Table to contents:

Chapter 1: Shooting a film on a mobile phone

  • How to hold the camera
  • The Lens
  • Video Mode
  • Record On and Off button
  • Timecode
  • What to do if something goes wrong

Chapter 2: Recording Shots

  • Wide-Shot
  • Mid-Shot
  • Close-up
  • Light
  • Framing

Chapter 3: Editing

  • What is editing?
  • The functions in Windows Movie Maker
  • Importing shots into Windows Movie Maker
  • Labelling your shots
  • Dragging shots onto the Timeline
  • Cutting shots
  • Moving shots on the Timeline
  • Titles and Credits
  • Effects (video effects / video transitions)
  • Adding music / audio
  • Exporting a completed film

Chapter 4: Roles

  • Working as a team
  • The Director
  • The Producer
  • The Camera Woman / Camera Man
  • The Script-Writer
  • The Set-Designer

Chapter 5: Creating A Story

  • Finding a Theme
  • Creating Images
  • Beginning / Middle / End
  • Characters
  • Main Character
  • The Ending

Chapter 6: Storyboard

  • What is a Storyboard?
  • How is it used?
  • Why is it important?
  • How to make a Storyboard

Chapter 7: Plotting the Film

  • What is ‘plotting a film’?
  • Why do we plot a film?
  • Where you start
  • What questions you ask
  • What is The Script?
  • What information we put into each shot, and why

Chapter 8: Preparating The Shoot

  • Location
  • Props
  • Costume
  • Shooting Schedule

Chapter 9: The Shoot

  • Shot-List
  • Controlling the team
  • Controlling the shots
  • Terms to use on set :
    • ‘Camera Rolling’
    • ‘Cut’ / ‘Action’
    • ‘It’s a rap’

Chapter 1: Shooting a film on a cell phone  –  Nokia Navigator 6110

How to hold the cell phone

  • Place 4 fingers along the top of the cell phone – 2 on each side.
  • Place both thumbs along the bottom of the camera, 1 thumb on each side
  • Always hold the camera straight. Do not let either side drop downwards
  • Always hold the camera still
  • Try not to move the camera while you are shooting

The Lens

  • Turn the cell phone over
  • Slide the cover back
  • Behind this cover is the lens
  • Be careful never to touch the lens
  • If you touch the lens, wipe it with a cloth afterwards – but NOT with a tissue

Video Mode

  • Press ‘Options’ on the bottom right-hand corner
  • Press the downward scroll key to ‘Video Mode’
  • Press ‘Select’
  • Look for the Video Camera icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen

Record On and Off button

  • The Record On and Off button is on the top of the camera, on the right-hand side
  • It looks like this
  • Press it to begin recording
  • When you are recording, a Red Circle will appear on the top left-hand side of the screen, next to the video camera icon
  • Press the button again to Stop recording


  • The Timecode is next to the Red Circle
  • There are 2 numbers. The first number goes up and the second number goes down
  • The first number tells you how long you have been recording

What to do if something goes wrong

  • If something goes wrong the best thing to do is close the lens cover and start again.
  • If that does not work, try pressing ‘Exit’ or ‘Back’ and then closing the lens cover again

Chapter 2: Recording Shots

There are different types of shots we can use, and each of these shots creates a different effect. The three main shots we use when making films are :

  • Wide-Shot
  • Mid-Shot
  • Close-up


We use a Wide-Shot to tell the audience general information about the scene. This information might include :

  • Where the story is taking place
  • Who the characters are in the story
  • What time of day it is
  • What season of the year it is
  • What the general atmosphere is like


We use a Mid-Shot when want to focus on something in particular. A Mid-Shot will let the audience know who they should concentrate on. It also gives the audience more detail about some of the characters. They are able to see their faces properly, for example. If it is an object, they are able to see specfic things about it. For example, if it is a Mid-Shot of a door, the audience can see the number on the door. Mid-Shots are most often used when two people are talking to each other.


We use a Close-up when we want to see the emotion on a person’s face, or if we want to focus on an object which is a very important part of the story. Close-up shots are a very good way for the audience to feel the emotions of the character in the shot. For example, If we want to audience to know that a character feels sad after leaving a party, we would have a Close-up  shot of that character’s face as she walks out of the door.  We also use Close-up shots to focus the audience’s attention on an object which is very important to the story. For example, if a man is about the ask a woman to marry him, we might have a Close-up shot on the ring he has bought her.


When making films it is very important to pay attention to light. If there is too much light in the shot, the audience will be unable to see the details of someone’s face. If there is too little, the same thing will happen. There are a few simple rules to follow, especially when making films using cell phones.

  1. Always shoot with the sun behind you. If the sun is in front of the camera, everything you are trying to shoot will be black.
  2. If you are shooting inside a room or a building, make sure there is as much light as possible. You can do this by turning on electric lights, opening curtains, even lighting candles. The main thing is to try and get as much light as possible into the room.
  3. Try not to shoot anyone in a shadow. For example, if person is standing under a tree and the shadow of the tree is falling over their face, ask them to move to another place. When you are about the shoot, always look carefully at what you are about to shoot to make sure there  are no shadows on them.


When we are looking at a shot in the screen of the cell phone camera, we imagine that there is a frame around it.  A shot will be much better if we think about this frame and how we fill it. There are a few easy things to remember about framing shots :

  1. Put your subject in the centre of the frame. For example, if you are shooting a tree, make sure the tree is in the centre of the frame.
  2. Try not to leave too much empty space at the top of the frame. This is  a mistake that many people make.
  3. Try to get as much of the person’s face in the shot s possible. It is always better to shoot someone from the front than from the side.

Chapter 3: Editing

What is editing?

Editing is when you take shots you have recorded and put them in the order you want them to be in. It is like cutting up material to make clothes – you cut the shots to the size you want them, and then stitch them together in the order you would like them to go. In the end you have a film.

The functions in Windows Movie Maker

Importing shots into Windows Movie Maker

  1. On the desktop, open the folder with your shots in it.
  2. Open Windows Movie Maker
  3. Press on the ‘Tasks’ Button which is on the bar along the top
  4. Under Capture Video click on ‘import video’
  5. In the box at the top, find your folder. You do this by pressing on the arrow at the right of the box. A menu will drop down. Select ‘Desktop’. Your folder will appear in the main box. Click on your folder and you will see you shots.
  6. Click on the first shot and rest the mouse arrow on the last shot. Press ‘Shift’ and then click on the mouse. All the shots should light up in blue.
  7. Click on ‘Import’
  8. Click on ‘Collections’ in the bar across the top.

Inside are all of your shots.

Labelling your shots

It will be much easier to edit your film if you label your shots. This is because when you edit, you spend a lot of time looking for the shots you want to use. If you label each of your shots, you will spend less time looking for them, so you will edit faster.

To label a shot :

  • Go to Collections and put your mouse-arrow onto the shot you would like to label. Make sure that it is exactly on the number.
  • Click on the mouse anda  box should appear around the number. If this doesn’t work, try moving the mouse-arrow so that is is really in the middle of the number.
  • When the box appear, you can use the keyboard to delete the number and replace it with the name you want to call it.
  • Advice –
    • Include the scene number
    • Use abbreviations as much as possible. For example, if the main character’s name is Puleng then write ‘P’
    • Say what type of shot it is – mid / wide / c/u

When you have labelled your shots they will appear in alphabetical order in Collections. At first this might seem confusing, but when you have labelled all of them, it will become clear.

Dragging shots onto the Timeline

Click on the shot you would like to watch. The shot will appear in the player. Place the mouse-arrow on this shot and drag it onto the timeline.

Cutting shots

  • Put the cursor in the place you would like to cut the shot.
  • Press the ‘Slice’ button at the bottom of the player.
  • Click the mouse-arrow on the part of the shot that you do not want to keep
  • Right click on the mouse
  • Scroll up and click on ‘Delete’ – that part of the shot will disappear

Moving shots on the Timeline

Click on the shot you would like to move and drag it to the place on the timeline you would like it to be.

Titles and Credits

A Title is the name you give to your film. You may wish to include the name of your school or, if you have a production company, the name of your company.

The Credits are the names of all the people who made the film. This includes the Director, the Producer, the Actors, the Script-writer, the camerawoman and cameramen – everyone.

To make Titles and Credits you :

  • Press on ‘Tasks’
  • Click on the arrow next to Edit Movie
  • Click on ‘Make titles or credits’
  • Click on the place where you would like the title or the credits to be
  • Write the title or the credits in the box
  • Click on ‘Done, add title to movie’
  • The title or credits will appear in the relevant place on the Timeline


There are two types of effects :

  • One is an effect between shots. This type of effect can make the edit smoother and can also add to the mood of the film.

Examples of effects like this are –

  • Fade to Black – the shot will become black before the next shot plays
  • Ease In – the shot will appear slowly on the screen
  • Fade Out, To White – the shot will disappear slowly and the screen will become white
  • The other type of effect changes the colour of the shot. The shot can become black and white or yellow.

Examples of efects like this are –

  • Brightness Increase – this makes the shot brighter
  • Sepia Tone – this makes the shot yellow

To add these effects to your shots :

Click on ‘Tasks’

Go to Edit Movie

Click on ‘View video effects’

All the video effects come into in the Shot Page.

Place your mouse arrow on the effect you would like, and drag it onto your shot in the Timeline. The effect will appear on the shot.

If you would like to put effects BETWEEN the shots, in order to make the film smoother or to create mood :

Go to Edit Movie

Click on ‘View video transitions’

All the video transitions will appear in the Shot Page

Click on the transition you want and drag it between two shots on the Timeline

You will see the transition next time you play the film

Exporting a completed film

When you have finished your film, you should export it from Windows Movie Maker onto the Desktop, so that you can put it onto a memory stick and take it somewhere that will make a DVD. Or if you have a DVD burner on your computer, you can burn it onto a DVD straight away.

Click on ‘Tasks’

Go to Finish Movie

Click on ‘Save to my computer’

A box will appear –

  1. type in the name of your film
  2. click on ‘Browse’ and select ‘Desktop’

Click ‘Next’

Make sure there is enough space on your hard

drive for your film

Click ‘Next’

Your film will save on the Desktop

Click ‘Finish’

You can now put a memeory stick into the computer and drag your movie onto the memory stick.

You must now find a computer with a DVD writer. When you have done this, you will be able to make a DVD of your film.

Or find a computer with internet access and upload your movie onto

What to do if something goes wrong

If the screen freezes and you cannot click on anything with the mouse, you need to quit the program.

To do this, put one finger on Ctrl and another on Alt

With the other hand, put a finger on Delete

Press all three buttons together

A box will appear. Inside it, ‘Windows Movie Maker’ is highlighted

If you cannot see ‘Windows Movie Maker’ highlighted then click on the top of the box, where it says ‘Applications’

Press ‘End Task’

Another box will appear. Press ‘End Now’

When it asks if you would like to send a report, press ‘No’

Chapter 4: Roles

Working as a team

Working as a team is the most important part of making a film. If people do not work as a team, they will waste time and make mistakes. If this happens the film will either be very bad or will not be made.

In the team each person has a different role. All the roles work together to create the film.

The roles are:

  • The Director – The Director is responsible for how the film will look. She or he decides where the cameras will shoot, what the actors will do and how the film will be edited. The Director does not actually edit the film, but she or he makes the final decisions on which shots will stay in the film and which will go.
  • The Producer – The Producer is responsible for the team. This means that she or he is the person who everyone goes to when they have a problem. The Producer must make sure that all of the shots are filmed in the time available, so she or he must tell the Director if she or he is taking too much time. Theproducer is also responsible for the location (where the film is shot), the costumes (what clothes the actors wear), and the props (the things the actors need, like musical instruments or a pen and paper). The Producer must also make sure that the rest of the film crew are quiet when the Director is filming a shot.
  • The Camerawoman / Cameraman – The Camerawoman / Cameraman is the person who films the shot. She or he listens to which type of shot the Director would like (wide / mid / close-up) and they get the best shot they can. The Camerawoman / Cameraman also tells the Director what shot they think would be the best.
  • The Script-Writer – The Script-Writer creates the Storyboard. She or he draws images of each shot so that the story has a Beginning, a Middle and an End. The Script-writer should rememeber that good stories have conflict – two people want different things and they are both trying to get them. Conflict does not mean that the characters have to fight. The Script-writer should also think about what information the Audience needs to know in each shot. What should the characters say to each other in order that the Audience understand the story?
  • The Set-Designer – The Set-designer works with the Producer to find the location (where the shot will happen) create the set (for example, make a school staff room look like someone’s house), and find the costumes.

Chapter 5: Creating A Story

Finding a Theme

There are some questions you can ask yourself in order to find a theme for your film:

  1. What really matters to you?
  2. What things make you angry?
  3. What would you like to change?
  4. What would you like to tell the world about your life?
  5. What would like to tell your friends?
  6. What would you like to tell other people your age?
  7. What really makes you happy, and why?
  8. What are you really passionate about?
  9. What would you like to know more about?

When you have decided on a theme, you must think of a story. This can be a very simple story, and does not have to include actors. For example, you might want to make a film about taking the bus to school in the morning. You would not need to use actors – you could just film your journey on the bus. But even if you are not using actors it is very important for you to create a story, otherwise the film will be boring for the audience to watch.

Story: Beginning / Middle / End

When you have decided on your theme, you must think of the Beginning, Middle and End of your story. There are many ways you can do this, and you may already know what will happen in the beginning, middle and end.

But if you don’t know then it is good to create images. You can do this by drawing the images, or by asking your friends to create the images in groups.

Then it is important that you include a conflict. Two or more people want different things, and they are all trying to get them. If they want different things then there will be conflict. If we use the example of the bus – you might not have a place to sit down on the bus and this makes you feel lonely and sad. You might not have enough money for the bus. You might look out of the window and see something which makes you afraid.

This is another rule of story – there must be a change in the emotions of the people in the film. You can either go from happy to sad, or from sad to happy. You can go from being frustrated to being content, or from being content to being frustrated. You can go from loving someone to hating them, or from hating them to loving them. As long as there is change, it will be interesting for the Audience to watch.


When you are creating the characters who will be in your film, try to think of people you know in real life. If you do this then your characters will be more realistic and your film will be better because it will be more truthful.

If you are not using actors in your film, think of who you would like to be in your film, and why they are interesting. In the example of taking the bus in the morning, think of why the bus driver is interesting – does he have a funny face? Or a strange laugh? Does he wear an eye-patch? What about the other people on the bus? When you film your journey, look out for people who are doing interesting things, like reading or talking on their mobile phone to their boyfriend.

Main Character

The main character is the person whose eyes we see the story through. She or he is the focus of the film and the person the audience is most interested in.

The Ending

You always need to create an ending for your film, and often this can be quite hard.

When you are creating an ending, first think about what happens to the main character at the end – is she or he happy? Is she or he sad? Has she or he learnt something?

Then think about the last action which happens. Remember something else can always heppen in a story so you must DECIDE what happens at the end and then stop. You can film the last action and then film the emotions in reaction to that action For example, in a film where a husband hits his wife, we can see her face at the end, the face of her children and then the face of her husband feeling very bad. But you cannot keep filming more and more shots. Short films are the best films.

Chapter 6: Storyboard

What is a Storyboard?

A storyboard is a sequence of images which show us how the story in the film will be told. Usually these images are drawn, and it does not matter how good or how bad these drawings are. The storyboard is very important. Without a storyboard it is easy to forget to shoot scenes. It also saves a lot of time of the shoot because the Director can see exactly what shots she or he needs to film next. The storyboard includes the type of shot to be filmed. For example, the drawings will be Close-ups, Mid-shots or Wide-shots. It is essential to plan the type of shots you want beforehand, otherwise you will not have all the shots you need when you come to editing.

How is it used?

Either the Producer, the Director or the Assistant Director will keep the storybard with them all through the shoot. Before each scene is shot, they will look at the storyboard to find out which kind of shots will be needed for the scene.

How to make a Storyboard

Making a storyboard is very easy. Just draw boxes onto a large piece of paper. Draw as many boxes as you need. Then draw an image of the scene in each box, until the whole story has been told in pictures.

Chapter 7: Plotting the Film

What is ‘plotting a film’?

Plotting a film is working out how to do the scene before the camera begins to record. It is like a rehersal – but it is not just for the actors, it is for everyone. It is the time when the Camerawoman / man and the Director decide where they will record the scene from. It is also the time when the Director tells the actors where  to move.

Why do we plot a film?

We plot a film so that everyone knows what they are doing and we are not wasting time.

Chapter 8: Preparating The Shoot


Before you shoot your film, it is essential to find the right location. When you are looking for locations, try to find places which have a lot of light. Also avoid places where there is only a small amount of space. It is very important that you find all of the locations in advance and that you prepare them properly. If you are using someone else’s house for example, it is very important that you arrange with them to use it in advance. Also, remember that you can make a location look like the place you need for your scene. For example, if you are filming in a school staff-room but your scene is set in a bar, you need to find the props which make the staff-room look like a bar, and not a staff-room. It is possible to make a place seem like a completely different place with the right props – furniture, pictures on the wall, objects like beer bottles and ash-trays. You can be very creative with locations.


As I said, props are very important because they tell the audience information about the scene. It is vital that the producer or the set-designer gets the props in advance. If you are about to shoot a film but the Producer hasn’t got the props, then everyone will  be forced to wait until the props come and this is very unprofessional. The Producer or the Set-designer should make a list of all the props which are needed and get those props before the shoot begins.


Costume is also very important because it tells the audience things about the characters. For example, if someone is wearing work clothes, then we know what they do for a living. Again the costumes must be  prepared in advance and often the actors themselves can bring the right costumes for their character.

Shooting Schedule

The Producer must write a Shooting Schedule before the shoot begins. Often the Producer will do this schedule a few weeks in advnace in case there needs to be any changes. If you don’t have this much time, that’s okay. But it must be done in advance so that the people at the locations know when everyone will be arriving, and so that all the people who are working on the film can prepare. The shooting schedule should have the time on the left-handside, then the scene number, a description of the scene, the location, and the shots which the director would like to record. This is the basic template for a shooting schedule :

Time Scene Description Location Shots
09:00 4 Andiswa meets Bhodlani Site-C Recreation Centre

Name of road



c/u A

c/u B


Mid A+B

09:30 8 Andiswa passes kids on he street Corner of Northern Road and Mandela Road,


Mid kids

c/u A

Wide A+kids

09:45 9 Andiswa walks home Simcelile’s house

Name of Road


Wide A enters house

Chapter 9: The Shoot

Controlling the team

It is the Producer’s responsibility to control the team which the film is being shot. When the Director, Camerwoman/man and actors are plotting the film, it is not so vital for the team to be quiet, but once they are ready to shoot a scene, the Producer must make sure that everyone is quiet. Before the camera starts to record, the Producer must say “Quiet on Set!” and everyone must be quiet until the camera stops recording.

Controlling the shots

The Director and the Assistant Director are responsible for remembering which shots they have recorded and which are still to go. It is good to put a tick beside the shots which have been recorded so that none of the shots are forgotten.

Terms to use on set

“Quiet on Set” – the Producer says this to the team when the Director is ready to shoot the scene
“Roll Camera” – the Director says this to the Camerawoman/man when he or she is ready to shot the scene
“Camera Rolling” – the Camerawoman/man says this after they have pressed the record button and the camera has recorded for 3 seconds.
“Action” – the Director says this when the camera is recording. The actors must act until they hear the Director say “Cut”
“Cut” – the Director says this when she or he wants the scene to end.
“It’s A Rap” – the Director says this after the last shot of the film has been recorded and there is no more shooting to do.


Audience – The people watching the film
Character – A fictional person in a story
Scene – The story is split up into scenes. Each part of the story is told through a different scene
Mouse – The plastic thing that you hold and press to move the mouse=arrow on the screen
Mouse arrow – The arrow on the computer which you can move around. When you click on the mouse arrow, things happen. We use the mouse arrow a lot when editing.
Drag – When you press your finger on the mouse arrow and move it without taking away your finger.
Play – This is when you press on the button which allows you to watch the footage and the film
Cursor – The marker on the timeline which takes you to the shot you want to look at