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No lights, no camera, no action— what indie filmmakers don’t need to make good movie

Indie filmmaking techniques have entered into mainstream movies. Last year’s Oscar-winning 12 YEARS A SLAVE was shot with one camera in 35 days and this year’s release of LOCKE was shot in only five days—proving talented directors don’t always need a long time to produce a good product. In fact, there are other things indie filmmakers surprisingly don’t necessarily need.

And then there were lights
It takes a village (or rather a crew) to make a movie. When producing an independent film, be sure to hire a cinematographer or DP (director of photography) who has his own lights. Negotiate the use of his equipment into the DP’s fee.

Shoot to thrill
On some indie productions, DPs may come with their own digital cameras, or they may suggest other models available for lease. Places such as Du-All Camera , NYC Video Production Equipment Rentals, NewEnglandFilm.com, and zacuto.com offer rentable cameras as well as a selection of lenses which can add a variety of atmospheric looks to a film.

Take five
Gone are the days of old wooden clapboards that used to mark the scene and “take” numbers. Today, filmmakers use dry-erase boards which are easier to use and store during a production. This concept is also ideal for cast members who need dry-erase boards to serve as cue cards while crew members can use dry-erase paper and notepads to keep up the myriad of messages passed around on set. Whiteyboard carries all of these products, starting at just $2.99.

Blocked-buster
Bigger does not always mean better. The last thing an indie filmmaker (or even A-lister) needs is an action script full of big explosions and little else. When it comes to creating a memorable movie, avoid over-the-top chases and stick to a story with solid character development and originality since a film’s best special effect is a good script.

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