Filmmaking Booster Class: 9 Game-changing Essentials Not Taught Online | Dandan Liu | Skillshare

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Filmmaking Booster Class: 9 Game-changing Essentials Not Taught Online

teacher avatar Dandan Liu, Filmmaker | Contemplative Creative

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.

      Filmmaking Booster Class Intro


    • 2.

      A Primer in Audio


    • 3.

      Room Tone


    • 4.

      The Audio Sweet Spot


    • 5.

      Audio Syncing


    • 6.

      A Primer in Camera


    • 7.

      Creating Continuity with Closeup Shots


    • 8.

      Crop Factor


    • 9.

      Recording Limit


    • 10.

      Lens Care


    • 11.

      A Primer in Post Production


    • 12.

      Optimal File Organization


    • 13.

      Press Pack


    • 14.

      Thank you!


    • 15.

      Check out this course!


    • 16.

      Exciting Updates


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About This Class

Amplify your filmmaking with 9 key insights and techniques not taught online, but used extensively on the film set.

After taking many online filmmaking courses, I realized there were many holes not covered for beginner filmmakers in the online learning sphere. So this course presents 9 of these missing essential insights and techniques, most of them very simple, so any budding filmmaker can apply them and take their filmmaking to another level.

This class presents techniques in audio recording, shooting, and post production. 

What You Will Learn

  • How to hit the sweet spot in audio recording
  • How to easily sync audio in post
  • How to smooth out cuts with room tone
  • How to calculate crop factor when choosing lenses
  • How to properly clean lenses
  • How to create continuity in edits with close up shots
  • How to film with your camera's recording limit
  • How to optimally organize your footage
  • How to ensure for a good "press pack" for your film

All lessons are designed to be applicable and get straight-to-the-point. 

Course Deliverable

By the end of this course, you will have 9 new techniques easily applied to enhance the quality of your films and the smoothness of your filmmaking workflow.  

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dandan Liu

Filmmaker | Contemplative Creative

Top Teacher

Hi there! I'm Dandan, an Emmy award-winning filmmaker and contemplative creative living in Italy.

As a self-taught filmmaker, I love foraging for unique stories around the world that illuminate the interconnections among us. I started making films while on a 4 year journey living in monasteries around the world. One film led to the next, and after persevering for many years, I found myself working full time on film crews and streaming my films on Roku, Apple TV, museums, trains, and airplanes.

My highest work is helping others craft an authentic, creative, and mindful life- your unique work of art. I believe that knowing who you truly are is the foundation for flourishing in every area of life. So, I founded Unravel, a playful journey of self discovery, which has... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Filmmaking Booster Class Intro: As a veteran online learner, I've taken many online filmmaking courses, which have propelled me to make films and make filmmaking a career. Looking back though, I realized that there were a few essential insights and techniques that were not taught in most online filmmaking courses. Things that I learned while working on the field, on a film crew that have exponentially increased the quality of my films, and the smoothness of my filmmaking workflow. So I created this course to share nine of these game-changing insights and techniques. Some of them very simple. So even as a complete beginner, you can apply them to your audio recording, shooting, and post-production process, to take your filmmaking to another level. Welcome to the course. 2. A Primer in Audio: In the industry, we have a saying which goes, audio is the king of video. This means that the perceived quality of your film is more influenced by the quality of your audio than the quality of your visuals. So I want to start in the audio department, showing three things I felt was really helpful in enhancing the quality of my sound and making everything smoother later on in the edit room. 3. Room Tone: One room tone is an empty room, completely silent. If you're by yourself, close your eyes and listen, you'll hear that there's still a very quiet but distinctive sound to the room or filming space. This sound is what we call room tone, and it can come in handy later on when you are smoothing out cuts or things that you take out in the edit suite. So key takeaway makes sure to record 30 seconds of room tone before and after your interview or seen because room tone can change with time. 4. The Audio Sweet Spot: Two audio levels. When I made my first film, I remember just hooking up a lab mic to my subject and making sure that the sound coming in wasn't too loud. While, as I learned on the field, the sweet spot of audio recording is between negative six and negative 12 decibels. Key takeaway, makes sure that the sound coming into your recorder is bouncing between negative six and negative 12 decibels. 5. Audio Syncing: Third, clap, right after you press the "Record button" for easier audio syncing later down the road. You know those iconic Hollywood slates. While you might think that they just help the editor keep track of these thing and the take of the film, but they actually serve another crucial function, which is to create a loud cracking sound so that editors can easily sync the audio with the film. If you recorded your audio externally outside of the camera, like on an external recorder, then you'll want to sync your camera with your audio. To do this, place both clips on your timeline. Here, I have my camera footage, and here I have my audio recording. Then it's simple. Drag and select all of the clips, right-click, and hit "Synchronize". You want to click "Audio" and track channel, click "Mix down" and press "Okay". Then it will do some processing and [inaudible]. Your clip will be synchronized with your video. If you want, you can delete the audio that was recorded in your camera, and move the higher audio file underneath. Now it should be very well synced. 6. A Primer in Camera: Those were three things in the audio department that I thought were really beneficial for film-making. Now, I'm going to transition into the camera department and share four things. 7. Creating Continuity with Closeup Shots: One, closeups. So the biggest mistake I've seen in beginner filmmaking is not shooting enough closeups. Not only to closeup shots look more cinematic and give key detail on your scene or character, they also sort of crucial function in creating a sense of continuity when you cut between two shots. So key takeaway, make sure you record at least 50 percent of all your shots as closeups. 8. Crop Factor : Two crop factor You probably know that different lenses come with different sensor sizes. For example, the popular Sony 7S comes with a full frame sensor, while the Panasonic GH series cameras come with a micro four-thirds sensor. We might not know, is that these sensor sizes affect the focal length of the camera lens. We take that into account with something called a crop factor. For example, with the micro four-thirds camera, it comes with the 2X crop factor, which means that if you're using a 25 millimeter lens on it, it is actually providing a focal length closer to 50 millimeters. Key take away, make sure you take into account the crop factor when buying or selecting your lens. 9. Recording Limit: Third, recording limits on cameras. Some cameras like the Sony a7 come with a recording limit, which is the maximum amount of time a camera can record per session. Once a camera reaches this recording limit, it will automatically stop recording. So key takeaway, make sure you find out the recording limit of your camera and keep that in mind during the whole shoot. 10. Lens Care: Fourth, cleaning your lens. If you're wiping off the dust particles off your lens, stop. By doing this, you can unknowingly scratch your lens with the particles that are already on it. Instead, invest a few bucks in a rocket, which uses compressed air to blow off any particles, and then use a wipe after if needed. 11. A Primer in Post Production: Now, I'm going to move into the post-production process and share two important things. 12. Optimal File Organization: File Organization. I totally underestimated the importance of keeping all of my footage organized where I started film-making and I spent a lot of time finding the best ways to organize all of my files. Here is the best way I've found to save my files onto my drive. Typically start by creating a new folder with my project name, and here a named it Heiwa Kickstarter and within this folder, I'll have three main categories. Video, Audio, and Assets, which is basically the extra stuff that you will add to your video, like photos. Within the video, I like to divide it by Interviews and Broll footage. Within my Interview folder, I like to divide it by Character. I like to divide my Broll into place, events and always label the dates. For the Audio folder, I like to categorize my audio files into Audio for interview or Music that I'll get later or audio for Broll. For my Assets folder, I typically like to have a folder for Titles and a folder for Photos. 13. Press Pack: Last one, makes sure you have vertical stills of your movie for promotional material. If you are starting to show your film in film festivals or on external networks, there are going to ask for something called a press package, which includes movie posters. Because stills pulled from video are not likely to be of high resolution, make sure you take a few high-quality photos of your film, including behind the scenes photos. So you have beautiful promotional material ready to go. 14. Thank you!: So there you have it. Nine Insider Insights and techniques from the field brought to you online. I hope you found this course helpful and you feel like you can now go and apply them to take your film making to another level. If you have any remaining questions, feel free to send them my way. In the meanwhile, I wish you all the best for your film making journey. Thank you so much for taking this course. I will see you next time. Bye. 15. Check out this course!: If you want to advance your film-making to the intermediate level, check out my new course from beginner to intermediate filmmaker, which provides five essential things you need to learn to make this transition. Class posted on my profile. Hope to see you there. 16. Exciting Updates: Hi, everyone. I have two exciting updates. The first is that I've created a course map that links all of my film making and editing courses in sequence, so you can confidently advance as a filmmaker. The second update is that I've started a one-minute newsletter which is curated inspiration and high-value insights on film making, creativity, and the art of authentic living. Checkout both of these on my course instructor page.