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Courtesy photo

A gallery of masks.

Through my work with Kiki Love Productions, I've been fortunate to make a lot of different types of projects: music videos, advertisements and promo videos, working with students to make PSAs and other projects, short films, and currently, two feature films in development - many that have screened at festivals both domestically and internationally in India and Berlin.

For Unmasking the Mask, airing Friday (Dec. 18) with the Taos Center for The Arts, Kiki Love Productions is creating an artistic intro video montage for the event, which will also serve as an archive of masks made for Twirl's Mask Gathering project. It has been a beautiful gift to collaborate with writers from SOMOS and the creative minds of Twirl, working with music from local composer Martin Roaque, dancers from Dance Worx and Academy of Performing Arts, and artists of all ages from across the community who created masks for the project. I'm super excited for you to see what we've made.

That's the thing about filmmaking: it's exciting! There's nothing more thrilling, terrifying and empowering than putting all of your creative heart and soul, blood and sweat into something, showing it to somebody! and saying, "I made this."

So, I wanted to share some tips for kids who are interested in making audiovisual works. Grab your pod gang (or your little sister, or your older brother, or your parents, or your cool auntie, whoever!) and get out there and make some movies! What else are you gonna do?

Film production is usually broken down into three parts:

Pre-production: Brainstorming, story concept, screenplay (action and dialogue), budgeting, gathering together all props, costumes and special fx, etc. Do not skimp on pre-production. How are you going to make a zombie flick if you don't have zombie makeup? Pre-production is the structure upon which the project will rest. Think of a human body with no bones. That is your film with no pre-production. Ew! Gross!

Production: The capturing of image and sound. During pre-production you arranged for everything to be in the place that it needs to be. The camera is rolling and people are talking. This is the exciting part. And, the slog. This is when everything could go wrong and probably will. This is when you will discover that your greatest skill is adaptability.

Post-production: Editing, color correction, sound mastering, etc. This is your second chance at directing. This is when you can try to "fix things in post" (that you should have done properly during production, but probably went south because of a lack of pre-production).

Hot tips

Audio quality is more important than image quality!!! I cannot stress this enough. Your brain is wired to recognize audio signals before it recognizes visual signals.You can forgive a bad image, but never bad audio. Think about sound. Wind is your enemy.

Use your phone or tablet: These days, we're walking around with small 4K cameras in our pockets.

Use a tripod: If you don't have a tripod you can use so many different things as a stabilizing device. Get creative.

Don't move the camera too much: Camera angle and movement is usually telling in some way, so be conscious of your story when you think about how you are going to move the camera. Move like a slow, steady stream. But if you want to denote chaos, shake that camera. It's all about the vibe you want to create.

Get coverage of the scene: You want to get all of the shots you need to cover all of the action and dialogue in each scene.

Continuity: You want to get good coverage of the scene, so you have to do a bunch of takes from different angles. But if your actor scratches his nose with his left hand in one shot and then with his right hand in the other, it's going to mess you up in editing. Be careful. Keep track of continuity within the scene.

Use free online services and apps: There are a ton of websites and apps that have free versions where you can create your story and edit video, like Adobe Premiere Rush and WeVideo.com. There are also a lot of free pre-production and production helpers out there, too. If you're into stop motion animation check out FilmoraPro, Animation Desk and Stop Motion Studio.

Final hot tip: Do not blow things up! It may sound fun, but do not set things on fire for your movie without a trained and licensed pyrotechnician who probably costs more than you can afford.

Finally, your movie is put together: Hello, audience! Watch this!

Good luck, friends! I'm excited to see what you make. Visit us at: kikiloveproductions.com.

Through my work with Kiki Love Productions, I've been fortunate to make a lot of different types of projects: music videos, advertisements and promo videos, working with students to make PSAs and other projects, short films, and currently, two feature films in development - many that have screened at festivals both domestically and internationally in India and Berlin.

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