Making an Indie Film? HERE are our Top 5 Survival VFX Tips


If you dream of being a movie maker, it’s no longer as hard as it used to be. Today’s amazing technology has brought visual effects (VFX) and film making tools within reach of just about anyone with a creative idea and some time to learn.

VFX lets you, as a film producer, create scenes by manipulating footage and adding effects digitally to create professional films that look very real on a tight budget. If you were creating the same scenes on a live-action set, you may be looking at dangerous situations or a boatload of money.

By taking advantage of the VFX tools available, an indie filmmaker can create independent, professional films that can, at times, rival the motion picture movie houses at a fraction of the cost. Check out tools such as Motion Array video effects that put amazing visual effects, light leaks, and transitions at your fingertips. Here are the top five survival tips for incorporating VFX.

Tip One: Incorporate User Markers

You don’t need to mark every piece of footage that will require VFX. For example, if the camera is not moving, no user marker is needed. Every marker that you use will need to come out during post-production, requiring more labor and expense at that point in the project.

Use markers when you’re shooting something against a bland background with little detail or if you’re tracking a particular moving object. Otherwise, seriously consider leaving them out.

Tip Two: Hire Post-Production Supervisor

If you have a little money for your indie film, spend it here. There’s nothing quite like an expert post-production supervisor to pull your project together in the final stages. You’ll need to rely on this individual to manage all the stages and people involved in post-production including producers, editors, sound professionals, and other facility companies that may be involved.

Post-production supervisors who have experience in organizing all this complex work will save you a great deal of time, money, and headache in the long run. They will be the ones monitoring the deadlines as well as the budget and keeping everyone accountable.

Tip Three: Employ Several Visual Artists

Depending on the length of your indie film, you may want to divide the workload between several VFX artists. Not only will you increase overall efficiency, you’ll get an interesting mix of creative juices flowing into your project as well.

It’s important to use artists who are all familiar with the conventions of your video software and VFX tools. You’ll want one to be able to jump in where another left off without a lot of confusion on what work has been done and what still needs doing.

Your post-production supervisor may be able to recommend some junior VFX artists who are interested in gaining experience. Have them involved early on so you don’t find yourself scrambling at the eleventh hour to meet approaching deadlines.

Tip Four: Use Green on Green

Although it may seem counterintuitive to a less experienced video producer, the best tracking markers on a green screen are green ones.

Why? As long as the green markers are just a bit brighter or darker than the screen and can be seen on the monitor, they can do their job. If you choose a color like red or yellow to make the markers stand out, they will be difficult and sometimes impossible to key out for those incorporating the VFX.

Tip Five: Shoot VFX at High Frame Rate

If you’re incorporating scenes in your indie film that involve blood, dust, smoke or fire, you’ll want to shoot these at a higher frame rate. By doing so, you’ll be providing a great deal of flexibility during the VFX stage. For instance, you will be able to slow down the speed and preserve the quality of the footage during the VFX modifications. Even if you experience some motion blur, your VFX professional should be able to correct this issue by retiming the video.

If you’re in an indie filmmaker with a great idea and a tight budget, these survival tips will help you make that movie making dream a reachable reality.

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