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How to Set Up an Amateur Movie Set

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 212

Keen on making your own movie? Depending on how professional you want your project to be, there are a fair few factors to consider before pressing the record button on your camera. That's if you even have a camera of your own! From organising a film crew to setting up all the necessary equipment even a small scale amateur production can take a long time to produce. This article aims to ease the process of organising all things related to the film set. It won't touch upon pre-production, sourcing funding, casting actors, filming, editing and post-production.


Though small scale amateur movies can be made by one person, if you're aiming for a production with somewhat professional camera work and sound it's best to have a reliable team on board, including a director, at least one camera man, a boom operator and lighting technician or gaffer. Some films might require additional forces like a make-up and hair team, and costume designer. But for small scale productions you might be able to get away with combining these roles.

Before starting work on the actual production make sure everyone knows each other and is familiar with their exact role on set. You should indulge in some team building and brainstorming prior to filming. If you take responsibility for the project make sure you establish authority within the group from the start but don't make the atmosphere overly formal.


First of all, your location needs to be publicly available or approved by the proprietor or landowner. You then need to make sure it's safe and doesn't pose any health and safety risks to you and your crew. This should be checked and double checked by performing thorough assessments. Consider factors like the weather and whether there is anywhere to hide from the rain or sun. You also need to ensure the provision of restroom facilities and on-site refreshments so people don't get dehydrated or hungry.

Make sure everyone can easily access the location from their homes or, alternatively, arrange for accommodation in the area.


Every film will have some sort of props from clothes to major set backdrops. Make sure these are readily available on set and stored safely while not in use. Again it's very important to assess health and safety risks. Even splinters from a badly made wooden backdrop can cause unpleasant consequences.

When setting up props ensure they are properly secured and don't risk collapsing. In any case you need to have a first aid kit on hand to tackle minor incidents.

Equipment Hire

Movie making requires quite a few bits and pieces of technical equipment. If you're lucky enough to live in an area like Hollywood, London, Prague, Budapest or New Zealand where film production is a massive industry, you'll find it quite easy to hire equipment. Others may have to enquire further using online resources and contacting the country's film council or similar entity. Remember you're likely to need more than just a camera and a boom. Lighting and props will require electricity so you'll have to look into generator hire to power your set. This will also give you more freedom as you won't have to worry about recharging camera batteries. It will make food provision easier too as you can bring fridges and cooking equipment on set.

Harvey McEwan writes to offer information and advice on a variety of areas, from technology to holiday destinations. Read through Harvey's other articles here to find out more.

Source: EzineArticles
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