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Top tips for film-makers

Competition judge Henry Barnes suggests some pointers for film-makers to consider when working on their Reel Homes entries

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  • Keep your story simple and local. Talk to people you know about an issue close to your heart. The familiarity will come through on camera.
  • Don’t worry about technical finesse. A good story trumps a slick shot every time.
  • Follow the news (and find out what it’s not following). How does your story augment what’s out there? Are you telling us something we already know? If so, how is your angle different?  
  • Who’s the face of your story? If it’s not you (it doesn’t have to be), then who is most likely to be interesting and/or relatable? We learn the most about complex stories by having someone we like and trust relate them to us. Who is that person for you?
  • Does your film end with the credits? Or is it a campaigning piece – a call for action that demands the audience do something when they leave the cinema? Think about what conversations your film might spark while you’re making it.

Henry Barnes, digital editor at the British Film Institue (BFI) and former editor of theguardian.com/film


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