How To Add Production Value To Your Student Film While On A Budget

If you're prepping for your big student film, then you're probably spending time tweaking the script, getting the crew together, and casting actors. However, you should also spend time thinking about how to add production value to your film. As a student filmmaker you will be on a tight budget, so it's important to figure out ways to make your film look impressive, and not like it was shot in a bunch of dorm rooms and your parent's house.

Here are three ways to add production value.

Rent A Drone For Sweeping Overhead Shots

Adding aerial shots to your film is a sure fire way to make it look more impressive. Luckily, you don't have to rent a chopper and get up there with your DV camera and hang outside while you soar over the city. You can rent a drone for the day that has a HD camera installed. You can get all the sweeping, fly-over footage you need and then work with your editor to cut it into the film. These shots are great for transitions, establishing shots, as well as creating a bigger look for the film.

Vary Your Locations

Try not to have all the action take place in a few locations. As mentioned, dorms and your parent's house (unless your parents happen to own a spacious mansion) won't really wow viewers. What you should try and do is find places to film that are not interior rooms of residential buildings. Have a friend who works in a restaurant? Ask them to speak with the manager about shooting a scene in the bar/restaurant after closing. This applies for any other location where you have a connection with the people in charge. A scene in a clothing store, bakery, or library will add production value. The space is already "dressed" so you won't have to build sets.

Stock Nature Footage For B-Roll

This is a fantastic way to transition between scenes or establish different locales. Suppose that you have a character that is supposed to travel from one part of the country to the other. You can't fly around getting footage like a real Hollywood studio production, but you can get stock footage and use it to establish the shot. For instance, if your character is traveling from NYC to Alaska, then you can insert some stock footage of the Alaskan mountain range in-between scenes of them heading to the airport and arriving at their destination. For more information about stock nature videos, contact companies like DPA Photo.