we're going to enter the three phases of creating production, shooting in post-production. Pre-production starts the shot in choosing the right actors and Loki, I can see from my own experience that the production phase can bring a lot of difficulty. So I'm going to share a bunch of tips and tricks to do your work, right? And avoid mistakes. In the post-production, we're going to talk about working with an editor in the communication between the director and the last phase is sharing our work in showing it off to festivals. So join me and let's direct someone's standing films together. 2. Idea & Screenplay: Any video or film starts from a little idea. And that idea can be as little as a specific shot, set design, lighting, environment, or line of a character. These are some examples I feel my day, I can start from this class. I'll be using examples from rarely the short film that to face. So for men, not yet released, but depending on when you're watching this class, you can find the link in the class description below. In this film, I started from the idea of someone hiding something, hidden the past. I imagine that character struggling with his thoughts and showing that we restore it also has an idea about it. Dark officer, from those details shots, I said to grow the idea around. But before starting with the idea, we first separate this into two parts. In the first part we are going to talk about the erector being the screenwriter to any, the second part, we are going to see how the directors should work together with the screenwriter. If you as the director or the screenwriter too, it's time to think about growing the idea of this is done by adding more and more elements to the store. During this process, I've been overwhelmed because I had many different ideas and they lost the storyline. So to not have this problem, I recommend that you write every single idea into a node. In this way, you can just imagine different scenarios and write them down in a few sentences. After you have some, you can start reading them in combining the stories. This is still not enough. You must have the entire story in your mind before starting the screenplay. Tell a few friends or family members about it and ask them for feedback. You're going also to see how audience member of your film would react if they like your story, find the jokes fine. If it's a comedy or be scared in a horror. After perfecting that story, summarize it into a paragraph and heavy it really clear in your head, you must know the story so good that you can even explain to a kindergartener. Now you can start working on the screenplay. This the process. If the director, he's a screenwriter too. But what if you as the director, need to work together with the screenwriter? Everything that I mentioned before doesn't matter anymore because you already have the script. You must know how to communicate with the screenwriter to fully understand the script. As, as I said before, you must know that screen-based so good that you can even explain to her kindergarten. But this is not enough. You must understand the vision of the screen right there. Let him explain what he wants certain scenes to tell, what emotions the viewer should feel, how the character should act, and so on. Now the director job really kicks him. He must envision the screenplay as the film. He must know which ad should the camera mine take to tell the visual story, how to sit and lighting should look like, and how the actor should play their roles. This is, in my opinion, the hardest part of directing a fear. And to master this art is just a matter of practicing alone. With every film that you're going to direct, your skills will become increasingly better. And this is what a director does for the idea in screenplay of the field. Only now the process of creating the film can start. 3. Pre production : To start creating a fin, you don't go directly into the production phase of it. This is the biggest mistakes director can make. In my opinion, the most important part of producing a film is the pre-production. Because if you do this phase right, you're going to have an easy way in the next one. Let's go over the steps of doing a successful pre-production. After you have your screenplay done, you and you fully understand it, you need to choose your actors. If you're working with some friends, then you might already have the actors and their roles in mind. But if you're hiring actors, then you will need to do casting. When doing these, get her from the screenwriter to see if the desired Hector meets his imagination of the character. Now the cast and crew are complete, and it's time to start the real-world. Now comes the really important part of the pre-production creating the shot list. If you master this process, you're going to master the production to end. It will be a lot easier to film your movie when you're working on the shortlist, you must collaborate, really ties with a screenwriter to ensure that you are representing his vision. Doing this is still not enough. You must work with the set designer to ensure that the shots you're representing can be filmed in their set. Also, the camera crew must collaborate to see if different movements can be great. Now, let's see how to create a shot. The template I'm showing you can be downloaded from the class materials below. In the first row, you're going to find a table so that you can see which hadn't been taken. Then you have the C number and the description here. You can describe what the subject does, what the camera films, but also if there are some specific movements of oranges. Lastly, there are a few shots setting, shot type, camera angles, location and camera setup. I said can be e.g. the subject gets up and walks away while the camera follows him. This description, we're going to have a medium shot with an eye level, the subject house as the location. And for the cameras set up the gimbal, the pre-production, and coming up with a screenplay, or the longest parts of creating a female without putting a lot of effort in them. Your thing we not be good even if you have the best directors, you are a really good director or the film will suck. If the script is not good. Also, if the script is really good, but the word put into the pre-production is not good. You're going to have too much to do on the set and you're not going to pay attention or little details as storytelling, e.g. 4. Production: And now it's finally time to start the production of your film. As they said, if you work hard in the pre-production, you're going to have a lifetime in the production phase. Although many things you should do in this phase are already planned since the pre-production. There are still really important thing say director can do. You might already have the shot list made, but there are still a lot of little details like set design, lighting poisoning, storytelling, which can be changed at the moment. I recommend for my own experience that you should take a shot like it is written in the shot. And you can take another one with changes you have come up With. This will make sure that you have at least one shot. You told in the pre-production as a backup. If the shot list is done right, there's one less thing to do for the director, but this doesn't mean that he can take a day off. There are still a lot of things to do. The role of the director is to guide the film crew and directors. So in the production phase, you must explain to the actors how they should play, in what they should do. Also must explain to the camera, sound and lighting crew your vision for the shot. For this, you have the shot list as the head. A director must be a really good explainer. The crew must understand exactly what you want. But here comes the mistake that many first-time filmmakers do. A mistake that I have done it too many directors don't listen to the cruise opinion. As a director, you can be the best at everything. You must know a bit of every domain I came around, storytelling, lightning sound, etc. But this doesn't mean that the director knows more than the camera man. The director can explain how a pushing shot would be perfect for this scenario. But the camera guy may have another opinion. It is important that the director listens to everybody and doesn't always have everything under control. A director is not likely both controlling everything, but he must be a leader. Someone who can coordinate the crew, but not tell them every little detail on how they must do their work. If you master these, you are going to be really good director. 5. Post Production : You wrapped up the shoot. And when the editing room, as the director, you again have two options. Either have a separate editor or the way your film by yourself. Is this the same as when you're working with a screenwriter? And the same applies with the editor. Communication is key for a good edit. The director must sit next to the editor and tell him his vision for the film. Again, the director is not the boss, but he's leader. So he should let the editor bring his own ideas into the fin to also the director shouldn't see next to the editor and tell him every thing that he should do. But work together at the edit. You don't need to stay for the entire duration of the process. Next, the editor, but make sure that he understood your vision and then let him work alone. After some time, you can check on his work and give him feedback. The key is to always let other people integrate their ideas to what if the director is the editor to all of the things that we have talked about previously are now reversed. Now, you don't need any more to explain your vision, but getting feedback remains the same. The film crew can give you feedback on the head. For my own experience. Never edit your own film without any feedback. In this way, you might not see little mistakes after watching the film over and over again while editing. Also, the feedback must be known from filmmakers. It can also be from simple people because they're going to be your audience. 6. Sharing: Many thing that the filming process ends after the post-production, there is still a lot to be said. Creating the trailer cover in description, you must get feedback at the final product after probably reediting the film a few times in creating multiple versions of trailer and cover. It's finally finished. Now, it's time to share your work. If you are doing this film for fun, this process can be as simple as posting it on YouTube. I've done this too for my first films. But if you want to grow big, the shading process is more than that. I pose the cover on social media and the vet cover is appealing. You're going to get some DMs and e-mails from film festivals. This happened to me, and this is an easy way to share your film to film festivals. The harder way is to go directly to them. For this, I use the platform film Here you can start by creating your project and filling out the information. Now, the research process starts. You must find festivals you can go to and send them your project. Optionally but recommended is to add a cover letter or a peach about your feelings. 7. Outro: In this, the end of this class, I hope that you have learned something new. And if you have any further questions, don't hesitate to contact me. For the class project, you can share your film, your script, or your story on directing your own field. I can't wait to see them. Have a great day.