July 17, 2015

Hold on Tight! Here Are 50 Hard-Hitting Filmmaking Tips in Just 7 Minutes

Our favorite young YouTuber is at it again, this time with 50 quick tips that are sure to inspire better filmmaking. So without any further ado, here's Simon Cade:

Many of Simon's tips are practical ones -- using a rubber band for smooth pans and slides, not using a flat or log profile to judge the lighting in your scene, securing your various audio/video cables and labeling them so you can tell what goes where at a glance, always feeding your cast and crew, helping actors understand their character's motivations (not just telling them how to act in a scene, but why they're acting a certain way). On the other hand, quite a few of Simon's tips are applicable to far more than just filmmaking, and those are the ones that I find to be the most powerful.

Personally, I'm a big fan of taking a more holistic approach to becoming a better filmmaker. Sure, you can lock yourself in a room for days on end, just consuming an endless stream of films, furiously taking notes, figuring out what works and why. Then, if you're so inclined, you can spend years at a time working on the films of others, as well as your own films, with little time for anything else but eating and sleeping. In doing so, you'll probably become a good filmmaker, no doubt about it.

However, great art isn't created in a bubble. It's the result of lives well lived, lives full of interesting people and experiences. It's the result of consuming all forms of media (books, films, music, visual art, theater) and distilling those ideas into something unique and personal. It's the result of making artistic creation a habit, something that you do regardless of whether you feel inspired or not. And last but not least, it's the result of actually giving a shit about something. Regardless of what you care about, whether it's socioeconomic issues, saving the environment, or your pet tarantula, use your craft to say what you want to say, not what others want or expect you to say.

You can read more tips over on DSLRguide, but in the meantime we'd love to hear your single most important tip for better filmmaking. So share them with us down in the comments!      

Your Comment

18 Comments

My tip is:
Do it your way. Don't feel forced to adhere to standards if it goes against the message you want to convey in your film. If everyone is using modern lenses on their DSLR's but you feel vintage lenses would make it look the way your story needs, go ahead. If it asks for a rough look with lots of contrast, don't pay attention for everyone who says you should shoot flat. If you believe you should get most of the look on-camera, like having real flares, lighting it properly and reducing most of the post processing, let all those naysayers talk as much as they want of the big post production workflows. If the film is yours, it is ultimately your call....

July 17, 2015 at 8:13PM

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Fernando Henrique de Sousa
CEO, Evil Genius, Steadycam, editor & jack of all trades
192

I love this comment! So true! There are no rules in this game!

July 20, 2015 at 2:26PM

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Zac Surprenant
Director / Editor / Cinematographer
96

Yeah do your own thing. :)

July 28, 2015 at 3:07PM

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Cathy Danneberg
Filmmaker, Editor, Designer, VFX
579

Couldn't agree more. I've yet to see a Hitchcock film and I'm doing alright.

August 9, 2015 at 6:52AM

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Thanks for sharing. Very informative Video with some great tips!, but one is missing, especially concerning Tutorial video.
While speaking to viewers, ar-ti-cu-la-te to be fully understandable out of computer speakers!
If you cannot avoid chewing your sentences, add subtitle to the video to make it even more pleasing and efficient.

July 17, 2015 at 9:44PM

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Franc Sanka
Director of Photography / Film and Photography Teacher
122

Seemed pretty clear and straightforward to me. Keep up the good work Simon

July 18, 2015 at 10:42AM

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matt
550

Maybe because it's British? Just joking ;)

It's more the audio itself that's sometimes a bit mediocre.

August 9, 2015 at 6:54AM

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My tip is a general look on filmmaking and really any art in general:

In Quentin Tarantino's words, LOVE IT!

That's my tip. It may seem obvious, yet sometimes we stress ourselves out with it, completely forgetting the reason why we're doing it in the first place.

When you love something enough, you'll basically unlock everything: productivity, improvement, etc. You'll explore other art forms and filter out interesting things and sculpt it into your own piece.

But most importantly - when you love it enough, you will make a lot of movies and content no matter what. It doesn't matter whether you wake up in the morning, inspired or not, you're simply just going to do it, because your love for the passion is your biggest source of motivation. You'll do whatever it takes to improve and to learn.

I want to state now that that tip goes for any artist of any mediums. Heck, it even applies to life!

July 17, 2015 at 9:59PM, Edited July 17, 9:59PM

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Ilya Matyushin
YouTuber & Filmmaker, Freelance Filmmaker
92

Simon Cade rocks ! His videos have been very informative and he communicates his ideas like a pro. In fact, I have used his tips on cinematography in my latest short movie "15 More Minutes" - http://youtube.com/watch?v=8x2WJQ1fAkE . So, Thank you Simon for sharing your knowledge.
Cheers.

July 18, 2015 at 1:03AM

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Arun Meegada
Moviemaker in the Making
413

And on a school night too. (He does look very young)

July 19, 2015 at 1:57PM

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Julian Richards
Film Warlord
1051

And how come our school principal 'Ryan koo' is still letting you use your pics from the Pluto days. You are on earth right now, lets see how you look like Julian :)

July 20, 2015 at 10:02PM

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Arun Meegada
Moviemaker in the Making
413

Tip #49 on point!

Collaborate with people on a project that isn't "as important" and let them feel free to have input. Be super warm and friendly. Hire them again on an important project and they'll respect you, while working their butts off.

July 18, 2015 at 6:38AM, Edited July 18, 6:43AM

7
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Ha. 34 was my favorite.

July 19, 2015 at 12:22AM, Edited July 19, 12:22AM

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Steven Bailey
Writer/Director/Composer
1113

The BEST tip! Sync your camera clock to your sound recorder clock.

July 19, 2015 at 10:50AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
796

This is all good. Ignore them at your own peril.

I'd add: GAFFER'S TAPE. I know it's expensive. But do yourself (and your crew) a huge favor and ditch the duct tape and buy the real thing. Every surface you put it on will thank you. Trust me.

July 19, 2015 at 11:04PM

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Erik Stenbakken
Videographer & Photographer
120

49th tip is the one.

July 20, 2015 at 7:53PM

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Gary Ewing
Short Film Screenwriter, Photographer, Director.
226

Helpful tips that we all need simple reminding of from time to time.

July 21, 2015 at 11:53PM

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Tim Ryan
Filmmaker
166

always have an alternative lubes just in case your actress'ssss aren't feeling it that day

July 31, 2015 at 2:53PM, Edited July 31, 2:53PM

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Daniel Duerto
Everything is me
175