What's New

Learn about the latest news and updates at FilmSkills

The Sun – A Cinematographer’s Biggest Light Source

Summertime is finally here, and so are challenges of shooting outdoors in the harsh summer sun. Although the winter months provide us with plenty of diffused cloud cover to properly expose out actors, the harsh, direct summer sun can be problematic when the light and shadows fall outside the contrast

Read More »

Directing – It’s All In the Script

Although we all think of the director as exerting his or her influential on set, in reality the director’s work is mostly done well before hand in pre-production. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the complexities of production. From working with difficult actors, to fighting the setting sun, to trying

Read More »

How to Shoot a Short Film

So, you’re thinking about shooting a short film? Short films are a terrific way of learning the process of making a movie, showcasing your talents, and generating interest from producers and investors in future projects. Despite the educational and career benefits, there is virtually no market for short films, making it nearly

Read More »

Writing a Great Low Budget Screenplay

It’s easy to get lost in the world of your story, weaving tales of intrigue, romance, action and adventure through the lives of your characters. But as engaging as you would like that world to be, the reality of tighter budgets, fewer shooting days, smaller crews and cheaper equipment force

Read More »

How to Block Actors On Set

Blocking actors is one of the main responsibilities of the director. The term blocking refers to the actors’ movements on set. We like to break blocking down into two stages – macroblocking and  microblocking. Macroblocking are the large movements an actor makes– where does he walk, where does he stop, where does he sit, when does

Read More »

Choose the Best Camera for Documentary Filmmaking

Over the past decade, cameras have empowered filmmakers with higher resolutions, better optics, and smaller camera bodies, making them easier to carry and use in the field. But, with all the options available, what cameras should you choose? Although larger cameras can shoot better images, smaller cameras are ideal in

Read More »

How to Be an Effective Director in Post Production

Once a movie is complete and enters the post production phase, the director is usually exhausted and may be disappointed with the results of the footage. It’s rare in the independent world for a director to have achieved her exact vision due to time and budget restrictions. By this point

Read More »

Unlock the Most Powerful Acting Tool – Backstory

A play, story, or movie is nothing more than a short glimpse of a part of a character’s life in a moment of conflict. The audience does not have the luxury of knowing the character from birth, so personality and behavioral traits, quirks, likes and dislikes, and temperaments must be

Read More »

How to Direct Inexperienced Actors

As independent filmmakers, we need to use the resources we have available.  Often times, those limitations extend to actors.  While it would be great if we could afford to hire SAG-AFTRA actors from a top agency for our projects, the reality is that we are forced to work with amateurs.

Read More »

Surviving Long Shooting Days on Set

We’ve all been on productions that seem to never end. 12-hour days turn into 14-hours, which turn into-16 hours. The shoot runs late into the night with no signs of ending, and everyone on the cast and crew is exhausted. Driving your crew into the ground is not only counter productive, it’s also

Read More »

Choosing the Best Camera For Your Shoot

It’s time to start a new project, and the first question most people ask is “What camera should I use?” While professional cinematographers grimace when novice directors always want the latest and greatest camera, you should let the project decide the camera – not the hype.  Sure, the Alexa, Red

Read More »

Filmmaking Techniques to Get Proper Coverage

The set is a busy, stressful place to work.  You’ve spent weeks, if not months preparing for each shooting day, and when it arrives you have to create art out of chaos.  There are a thousand things that can go wrong. Crew members call in sick, a breaker pops, location owners get demanding,

Read More »