Making movies is a fun activity that allows kids to use their creativity! With cell phones everywhere, it’s now easier than ever to make a movie. If you don’t have your own cell phone, chances are you know someone who does have one, and that’s really all you need to film a movie.
If you want your movie to be more enjoyable, here are some steps you can take to plan your movie out.
To make a movie, you’ve got to come up with an idea. Think about things that inspire you in your life. Maybe you have a unique hobby that would be fun to highlight, or maybe you really love collecting action figures. Think about what interests you and your friends, and start there for an idea. Creative walks around your neighborhood can help! Or, use your imagination and come up with an entirely original idea.
#2 Do Your Research
Once you’ve got your idea, it’s time to do some research. Check to see if there is anything similar to your idea already out in the world. If there is, think about how you can make the movie unique or what type of spin could give it an original flavor. Look at what other beginning filmmakers do when starting out and get an idea for the style you want to use. Angle shot, low shot, documentary style — there are so many angles and styles to explore.
#3 Assess Your Budget and Resources
Phones are such a great tool for novice movie producers. Many YouTube stars get their start filming on a simple cell phone. These days, the cameras are almost as good as the video cameras the professionals use. Look at how much you, your parents or your summer camp are willing to invest in your movie financially. That will help determine how much you have to spend on costumes, props and equipment.
#4 Write A Script
When making a movie, you need to have a script for your actors. It should explain the narrative (story plot), include information about which character is in which scene, the lines they will speak, and what all is happening in the background (scenery, sounds, etc.). Having a good script will make the following steps easier.
#5 Scout A Location
Look for places to film your movie. You should use places that are open to the public, such as neighborhood parks or hiking trails, so you don’t trespass. Think about using your own house or even a friend’s house. No matter what location you choose, make sure your parents are aware of your plan so they can support you and be available in case of an emergency. Sound and lighting are important factors to consider at any location. If you’re filming outside, see what time the lighting is the best in the location you want to use. Try to pick a location that is fairly quiet so you can hear the actors and not a busy highway.
#6 Cast Your Actors
Unless your movie is a one-person-show, you probably want a few people to play the other characters in your script. Ask friends or family members if they’d be interested in acting in your movie, and think about which character would be a good fit for them. For example, if your script involves a teacher, your mom or dad might be able to play the adult teacher role fairly easily. Alternatively, it could be quite funny to have a kid try to play the part of a teacher. If you’re casting at a summer camp, you’ll probably want to hold a call for auditions to allow other kids to audition for the parts they’re interested in.
#7 Prepare Your Props
Once your script is done you can look at it and see what props you’ll need for each scene. It’s helpful to make a big list, then search your home or camp to see what you already have. If you’re missing things on the list ask your actors if they happen to have any of the props that you can borrow for the movie. Depending on what prop is needed, you might be able to find something in nature that works, look at a secondhand shop, or even create it yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask family members or friends to contribute and help you. You can return their items when you’re done filming!
#8 Source Your Costumes
Your script should outline what time period or realm your story takes place in, but character costumes can help show that too. Look at what clothing or fabric you have already, and see if it can be made into a costume for your movie. Look for costumes at secondhand shops or see if your older siblings have any old ones in the back of their closet. Ask your actors if they have any clothes that would be appropriate for the movie. Give them examples of the kind of attire you’re looking for.
#9 Film Your Movie
Lights, camera, action! It’s time to film the movie. Have an agenda for the day that includes what shots you are filming at each location and with which actors. If you create a rough schedule it will help your actors and film crew be more prepared for each shot. It’s likely you’ll get a little behind, but if you have an organized checklist of each shot you need, you’ll be able to get it done! If you didn’t get the take the first time, don’t be afraid to do a second take.
#10 Edit Your Movie
You can edit clips together on your phone using various apps, or you can use a computer editing program for a more polished look. Editing is a crucial step if you want your video to appear finished.