Saturday, August 20, 2016

5 Helpful Tips to Make a Short Film on a Budget

Many people that have grown up in the last 30 years or so have played around with cameras and attempted to make home movies. It’s often a very popular thing to attempt when you’re young, and it’s a great way to express your creativity and build lasting memories, even if it’s a simple. There’s nothing quite like watching a ‘film’ you made as a youngster. At Cineclair Productions, we’ve converted more than our share of old home movies to higher formats, so in many ways we’re experts on the topic!

Nowadays, with high quality cameras being available even on a smartphone, it’s never been easier to make a short film and share it with the world. But while it’s often a lot of fun to not take it too seriously, there are aspiring, amateur filmmakers out there that are possibly looking to make a film that is the best it can be. Let’s take a look at some tips for beginners going down this path.

1. Start Small

We all have grand ideas, but when it comes to filmmaking, it’s a good idea to start with a simple concept and develop it. For instance, a 20 minute whodunnit cop detective drama might seem like a great idea, but in reality it might be overly ambitious. What might be a more appropriate first film is an amusing or interesting conversation over a few minutes.

2. The Story Makes the Film

Even if you’re working with a small or near non-existent budget, write a well put together story and compelling script because this is the ultimate thing that makes the film work. Take time to work on a concept with characters that have some kind of goal, or problem to overcome. This can be developed within a single conversation and doesn’t need to be overly complicated - however it’s the foundation on which viewers can relate. Spending time to write good dialogue is well worth it, winging it and having your actors improvise can backfire.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Film Scenes More than Once

There are times when you’ll be sure you capture a scene perfectly, but it’s still well worthwhile to reshoot it a couple of times when you’re starting out. When you go to edit the film, it’s a great help to have a few different takes to shuffle through. Comparing them in this environment, you might notice things you didn’t pick up on when you were filming and probably had the adrenaline pumping.

4. Concentrate on Music

Music is one of the most effective ways of helping to create tone, but it’s important to use it in the right places and not put tracks in the film simply because you like them. Think about how you want the audience to feel about a particular scene and choose the perfect soundtrack accordingly. You can do a lot with a simple scene if you choose the right music, so spend plenty of time on your soundtrack.

5. Share Your Short Film Online

We are in an age where it’s so easy to share your content, get feedback and eventually develop a fan base. YouTube is of course at the top of the list but you'll find a lots of other websites to promote your short film online .There are a huge number of amateur filmmakers that have made their way in the industry after being discovered online. Nowadays, if you have a talent for film-making, you can be discover more easily than ever before. The great thing about YouTube is that you can test the reaction of your audience and improve your skills as time goes on.

So what are you waiting for, get out there and get filming today! And remember if you do happen to stumble upon an old home movie from when you were a kid (in a dated format), don’t hesitate to contact your friends at Cineclair Productions.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Which is Preferable - Converting Film to USB or DVD?

The most popular and widely used film formats have changed many times through the last few decades. This being the case, it has become a must to convert footage on older film into a modern format, in order to hang onto these precious memories.

Until relatively recently, the preferred format to convert old film was into DVD. Chapters and title screens can be built to allow for easy viewing. It also makes for a high picture and sound quality and can be easily and conveniently viewed at home. The digital format that can be saved to USB is now becoming the ideal option, although often it depends on your specific requirements and capabilities. This article will discuss some of the reasons why people prefer one over the other.



One of the main reasons people like to convert their old film to other formats is to preserve the memories and save them wasting away.Older film types are in danger of damage and decay after years of sitting in storage, which can mean the end of your memories.

Obviously, converting to DVD or USB can mean ensuring they are kept safe for longer. Generally speaking however, you’re better served by having the footage on a USB. You make copies easily on your computer and even upload the files online, so they exist here for as long as you need them. Compare this to a DVD, which is difficult to copy if you don’t have specific software and hardware. Plus, the discs themselves need to be stored correctly to ensure they aren’t damaged.



Convenience is another big factor. No one wants to have to pull out the ancient projector to watch old film from the good old days. Instead, it’s much better to bring it up on your existing home entertainment system. Converting to DVD and USB allow for this, it simply depends on your current set up and how tech-savvy you are. The large majority of Australian homes have a DVD player set up, but many stream content online or even use a Blu-Ray player. Plus, there are many TV and entertainment systems that have USB ports, meaning you can plug it in and play the files from there.

USB and DVD for the New Generation




Having a digital media file of your footage on USB is preferable in this case as you are able to share it between multiple devices and even put it online all from your computer. These same capabilities are available for DVDs, but they require some advanced knowledge, whereas most computer-literate people can do so with a video file on the computer.

Potential for Customisation

When you have film converted to DVD with a professional, you can have your choice of title menu and scene selection, which makes for some pretty neat customisation. But in this case the clear winner is the digital option; when you put the video file on your computer, you can edit it and customise it with a range of different options, depending on the software you are using. This means you can add titles, music, cut-out scenes and more.

As you’ve read, in most cases having film converted to USB is preferable, provided you have some handle on technology and you have the hardware required. If you’re looking for this kind of service, don’t hesitate to contact us at 03 9598 6463 or visit our website for a free quote today!