Start Making Movies


Making a short movie can seem like a big challenge. What equipment should you buy? How do you tell stories with film? How can you make sure your movie makes sense? This new ebook guide takes you step-by-step through what you need to know.

Start Making Movies is an illustrated introduction by experienced film teacher Tom Barrance. It explains the filmmaking process, what you need, and how to use images and sound to tell your story.

Start Making Movies uses clear, easy-to-understand language. It’s packed with photos, screenshots, film stills and diagrams. It also includes a glossary and links to online short films and planning templates.

“Gives you everything you’d need to begin making films.” J Daniels, USA
“Easy to read…full of great tips and advice.”Deborah, Australia
“A great visual primer…Highly recommended” Peter Hearns, UK

What it includes

Filmmaking Step by Step

  • The five stages of filmmaking
  • How to plan, organise, film and edit your movie


  • What you need to get started
  • Types of camera and features to look for
  • What else you need
  • Editing programs and apps

How Films Tell Stories

  • Anatomy of a short movie
  • The key elements of film language: shots, sequences and sound

Picture: Planning and Filming your Shots

  • Camera settings
  • Using different shot sizes
  • Where to put the camera
  • How to arrange things in the shot
  • Using lenses, focus and zoom settings
  • Working with light
  • Using colour to tell your story
  • Using movement in your movie
  • Filming on your own or as a team


  • Using sound to tell your story
  • Recording sound
  • Which microphone to use
  • Starting with sound: adding video to audio


  • Coverage: getting all the shots you need
  • How filming extra shots can make your movie easier to edit
  • The Continuity System: how to film sequences that look natural
  • Montage: Combining different shots to create an impression


  • Different kinds of film time
  • Parallel editing: showing action happening in two places at once
  • Time shifts: flashbacks and flash forwards
  • Time effects: slow motion and timelapse

Essential Scenes

How to film six different kinds of sequence:

  • Piece to camera
  • Interview
  • Demonstration or explanation
  • Journey
  • Dialogue scene
  • Live performance or event

Editing and Sharing

  • The editing workflow
  • Editing programs
  • Editing sound and image
  • Planning your soundtrack
  • Colour correction
  • Compositing: combining different layers of video
  • Is your movie finished? What to check
  • Sharing your movie


  • Fifteen ideas for fiction movies
  • Links to downloadable templates
  • Glossary
  • Index

Tom Barrance has over 25 years' experience of teaching film and filmmaking. He runs the  filmmaking website and created the film education resources 'Making Movies Make Sense' and 'EditClass'. 

Affordable education licensing is available for schools and university libraries.

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Start Making Movies

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