November 14, 2014 at 3:34AM


Sound production.

Hi there..

I wanted to know whether re-recording dialogues for the whole movie is a good idea? Even if its not, will it work? Can I shoot a decent movie without having any on-location sound recording equipment, not even a boom mic..?

Because I cannot afford a boom mic. And even if I do, I don't have crew (person) to hold it while I shoot.

Also please suggest free softwares for sound editing, movie editing/making, and if possible, music creating.

And please suggest is there any other equipment that I need to have, that is absolutely a MUST, and I have no other option but to buy it (and if you know of some place/website in India where I can get it cheap, because every equipment I have looked up, I can't afford them).

I'm 21 years. I'm just starting out. This is gonna be my first film. No experience. I have only shot ONE short video in my lifetime. I know that most people will say I'm just wasting my time or I have to 'learn' or 'wait', but I really, really want to get out there and do it once. Make a movie, learn from the experience. And keep on learning and make myself good enough.

For this film that I'm making, I'm the director, screenwriter, editor, and basically everything else (except actor). I've managed to put together 7 of my friends to act in it (I've written the script such that I won't need more than 10 people)... and the story is comedy/friendship.

I'm shooting it with my Lumia 1020. And the only thing I can afford right now is buying a tripod.

I know its gonna be very tough to pull off a good one, but I'm going to give my best shot and see where I get, so that I can hopefully go further. I won't never will give up because I love writing+filmmaking.

I look forth to all your opinions and tips which for me will be very, VERY valuable.

Thanks much.


I'm sorry, I forgot to mention that my OS is Windows 7.

November 14, 2014 at 3:36AM

Asim Mohamed

You're always going to need location sound. If you were to ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) ie. re-record the dialogue in post, then you have to mix it with the location sound to get something that sounds pleasantly natural.
Sound is always going to be difficult to tackle in film making, but I'd suggest at least investing in a basic mic of some kind. You can spend a lot of time making your shots look good, but if no one wants to listen to what's being said, it's going to be hard to get people to watch, let along enjoy your film.
Even a very basic wired lav mic connected to something like the Zoom H1 (there are cheaper options) and hidden on the actor will allow you to have some good direct sound. You're going to have to sync it in post most likely. Sound is an important part of film so don't over look it in regards to time or investment.

November 14, 2014 at 7:59AM

Einar Johnson
DP / Editor / Creative Director

If you can't afford sound right now, I'd suggest trying to do a "silent" picture first. We had to start with one of these in film school. We could add sound fx in post, but music was the real connecting thread. This was to simplify the film process for us.

I suggest watching the videos on youtube by the Film Riot guys - they have a wealth of information for low-budget projects.

Don't ever let equipment or naysayers hold you back from pursuing your dream. Give it your best shot, and if you love doing it, don't ever quit. You will get better in time.

Windows 7 *may have* windows movie maker, though I haven't used it, so I can't tell you if that's true or even if you will be able to edit your Lumia 1020 footage in it.

Youtube and Vimeo both offer free music that you can use - just search for their "audio library" and you can search results by genre, mood, etc.

You can also download Adobe Premiere on a 30-day trial basis and use the may youtube tutorials on how to get started if you want a good editing software. Worry about that though when you wrap up your project.

Have fun!

November 15, 2014 at 9:46AM


If you are in school you can get a student subscription for Avid Media Composer for editing your film. It's only $10 a month.

November 16, 2014 at 6:05AM

Kevin Greene

I did my first short with just the camera and a broken stills tripod. I get that you already have a project in mind, but there's a nice discipline to making a dialogue free film as it forces you to tell the story visually.

Re: your specific issues, if you can get a half-decent audio recorder with built in mics, it will suffice for a first film. I have a Tascam DR40 which was about £150 new. At a push you can use the on-board mics on the end of a boom pole and get decent results. Because it has 2 XLR inputs you can use it with proper mics at a later date. Any muddy dialogue can be looped in a more controlled environment later.

Also consider reaching out to local groups etc who may have their own audio kit and be willing to loan it out - most bands have their own mini-studios, arts centres/schools/churches all have some kind of PA/mic/soundboard set up. If you explain what you're doing, be polite, honest and grateful then you never know what you can blag.

For audio software, Audacity is pretty decent for effects and editing; I've used a program called LMMS to do some basic music. Both are free.

Hope that helps!

November 16, 2014 at 8:06AM

Jon Mills

Hi Asim.

Griffin Hammond (Ex-Indy Mogul Host) recent did a challenge where he had to make a video using only his iPhone. He used the audio recorder on his iPhone as a mic. Perhaps you could have an actor use the feature on their phone and have it in their hand while you shoot? Then you can put the audio file on your computer and that'll give you at least a little improvement.

November 17, 2014 at 1:05PM

Christopher Brazil
Audio/Video Tech

You have to consider that when you watch a movie the first thing you notice is bad audio. There can be a lot of things wrong with a film but bad sound is one that doesn't go un-noticed, whereas good sound will just be transparent because you don't think about what you are hearing it sounds natural.

So are so many simple ways to capture audio - from a built in iPhone mic, to simple lavaliere mics like the Rode SmartLav which plugs into an iPhone and uses a $4 app to record broadcast quality audio.

Take the time and do what you need to - if you can't capture anything in the field then there is nothing to work from later.

November 19, 2014 at 8:49PM

You voted '-1'.
Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer

Really good answers, assuming your camera can record audio, you can use that to get reference audio to sync. Altho I have plural eyes software, I wild sync, I just am pretty quick about it. It helps to have someone clap in front of the camera to use as a sync point, but even if your camera has no audio, you can watch the hands go clap and find on your separate audio track the sound of the clap and line the peak in the audio file to that clap.
There are a number of free NLE or video edit software for Windows, I haven't tried them, but the free version of Hitfilm is one of the them and there is Light? I forget the rest of the name, but google free NLE software or Video editing. Even Microsoft has the free video editor that used to be bundled, but now you request it. The big thing is to try and get the microphone as close to the talent as possible. Director and author Robert Rodrequez in his book "Rebel without a crew" talks about using a portable cassette recorder and right after they delivered their dialog, he would record it a second time on Cassette. With digital it would be easy for an actor to listen to their prerecorded performance from a camera and imitate it into the separate audio recorder or cell phone. Many cell phones have microphones you can add on for higher quality. Many people will tell you that shotgun microphones are the only microphones to buy, when in fact they only have an advantage outdoors and suffer for indoor recording. Many will tell you that Zoom is the only mfg of audio recorders where for me for many reasons they would be my last choice as I like Tascam, Sony, Marantz for the same money. However when you edit and put in music and sound effects, one is as good as the other. Figuring out a way to make audio work is what we all do and it is very good you consider audio important.

January 1, 2015 at 12:23PM


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