In a BAFTA event in 2018, acclaimed director Ridley Scott (of Alien and Gladiator fame) said that with the abundance of technology at the fingertips of everyday people, you had no excuse to not make a film if you wanted to. No longer do you have to purchase expensive editing equipment or giant film cameras: all you need is a smartphone and some software.
Hell, you can make a movie using only your Mac computer. But how do you go about making it?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to tell you how to make a movie on Mac in 9 easy steps! So grab your director’s hat, and let’s get started!
1. Make a Plan for How to Make a Movie on Mac
One of the most essential things you can do when making a movie is to have a script or at the very least a written-down plan of how your movie will progress. This way, you have a reference guide to go back to during filming.
Doing a quick Google search of screenplay format and using any documentation service (like Google Docs or Microsoft Word) works great. Or, if you want to reduce the hassle of formatting, Celtx is a free website that provides tons of resources and easy formatting for screenwriters.
2. Capture Some Footage
Need to know how to record video on Mac for your movie? Well, one way to do this is to use the Photo Booth application (which comes standard on all Macs). All you need to do is open the application and switch the bar on the bottom left of the window from photo to video. Then hit record and you’re good to go!
If Photo Booth doesn’t do it for you, QuickTime is another pre-installed application you can use to record video from your Mac. All you have to do is go to your Applications folder to find QuickTime and open it. Then go to the “File” tab and click new video recording.
If you want to record footage from your computer screen, QuickTime can do that too! To do that, click the new screen recording option in the File menu and then click the red button. After that, set the part of your screen you want to get recorded and click the “Start Recording” button to start filming!
Remember that you will need to save your recordings in QuickTime (go to File, click Save, give it a title, plus a home, and you’re done).
You can use third-party apps like Capto or Cleanshot as well if you want to add some extra flair to your shots. For example, Cleanshot will edit out any un-needed icons if you record your screen.
3. The Search for the Stock Footage
But let’s say you need some shots of landscapes or animals you couldn’t get with your Mac camera. In that case, stock footage is about to become your best friend.
Sites like Envato Market have entire libraries of sorted footage for you to use, though you will tend to need to either pay for the footage you want to use or purchase a membership for unlimited access.
4. Find a Killer Soundtrack
For films without a lot of dialogue, using music to tell your story is a vital tool in your filmmaking toolkit. Search the Internet for royalty-free music to use in your film, or stitch music loops together in software like Audacity if you’ve got some musical experience.
If you take these steps, remember to check the commercial license for any music you use. It tells you what permissions the author is granting you to use the music for, and violating this license can lead to legal trouble down the line.
The same trick applies to sound effects too. Some editing software even comes with pre-installed effects for you to use with abandon.
5. Import Your Media
Once you’ve got all your video and audio, it’s time to import them all into your editing software of choice. The easy choice for Macs is iMovie, as it’s free and comes pre-installed. If you’re looking for a higher level of professionalism and flair, you’ll have to open up your wallet for programs like Final Cut or Adobe Premiere.
To import your media into iMovie, go to the File tab once you’ve created a project and choose the import media option to move videos from your computer to your iMovie library.
6. Filter for All
Once your media is in your editing software, you’ll want to play around with the filters you can place on your videos. Add a black and white filter to give your movie the feel of a classic from the Golden Age of Hollywood, or use a negative filter to indicate something as alien and haunting. The choice is up to you!
7. Throw in Some SFX
Looking to make the next sci-fi epic or make Michael Bay jealous with your sheer number of explosions? Then you’ll want to look into getting some SFX add-ons for your editing software. For example, Wondershare Filmora 9 (for Mac) has a separate shop for special effects to add to your footage from the editing software.
8. Time to Stitch it Together
Now that you’ve got all your media ready to go, it’s time to edit it together into a cohesive movie! One simple tip to remember in the editing room is the 180-degree rule. This rule says that once you’ve established the left and right side of a scene with a shot, you cannot cross that “line” you’ve created.
This helps to keep your audience following the action without getting disoriented.
9. The Finishing Touches
Once your film is all put together, use your editing software to add some titles and credits to bookend the film! After that, you can export the final project and upload it online or show it off to all your friends!
Who Needs Hollywood?
So that you know how to make a movie on Mac in 9 easy steps, you don’t need Hollywood to make your very own film! If you enjoyed this article, be sure to pass it on to any other aspiring filmmakers you know!
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got to get started on our remake of Saving Private Ryan with puppets and silly string.
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