How to make a film
The filmmaking process might seem a bit of a mystery at first. So to help you know what to expect, here's a short guide to my filmmaking process.
We will normally chat on the phone first so I can hear what you would like to achieve by commissioning a film. I'll find out your ideas, why you want to commission a film, your rough plan, your deadline and your budget. Then I can write up a rough quote for you. If you like the quote, then we move on to the next stage...
How long does this take? Half an hour to one hour for the phone call. I can normally have a rough quote with you in a day or two.
We will meet in person for a kickoff meeting. This is a brainstorm and planning session. In that meeting, together we will come up with a creative treatment for your film and a rough storyboard. We will also sketch out a more detailed schedule.
After the kickoff meeting, I will work out a structure for the film in advance of filming. I will write a more detailed storyboard and write interview questions ahead of filming. I might also begin building rapport with documentary participants to help them feel comfortable before filming begins, by chatting with them on the phone ahead of filming.
For some projects, particularly those with fast turnaround times, you might be acting as the director or interviewer. So you will have planned a rough structure for the film and written the questions yourself, perhaps with some help from me.
How long does this take? 1 - 4 weeks
This is the filming bit. You'll often be on location with me so you will see this first-hand. During interviews you will most likely be the one asking questions while I film. But don’t worry if that’s new to you, I’ll give you some technical training on how to ask questions. And I’ll be on hand to chip in if you need me to.
I help documentary participants feel comfortable in front of the camera. And I take care to make sure the footage looks and sounds great. I make sure you’re happy that you're getting what you need from the participants or interviewees.
How long does this take? 1 day - 1 month+
This is the editing stage. After filming, I send you a first cut based on the storyboard we wrote together. You review it with your colleagues, you collate all the feedback from your stakeholders, and then send it to me. I make changes and we work together over email and phone to get the film just right.
How long does this take? 1 day - 2 weeks
I send you the finished film(s) over the web. You put it on your website and social media channels. Your audience watches, enjoys, and takes action.
Sam Care is a freelance filmmaker with 10 years of experience making films with clients.