Dan's Friday Film-Making Creative Tips & Wonders

Happy Halloween, fellow filmmakers and horror enthusiasts! 🎃🦇 In this weekly post of Dan’s Friday Film-Making Creative Tips & Wonders, we dive headfirst into the world of short horror films, starting with the amazing story of Oren Peli’s ‘Paranormal Activity,’ a film that changed the conventions of big-budget cinema and emerged him as an industry game-changer. We shed light on a hidden gem in Adobe Premiere Pro that’s sure to make every video producer’s life easier. And we look at filmmaker David F. Sandberg, who went from working in a video shop to creating a powerful short film that catapulted him into the filmmaking stratosphere! 🎥👻


The Most Profitable Film Ever Made?


Short films are a fantastic way for independent filmmakers to get their talent noticed and break into the industry. Paranormal Activity solely created by Oren Peli was made for just $15,000 where it was picked by Paramount Studios at a Film Festival in 2007. The was shot completely low budget, with a Sony HDR-FX1 Camera, Zeiss Zoom Lenses and edited on Sony Vegas… would you believe it!? The film highlights how creative and suspenseful storytelling heavily outweighs style. Proving once again you don’t need the latest equipment to be a filmmaker you just need to hone your craft and tell a good story. Paranormal Activity made $194 million worldwide when it hit cinemas and is widely regarded as the most profitable film ever made! 





Adobe Premiere – Auto Reframe


Are you a video producer who is tired of making different format videos for Instagram, socials and other platforms? What if I told you that you no longer have to shoot all of this content vertically? Well, Adobe Premiere Pro has an amazing feature many of us don’t know about but is something I believe will make everyone’s lives easier! The tool ‘Auto Reframe Sequence’ allows you to shoot content horizontally and Adobe will automatically reframe your entire sequence and track your subjects in the video with the best framing possible! Without having to manually change the sequence settings and adjust the framing for each clip. Pretty cool right? This now means your content can go further and we aren’t as restricted to turn the camera vertically when shooting for socials! This is all true so long as you’re shooting in 4k that is 😅 otherwise for maximum resolution on social media you may still have to turn your camera!





Lights Out


David F Sanberg was an independent film-maker who worked in a video shop when he was younger saving up his money for a video camera. In 2013 he created a zero-budget short horror film called ‘Lights Out which changed his life’.



This film although simplistic in its nature and set in his apartment with just one actor, uses sound design, effects and low-key lighting masterfully to create a truly terrifying and powerful short horror film that lingers long with you after you have watched it. The film was an incredible success and went viral with David quoting his life has changed “in every way imaginable.” This success at film festivals and online led it to be picked up by producers Lawrence Grey & James Wan who then helped David to create a full feature film of the short. The movie made $149 million at the box office in 2016 and was a huge success proving David had what it takes to be a successful filmmaker in the industry. He has since gone on to direct Anabelle: Creation and more recently Shazam!  




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