How to Make an Action Movie

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In order to make an action movie, a filmmaker will need a story that has fights, car chases, guns and explosions. Incorporate action movie motifs into a regular filmmaking experience with filmmaking tips from a director and filmmaker in this free video on making movies.

Part of the Video Series: Filmmaking Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jared Drake, and I'm going to talk to you about how to make an action movie. An action movie is really just a normal story that has action, fighting, car chases, guns, people blowing up, all that good stuff. The action genre really started to come to in the 1970s with, you know, the James Bond getting more action oriented, the James Bond films. Dirty Harry was considered one of the first, you know, action movies that really started to popularize the genre. Then in the 80s, you know, you got Schwarzenegger, you got Bruce Willis, and, those guys really took it to a whole new level, and made 'action movie' it's own specific genre. Now, what you need to make an action move, first and foremost, is you need a script. You need that in order to make any movie, obviously. You need to know what story you want to tell. You need actors or subjects, what ever that's going to be. You need a camera to shoot it, and hopefully you have a sound guy and you have lights, and all that good stuff. Once you have those, you're ready to go out and shoot your movie. You don't need anything else to make an action movie, you have everything you need. What would help is having the knowledge of what goes into an action movie. And what you should do is go back and watch films that are somehow similar to the movie you're trying to make, or have sequences that are similar. And basically watch them frame by frame. Watch that sequence frame by frame. If there's scene you want to replicate, basically just copy it shot for shot. You know, all right, start down here. We're here for, you know, two swings. The swing up around here, go back the other way for a couple punches, you know. Actor A ducks as actor B does this. Just jot it all down, have it all in your head exactly how it goes and breaks down piece by piece, and then go out and just shoot that. Now, action movies, they require a lot of time, a lot of people, a lot of rigging, a....just a lot of effort to do it well. You shouldn't go out and try to blow up your friend's house by yourself, and record it, 'cause that's really dangerous. Instead, if you want to blow up your friend's house, you should go get a pyro-technician, so they can do it right. The best advice I can give you about how to make an action film on a small, small level is try and get creative and cut around the big moments. Instead of risking getting injured or hurting somebody, get tough and get smart and find a way to do it where you don't necessarily have to see that part of the action.

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