5 Ways to make your film/video look and sound professional

Times have changed and today there are three types of Film Makers/Video Makers in the independent Film World:imgres

  • The Traditional Crew/ Director – Films made this way generally have reasonable budgets that can pay for the expense of a large crew and set. 
  • The Sharp Indie Film Maker who makes films on exceptionally low budgets with lean mean machine crews of 4 – 12 people. Often the Director can also operate the camera.
  • The One Man Band – Shoots on their own or with one assistant.

However for all of these three different Crew Set-ups there are five consistent areas that separate the amateur from the professional. It is exactly what we teach on our 4 Month Film School 

This week, we are going to explore the First Area. Sound

Area 1:   Use really good Sound Equipment to record your Sound 

Yes I am starting with Sound. High quality professional sound determines whether the film is professional or amateur. It is imperative that you use excellent Sound recording as this determines the quality of the film. Turn the volume of the movie down and of course the film is hardly worth watching.

Now go one step further. Watch a film with awful sound. The Film Maker has only used the microphone on top of the camera and shot a Close Up with a long lens. The Mic is some 10 meters away. When played back the dialogue sounds off mic and distant. Disaster. Even if the film is well shot, the result seems amateur


Purchase minimal professional equipment such as the following.

  1. Professional Shotgun Microphone such as a Sennheiser ME66 or 416  or a Rode
  2. Pistol Grip
  3. Boom Pole
  4. XLR Cable
  5. FoamSock for indoor microphone
  6. Wind Sock for  outdoor Microphone
  7. Get two sets of Wireless Receiver Transmitter such as the  Sennheiser EW112PG3B
  8. It will come supplied with the Lapel Microphone that you need to place on your subject
  9.   A remote Tascom Sound Recorder with a minimum of two XLR inputThe Above eight purchases will solve your sound issues
  10. Headphones

For the one man band outfits you probably only need 7 – 10 as it will be very difficult to use a boom pole microphone. in your case the Lapel microphones and wireless should be sufficient.

The above will solve your location sound equipment issues and it is exactly what we use on our productions and film courses. It is important to learn how to use the equipment and that is where we come in with our Four Month Film Directors Certificate School that takes place one night per week. I hope to see you there.

Next week we will look at the second area that makes your film professional. Coverage.

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