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How to Enhance the Production Value of Your Film

Part of the Filmmaking For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Making a film that looks and sounds professional with high production values is an art and a science. As a budget-conscious filmmaker, you can enhance the production value of your film by using the tips in the following list to stretch your budget to cover the essentials and arrange some of the extras for little to no cost:

  • Barter for things you can't afford to pay for. “Give me this, and I'll give you a credit or show your product or location in my film!”

  • Use big locations. Expansive looks expensive.

  • Use large crowds to make your film look like a bigger production. Instead of only 3 people standing in line, have 100! (use free volunteers)

  • Move the camera.

  • Get in a high shot or two. Shooting from an apartment balcony works great.

  • Use an aerial shot to open up your film. If you can't afford to rent a helicopter, license stock footage to use in your film.

  • Make sure you get believable performances from your actors.

  • Get a crisp, clear recording of your actors' dialogue.

  • Get professional music. A great composer can do wonders on your music score.

  • Hire a cinematographer with a good eye. A good cinematographer can make your movie look impressive — what you see is what you get.

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