Experimental Films: A Good Starting Point

I know that many young filmmakers don’t know where to start. It can seem like a daunting task to make your first film. Sometimes we feel like maybe we can’t do it. When I wanted to start making films back in high school, every project fell through. It seemed as though I would never make my first movie. I was forgetting one thing, however. I could’ve just went out with a camera and filmed anything at all and edit whatever footage I got into a short film.

It would be highly experimental, but that’s what I eventually did one evening while at college. I was a sophomore. I had just had a semester working on someone else’s project. I wanted to make my own though, but every project I had tried to work on before had always fallen through. So, I took my crappy little camcorder and just filmed random stuff in my dorm room. Really bizarre stuff. My foot. My eye. Several different shots of the same desk. My hand writing something. All sorts of stuff that made no apparent sense.

I then imported the footage and put them into some sort of order. In the end it turned into a two-minute experimental film. Not quite sure what the final project meant, but it seemed to have some semblance. Experimental films can be a good starting point for your film career. It still requires a high level of work and professionalism, but at the same time, you can get away with not having actors and a small or non-existent crew.

Making that short gave me confidence to try again. Next, I just filmed a bunch of footage when I went for a hike and edited them into a short little film about the woods. It was giving me some experience behind the camera, and also experience editing. When the time came to make my first “real” short film, I was ready. I spoke about that film on an earlier post. I at least went into that production with a little experience under my belt.

If you are wondering how you are going to make your first film, just do it. Get a camcorder and film something. You can even use your phone! You’ll get a feel for filmmaking and you don’t even need to coordinate with actors or a film crew. Eventually you’ll find others who share your passion and will help you make larger projects. Projects that are more story oriented. For now, if you’re just starting out, film anything you can. It may sound like it won’t help, but trust me, it does.



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