Student filmmakers tend to have to operate on a small budget. They don't have the millions of dollars that Hollywood or many indie projects have. The end result is that student films tend to look small in scope. While that is fine if you are going for a small, chamber style piece, you don't have to sacrifice your vision if you want something larger. Here are three tips to help make the picture look bigger in scale.
Shoot Outdoor Exterior Establishing Shots Without A Permit
If you're film consists of nothing but interiors (say your friends dorm or a parents apartment) the film will look small. Luckily, you are in New York, where some of the worlds largest and most impressive architecture is. Now, if you want to set up a large crew on the street, then you will need to get a permit. Anything involving dollies, big lights, traffic obstruction, etc., requires you to secure a permit with the city. However, if you go handheld and are on the streets (not in the parks) you don't need a permit.
Simple shots such as the exterior of a large building, or the skyline at night, can add to the visual look of your film. You can even move from the sidewalk to the rooftop to get a more varied vantage point. If you know someone who has an apartment with roof access, then use this to get your shot.
Rent A House For The Day
Another thing you might want to do is rent a home to shoot in. Private homes don't require permits to film in, so as long as the person renting the house is comfortable with renting their home for film shoots, you will be okay. Some places do require you to get insurance, but this is not an across the board rule.
Instead of searching for homes on normal rental sites, such as those which feature vacation rentals, you should at sites that are geared to filmmakers. These sites list homes where the homeowners are comfortable with filming. This will save you the time of calling lots of homeowners only to find out they don't allow filming or photography.
The homes listed on location scouting sites might be available for print only (photography), or both print and film. So make sure you clearly read the description and rules before setting up the appointment.
Use A Drone For Aerial Footage
Another excellent way to make your film look larger is to get some awesome aerial footage. This used to only be possible by using a helicopter. Nowadays, student filmmakers have access to drones. These are small devices that can soar high up into the sky and record amazing footage. Now, NYC has very tough regulations on drone flight, but you can head up to Westchester or over to Long Island and find areas to get those soaring aerial shots. These shots can be used as transitional shots, as you might have seen in the popular documentary series Making A Murderer. That documentary used extensive drone footage to help cut together interviews, stock footage, and audio. It added the the scope of the piece and gave it a epic look. For more help, talk to a business like A A A industry Inc.