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Making A Short Film With Zoom Technology



Have you ever wanted to make a movie? What if you don't have the funding, crew, equipment, or cast for a full-fledged production? Good news! You don't need Hollywood-scale budgets to make a great film.


With the advent of streaming services such as Zoom, and the relatively low cost of good audio equipment, lighting, and consumer cameras, it's easier than ever to realize your filmmaking dreams. If you have a solid script, time, and know people who want to act, you can make a short film (or a feature) on a shoestring budget. Want to upscale your production? You can do that too with ease.


Decide the Genre


The genre of your film will dictate many aspects of how you record and edit it. Is it a horror movie? Lean into the glitch effects and known issues with streaming platforms such as dropped calls, frozen images, and weird audio.


Is it a techno-thriller? Maybe you'll plan to share a computer screen or add visual effects in post. A plot point revolving around the question of what is ssl certificate could be the perfect twist.


Is it a slow-burn long-distance romance? The chemistry between your leads is vital — we want to see why they like each other. Ancillary elements like a chat window sharing heart emojis or utilizing multiple camera angles to enhance the mood might be just what you need.


Use the Right Equipment


If your actors are in different locations, making sure everyone has good microphones, decent lighting, and quality cameras is important. You may be constructing the movie as a Zoom call, and including grain from low-light or jittery frames, but you'll want the highest quality raw footage you can get.


Ensuring each participant on camera can record their own performance and send you the video and audio files for editing will save you from having to compromise your vision because technology failed at the peak emotional revelation between your characters and all you got was a frozen screen and warped dialog. Don't rely on a single recording source, either. And back up your files well — it may be cheaper than ever to make a movie but it's just as devastating to lose your hard work to a hard drive failure.


Find Your People


How many actors you need depends on the type of movie you're making. You can get away with a single character or you can work with an ensemble — just remember the more developed characters you have, the more complex the story can get.


If you're using a platform like Zoom and basing the film idea around a Zoom call, you probably want to limit the number of people "on the call" so it doesn't become too difficult to manage. And don't forget that having a crew makes filmmaking a lot easier. You can do it all yourself, but do you have to do it all yourself? Consider wrangling some friends or fellow filmmakers to assist. Even if you're using Zoom as the recording platform, you'll benefit from having assistance. Maybe you want to direct so you leave the technical hosting to someone else. If you're acting in the film yourself, having a team lets you focus on your performance.


Plan for Post-Production


It may be tempting to record your Zoom movie in one take and call it good. But audiences do expect a level of professionalism and no actor gets every line right on the first try.


Plan to edit your movie and make it shine in post. Are you adding music or sound effects? CGI elements or visual overlays? How about color correction and trimming out dead air? There are whole industries devoted to each element of post-production, but as before, you don't need a Hollywood budget to make your film great.


If you plan ahead, know your tools, connect with other artists who have the skills you need, and nurture patience for the work, you can fully realize your vision and make your own short film. And when you've finished, grab some popcorn and get ready for the premier.


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