Film making
What is it?     What you need     Getting started     Find out more


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What is it?

  • Making films is a step up from cine or video photography.  The latter is usually concerned with recording events and holidays, while the essence of film making is trying to create something more than just a record.  

  • Many of the techniques involved, and possibly some of the material used, can be the same as home video, and anyone who can use a video camera can start making a short film. 

  • The subject matter of the films made can range from communicating the joys and anguish of everyday life to fantasy subjects, including cartoons and animation. 

  • Some people make films just for their own pleasure and that of their family and friends.  Other make take it more seriously, entering their films for competitions and shows.

Find out more


British Film Institute
exposure - film making



Amateur Cine Enthusiast 
Camcorder User & Desktop Video 
Film & Video Maker 

Getting started

  • Find a local film making group or club (see organisations above).

  • Take a class or course at your local adult education centre or film theatre.

  • Consult books or magazines on the basics of film making.

  • Check in your local library/paper, education centre or film theatre for more information.

What you need

Skills and people
  • Film making is an activity that can be done by people of all ages and both sexes.  If you have used a video camera, it is not difficult to get started.  There are also many special skills you can learn.

  • You can spend a large amount of time on your own making films.  But you may want someone else to see the results and comment on them.  

  • You may also need access to special equipment and expertise at certain stage, for example processing and cutting the film.  

  • Amateur film makers often join a local group of class for help in this way and the stimulus and ideas of others.  The group is likely to contain people of all ages and both sexes.

Equipment or clothing
  • In addition to some kind of camera (today usually a video camera or camcorder), equipment for film processing, cutting and handling the sound track is required.  

  • Much of the work may now be done digitally on a suitably equipped PC.  

  • Joining a class or group may give you access to the more specialised items.

A place or facilities
  • The actual filming can be done anywhere, depend on the subject you are dealing with.  

  • Film processing etc requires a special area (sometimes dark), and groups may use special studios or media workshops in schools and colleges.

Have a go - get started now

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