Have you ever looked at a video on social media, thought, “huh, cool” and moved on? Well, it happens to the best of us. But what does it really take to create a short, little video on something? My name’s Jesse; I’m a film production major here at Keene State College. I’ve made LOTS of videos, and, well, it’s actually quite a process to make a short film.
There’s five elements: scripting, casting, shooting, editing and producing. The script can be done two ways, either by a text table, or on a professional screenwriting program. The text table is simple: you have 5 columns: scene numbers, action instructions, dialogue, location and special camera features. These columns are a pretty good way of giving instructions to the cast and crew. Using a screenwriting program is tricky though. There is lots of formatting that you have to do, but there are software programs for that. If you’ve ever seen a legit movie script, that’s what it’s like. Even for short videos.
Casting is one of the hardest parts of the video making process. A lot of videos have characters in them. Being on a college campus is hard because you either ask one of your friends who is not a good actor whatsoever, or you ask a kid from the acting department and hope they are not occupied with some other video.
Coordinating shooting times with actors is hard as well. It will sometimes take weeks for a two minute video to finish being shot. As the producer, I also need to coordinate camera equipment and location availabilities along with my actors’ schedules. Then it all comes down to the weather, which simply cannot be controlled.
After all the scenes are done, in multiple takes, the editing begins. Mashing together sometimes hundreds of shots for a video is a long, painstaking process. You pick out the best ones, cut them accordingly and sometimes mess around with the order.
Lastly comes the production. Once the video is edited it is time to save the master file and upload it somewhere. The smaller you are in the industry, the harder it is for people to see your video, so having a stable social network appearance is best. But if you don’t have that, then it takes more time and effort to reach that level.
Well, there you have it. The video-making process in a nutshell.