Teen Filmmaking Resources

New this year!  The Hub

KPL now offers state-of-the-art professional video editing tools for Resident Area Borrowers in our new digital lab called The Hub! Adobe Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion 5, Anime Studio, and more! Mac and PC! Check it out!

Helpful hints:

  • Don't wait until the last minute—your project will turn out better if you start early!
  • Don’t be afraid to make a “genre” film: horror, music video, commercial, parody, animated, documentary. Prizes will be awarded in a number of categories, and you never know what risks may end up paying off for you.
  • Write a script so that you, your crew and your actors are on the same page. If you feel a script is too rigid, at least develop a storyboard to convey the general idea.
  • Before you roll camera, develop a shot list. This is the list of shots you want included to develop your scene. Be as thorough as possible, because it’s easier to edit out content than it is to recreate a set or scene for the sake of shooting additional footage to fill in the gaps.
  • Use a tripod (or steady surface) for your camera . . . unless you’re trying to have a “shaky camera” effect.
  • Make sure that dialogue is clear and audible. Many a fine film has been ruined by background noise or an improperly placed microphone.
  • Lighting is also key—we want to be able to see you as well as hear you!
  • Mix up camera angles. Try shooting the same scene several times with the camera in different points of view.
  • Less is always more. If you think a scene may be running on too long (kind of like this tip) . . . it is!
  • Every part of your film . . . the script, the sound, the shots, EVERYTHING . . . should be done with a purpose. So it’s okay to have a weird, confusing story or bad lighting or quirky dialogue—but only if that’s what you’re trying to do.

Online do-it-yourself resources:

Books for Teen Filmmakers

The Complete Guide to Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking by Josh BeckerThe Complete Guide to Low-Budget Feature Filmmaking  
Becker, Josh
Call Number: 791.43 B3957
2006
The complete guide to low-budget feature filmmaking / by John Becker; introduction by Bruce Campbell; edited by J.T. Lindroos and Kathleen Martin.
The Everything Filmmaking Book by Barbara KargThe Everything Filmmaking Book  
Karg, Barbara
Call Number: 791.43 K1836 TEEN
2007
Filmmaking is a notoriously difficult field to break into-a script's chance of making it to production is a staggering 1 in every 140,000! But if you're an aspiring filmmaker, you can up your odds with The Everything[Registered] Filmmaking Book. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Just Shoot It! A Complete Guide to Filmmaking from Script to Screen  by Curtis KessingerJust Shoot It! A Complete Guide to Filmmaking from Script to Screen  
Kessinger, Curtis
Call Number: 791.43 K424 TEEN
2006
Kessinger covers screenwriting, audience, budgets, contracts, scheduling, casting, pacing, permits, shooting plan, cinematography, directing, sound, editing, and more. The filmmaking book is written in a motivating style to give readers the success tools to succeed. (Film)
Putting the Pieces Together: The Graffiti Model for Indie Filmmaking by Benjamin MorganPutting the Pieces Together: The Graffiti Model for Indie Filmmaking  
Morgan, Benjamin
Call Number: 791.43 M8473 TEEN
2006
A beginner's introduction to do-it-yourself filmmaking, told through thetory of an underground, low-budget production called "Quality of Life,"escribes its plot as well as its crew's shoestring movie-making process anduccessful screenings at sold-out film festivals. Original.
Desktop Cinema: Feature Filmmaking on a Home Computer by Graham RobertsonDesktop Cinema: Feature Filmmaking on a Home Computer  
Robertson, Graham
Call Number: 778.5 R6498 TEEN
2006
Although the number of budding filmmakers and the availability of digital video technology are growing, there are currently no books that encapsulate the process of creating a feature-length film using only a video camera and a home computer. Whether you are an amateur filmmaker or a computer enthusiast, "Desktop Cinema: Feature Filmmaking on ...
Filmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts by Troy LanierFilmmaking for Teens: Pulling Off Your Shorts  
Lanier, Troy
Call Number: 791.43 L2879 TEEN
2005
Dreaming of the silver screen during Algebra? Composing your Academy Award acceptance speech instead of your English essay? Now you have a guidebook that can help those dreams become a reality. With readily available technology, you can pull off your shorts. This funny and irreverent 'how-to' takes young would-be filmmakers from the moment of ...
Digital Filmmaking for Teens by Pete ShanerDigital Filmmaking for Teens  
Shaner, Pete
Call Number: 778.5 S5284 TEEN
2005
Geared to anyone who wants to make a Hollywood-style movie, this introductory guide details the process from picking a story to operating the camera. The coauthors of Real World Digital Video include professional tips, instructions for setting up a computer editing system; references (books, DVDs, movies, and Web sites cited); and a glossary.
Filmmaking for Dummies by Bryan StollerFilmmaking for Dummies  
Stoller, Bryan
Call Number: 791.43 S8756 TEEN
2003
 I know of nobody more suitable than Bryan Stoller to author a manual on how to get a film made." - Dan Aykroyd Scout locations, set up shots, and direct actors " Bryan Stoller has encapsulated the fundamentals of the filming process in a most accessible way." - David Permut, Producer and President, Permut Presentations, Inc.
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