Reel Talk 

Welcome to Reel Talk, a resource for young and aspiring filmmakers. This is where you'll learn about the world of film as well as find tips and tricks for working on your own projects.

I'll be discussing the best equipment to buy on a limited budget, how to shoot, what to watch and much more. I'll also be answering your questions and posting 'how to' videos.

Check back each week to see what's new. *****

with Walker Dowd-Whipple
About Walker Dowd-Whipple

Walker is a recent graduate of Ithaca College's Radio and Television program. A past film teacher at Box Of Light, he lives in Los Angeles where he is seeking his fortune as a script writer.

Tools of the Trade

Filmmaking can be very expensive. We’ll start off by looking at some more affordable but still useful hardware and software that’ll be of great use.

1. Writing tool (You'll need a script.)

The cheapest screenwriting software out there is called Celtx. Besides the endless debate of whether it’s pronounced with a hard or soft “C”, (I don’t know which one is correct) Celtx is a handy tool that’s great for any aspiring filmmaker. Celtx is both an application and works online, which is allows you to work anywhere with wifi. While the free version only offers the basic writing aspect, various paid plans (A monthly price) add on more features such a storyboarding and revision mode.

2. Shooting tools. (You’ll need a camera)

When it comes to shooting, even the most basic camera can cost in the thousands. However there is one camera which I imagine almost every person reading this has or knows someone who has it; an iPhone. The camera on the iPhone is surprisingly good. In fact in 2015, a feature film was shot entirely on iPhone. The film, Tangerine, received critical acclaim for its gorgeous cinematography (It’s on Netflix). Sean Baker, the director simply downloaded a $30 app which allowed him more control over the camera and he was able to make a groundbreaking film for very cheap. The money saved from camera was instead used on high quality sound equipment, of which the iPhone does not have.

3. Editing tools (you’ll need to cut, crop, score and add titles to your movie)

If you have a Mac, the simplest and cheapest (Read: Free) editing software is iMovie. While it has very little compared to other more expensive editing softwares, it’s a good first step in learning the basic editing techniques. If you are serious about editing and have at least $50 a month, you can download the Adobe Creative Suite 6, which is considered the industry standard by many. ACS6 has a huge amount of programs all of which can lend to the editing process, however, they are harder to learn and require more time to be put into them to understand what they can do.

That’s just the start. In future blogs I’ll go into more detail about the above topics as well as suggesting films and television shows to watch that’ll help improve what we discussed. Don’t forget to ask any questions you might have. I’ll see you next week.


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