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Fifteen year old, advice?

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Thank you very much for all of your advice.


The only camera I have is a Samsung camcorder. Not the greatest. Ugh.

I made a short for English the other week on the novel The Anthem. It wasn't anything spectacular but it was the first time I really used the camera and had a vision of what I wanted to shoot with it.


I have a big issue on editting. I have no idea where to being because I don't know how to begin. Since all I have is this camcorder IDK what to do..


Uh..any advice?


Hey Brandon,

It's awesome that you know exactly what to do at 15! I wish I had that kind of focus at 15, instead of telling everyone "I want to be a director".


I'll offer a short analogy, if I may: While in high school I had a friend who didn't want to do anything but play basketball, and, as a result, you never saw him anywhere without that damn basketball. He went on to a fairly successful college playing career at the Naval Academy and played in the tournament his senior year (I believe they made it to the Sweet 16 and faced Antawn Jamison and North Carolina, if you're familiar with basketball)


My point being try to take that camera with you as many places as you can, shoot as much as you can and tell as many stories as you possibly can. I can't tell you what I'd give to be 15 again with a camera in my hand, make it count and have fun. Don't worry about what format it is, or what it looks like. I think it was Francois Truffaut who said "The smaller the camera, the better the story."


Best of luck.

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  • Premium Member

There are a lot of simple editing software out there in the $100 range -- many computers now come with some version pre-installed in fact. I have Pinnacle Studio on my PC and i-movie on my Mac laptop. You'd need a computer with enough RAM and memory, or get a separate firewire drive for all your footage.


If your camcorder is not digital (Mini-DV/DVCAM are digital formats, for example) and doesn't have a firewire output, you'll need to buy some sort of A/D converter box like by Dazzle and run the analog signal through that (assuming your camcorder is analog, like Hi-8 or VHS), or I guess get the tapes copied over to Mini-DV but then you'd still need a camera or deck with a firewire-out to playback the footage and run it into your computer. Or find someone who can copy the material onto DVD for you and use that in your computer.


Probably some sort of "Video Editing for Dummies" type book would be a good place to start.

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Hey there - you mention you want to be a "filmmaker", one thing to consider is which is more fun to you, writing or shooting film?

They're very different talents.

I mention this because there are so many things to learn and different people's advice you could spend a lot of time worrying that you're not doing enough. Don't worry about that.

If getting a script together is a miserable struggle for you, you should still try it for your own practice as the other folks have mentioned, but if ultimately you don't relaly like to write, then forget about it and focus on the photography.

Writing is its own dicipline that can only be well-learned by years and years of butt-in-the-chair writing and editing.


Good luck!


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  • 5 weeks later...

id also say try to get any job inside the movie industry...

even if your only a production assistant at first, you'll learn a lot from it.


it gives you a feel for organisatory side of filmaking, and you get to know people (which is always good).


(thanks to lucky circumstances) ive basically been growing up in a production company since i'm 14 or so...

i started out as production assistant / still photographer (which slighty above an extra :)) and work as

a camara assistant now (besides school, a school for photography).

and for the various student films i'm shooting as dp i can also get all kinds of equipment for free, whenever it's not on the field, because those people became my friends over the years.


well ... i hope that helped.



good luck.

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