My first movie-- handheld camera


New member
I've been studying and writing screenplays for a little while now, but it's always so frustrating spending so much time writing something and not seeing it ever produced. I'm a student and not yet ready to start sending my screenplays out to agents or anything, and all my friends who are filmmakers want to film their OWN screenplays, obviously.
So finally I decided I'm just going to shoot one. I'm finishing up the screenplay for a short film, and see, I got this little sony handheld mini-dvd camera for highschool graduation...

Don't get me wrong, I've been studying filmmaking a ton and would like to try my hand at it. Obviously, it's going to be super mega low budget. I'm going to get my friends (it's based on them anyway) to play the parts, in a very documentary-esque style film. I know this is the least desirable way to make a film, but my question for anyone who can help is, is there anything that I absolutely, definitely, must take care of? Right now my plan is to literally point and shoot, then edit it (final cut pro?) myself later. No lighting. No microphones. Just tell my friends where to stand, point, and shoot. Is there anything that I absolutely must do? I mean, do I absolutely need to have a separate recording device for sound or anything? Or am I going to get something that's watchable doing what I'm doing, assuming I can get all the locations to be relatively free of outside sound, glaring lights, etc.?
Mostly I just want to be able to have something for future resumes and internships to say "I did this," and get experience editing my own projects.

Thanks in advance for the help

Mr Taylor

New member
I like your idea.
I think the big idea is to shoot in masters first, then go for the mid close ups ...and the closeups last.

Maybe a run through before you shoot each scene.

Do you have much action?
If you do then you might need to do a storyboard for those parts, it will save you lots of talking.

Maybe a clapper board so that you can keep track of the takes? this also stops the clipping out of footage while the camera gets the tape up to speed.

Also, don't pan too fast.. obey the 30 degree rule and the 180 degree rule.

Maybe take a white cloth or card with you, you can drop it below the camera to get light reflected up off the ground to make a face show up better.

Pick a day without clouds...otherwise the light will be all over the place.

Take bug spray, if you go into the wild.

Try and get the sun behind you, the colours will be nicer.

have fun, try and make the mistakes a feature rather than a failure.