welcome back to my blog. This time I feel the need to share something about the production of filmmaking. Many experiences I made were learning-by-doing. But especially while I produced "Club B'erodism" I research intensive about a "making of a movie".
My concern with this post is to give an insight about the production of a movie for all people that are interested in. Besides it can give a structure for everyone that are involved in directing or wanted to be one.
The process has three stages. Pre-production, Production and Post-production. It is based on the terms I found on Wikipedia. Just adapt it to SL.
Starting a film project is an adventure to me. Every time. It beginns with an idea you have. This idea is to develop to a raw story. Think about elements you want to show, about the story you want to tell. Be always aware, that your ideas has to be to realize inworld. This is the first challenge. You can imagine everything! The question is: can I show it on screen?
When you have your story it's time to write a screenplay. Split the story into scenes, sequences and acts. Imagine a step-by-step procedure.
At this early point I need my crew. I have to know which actress/actor will represent a role. In my imagination I need to have the right face to make it visible in my mind.
In your screenplay there should be all places, locations, sims and/or sets you want to put in the film. Researching sims for fitting places can be frustrating. Can you rezz there? Look for furniture you can use. Check all poses if you can need them for your work. Write it all down.
Now it is time for the storyboards of the poses and poseballs for the sex sequences. Make a logical order of them. You can make paper sketches of every pose. There you can draw how you will start record this shot, how the camera have to move and where the end position shall be. Don't forget the face expressions of your actors. Draw this sketches as simple as possible, but they has to include every needed informations. Think about the possibilities of moving a camera and of Flycam!
Look for the right windlights of this place and sequence. Sit down and take a friend to see how the windlights are affecting your avatars. No need for adjustment.
Now you need to set the outfits for your crew. Do you have ideas already how they shall look? Meet every of your actors and talk with them about your vision. First let them show you, what they have. Most people are happy to help you. Researching marketplace you can do every time.
Time to make a shooting schedule. I call it a matrix. You can write it or make it with Excel. This should show what scene need what actors. And this works with every scene of your screenplay. When you want to start shootings, this matrix will be your first tool. You can choose all scenes with the same characters and shot them. Independently where on the timeline the scenes are. At other days you can take other characters in other scenes and work with them. Having two or more such teams you can make easier terms for a shooting. This makes it much more manageable to all.
Now you are ready so far. All preparations melting to these days of shooting. Here you will see how precise your work till now was.
Check all outfits of your actors.
Let take the actors their positions on the poses or acting points.
Adjust all poses and save them!
Check all face expressions.
Remember to fade out your HUD's with Shift + Alt + H.
Clear your screen with Control + Alt + F1.
Shot size, camera movement, timing of movings, Flycam and Cameratool settings done and ready?
Take 1, Take 2, Take 3 ... do as much as you need to get comfortable with the result.
Check every clip you shot at once! Many faults can happen there, because you was to busy with filming to recognize them.
A shooting day can last 2-5 hours. But not longer. Set an End at a shooting day. So everybody will know when it is over. Remember, it's our free time everybody invest.
That is all about editing. Editing is an art of it's own. To the editing program you put all clips, music tracks, sounds and effects you want and need.
Every shot has to show exactly what you want to tell. Cut it to the right length. Nothing more or less. Don't try to increase the length of your movie by using long and boring clips. What the right length is you will get a feeling for with further experience.
Use two or better three tracks for video and audio. I use always three tracks for each and sometimes I could need more.
Find the right transitions for your shots, scenes, sequences, acts. Make cuts, fades, dissolves, wipes or other that fit.
Put music, sounds and visual effects to your timeline. And try to fit them with the frames of the shot. When a gun fires you should hear the sound simultaneously and not a second later.
Search on the web for special sounds you want. There are pages with free sound effects. If needed you can record sounds in SL with your camera. Just delete the video and keep the audio track. Simple but effective.
Start the movie with the name of your production company or the name of the movie. Look at RL movies how they look at the beginning.
And very important. At the end of a movie there are credits! That means all actors, places, music, support. Everything that was involved to the movie. Credits are underestimated but they are your last business card.
But most important of all:
Learn how to treat with people during the project! You must guide your people, listen to them, order them, give advices, give limits, give freedom, care for them, jugde them, critic them, admire them, praise them, listen to their suggestions and think about it, be a friend, be a despot. You have to demand and obey. The rules you make count to the director as well.
I know, this looks pretty much. But it's a logical order there. The next step would be "Distribution". This is something, that I'm still learning.
Hope to gave you a view about directing. It's not mystical, just much work.