I am a director from Central Pennsylvania. I've work on numerous projects as an actor, written short narratives, and produced my own work, but my passion is directing.
First, absorb as much information as you can from stories and filmmakers you like. The search bar at the top of this new No Film School site is also an amazing resource for finding articles and resources to help you learn about storytelling. You'll find everything from the basics of formatting your screenplay to tips about creating and cultivate your own style.
As far as shooting the thing goes, Isaac is right on point. Watch a bunch of stuff and pay attention to how they did it. This isn't always easy, because its tough to stay out of the story and objectively observe the shots, edits, and structure of the story.
The logistics of actually shooting your film is an entirely different area of concentration. It doesn't have to be complicated, but the reality is that filmmaking is a collaborative effort. Without even getting into the finer details, you'll need to do some research to find out which of the many camera options best meets your needs (and which ones you can get on your budget). You'll need a means of recording audio on your shoot, and hopefully someone dedicated to handling that for you. You'll need someone to manage your production. Assuming that you'll be directing, you wont want to be worrying about who is picking up lunch, and when it will arrive.
The bottom line is educate yourself; prepare more than you think you need to; and find the right collaborators.
It's difficult to get started in this game, but if it was easy everyone would do it!
I think you'll want to approach the lighting by thinking about contrast. You'll want to create as much exposure contrast in your scene as your camera will allow you to shoot. Run some tests with your camera to discover what the usable dynamic range of the camera is, and then expose the background of you shot to the lowest usable exposure you can.
Once you've captured your shots you can increase that contrast in post, and adjust the exposure to achieve the look you want for the scene.
I don't think it's too off base to request references as well. See if you can get some insight into how they are on set by talking to a couple people they've already worked with. In my opinion the Director-DP relationship is one of the most crucial to success on any project, so the more you know about them the better your chances of finding the right person.
Looks like the art department nailed it!
Just my opinion, but I would have liked to see a little more of the narrative make it's way into the trailer. I'm certainly not a dance person so maybe some of it was inferred, and went over my head.
Maybe I'm missing it too, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do that.... yet.
Good call that. That would be an awesome feature. Perhaps this can be added to the site at some point!? Something to look forward to?
While shooting a short film a few years ago, we were in need of a reflector to provide some fill light but we didn't have one. Of course, what indie filmmaker is gonna let that stop them? Someone noticed that the pizza boxes from lunch were predominately white, and in one of those brilliantly simple moments of indie filmmaking genius we used a pizza box as a reflector. That was the moment I realized what indie filmmaking is all about, and I will never forget it!