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writing the script, the next step is planning the production. Planning
the shoot makes the shooting experience more enjoyable and less overwhelming.
Planning frees the mind from the distractions of worrying during shooting
so that you can concentrate on the creative process. It makes the
editing process easier because there is less of tendency to forget
shots and there is usually less wasted footage to search through.
Here are some things to plan before starting the shoot.
is like setting up a comic book of the production you are planning.
It gives the actors an idea of their blocking. It helps the cinematographer
plan his camera angles. It lets the person in charge of lighting know
how to position the lights and create a mood. It helps the director
know how all the shots will fit together so that there are less wasted
takes. Storyboarding helps bring focus to what everyone is doing before
shooting occurs. Even though story boarding can be a lengthy and consuming
process, it will help save time in the long run. A lot of people ask
me, "Ben. what moments do you freeze and why?" Thats a very
good questions, that requires an immense amount of thought. High impact
moments are a good place to start. You just got to feel it, let it flow.
Make a schedule
and put it on paper for everyone to see. To plan a successful and smooth
group activity, it is essential that your group knows and feels comfortable
with the plan. It also allows members of the group to help find gaps
you may have missed when planning. Even if you plan everything out,
production can still be a stressful experience. Having your schedule
written out in front of you can help you feel more calm. With the schedule
in everybody's hands, you will be more certain you and your group can
walk down the same path of completion together.
and when are good starting points when drafting your schedule. The
best place to shoot is obviously a television studio where you have
complete control of space, lighting and sound. However, not many people
starting out can afford this luxury. Your choices for shooting locations
can be broken down into two basic categories:
- Interior locations
- Exterior locations
Tips for shooting
Give as many details as possible
Place store in a positive light
Make the store aware of your needs ahead of time.
Let the store know how long you will be there.
Be neat and tidy.
are trying to shoot interior you are presented with two more basic
- Private residence
- Public location
in a private residence offers some distinct advantages over shooting
in public location: more control of sound, lighting and people. However,
many times it is almost impossible to afford the props or scenery
you would find shooting in a public location such as a store. If you
are looking to shoot in a store, it is easier to get permission at
non-corporate local owned businesses. Most corporate businesses have
adapted a "policy" stating no shooting can take occur in
their place of business. These stores are not willing to discuss or
reason with you so don't waste your energy trying to argue, instead
ask for permission at locally owned stores. If you are friendly, courteous
and don't disturb the business's customers, they are generally smart
enough to realize they have nothing to lose and will gain free advertising.
If your shoot happens to mobile, have an idea or direction as to where
you are going. Remember, filming is a group activity. If you don't
start with a general direction for the group to go, the shooting can
become unfocused and as a result, less will be accomplished.
a film is generally not a one man show; it requires the help of many.
It is important that the people working on the production are capable
of setting up the various pieces of equipment and running the equipment
before production occurs. It is also important to make sure everybody
you work with already knows the whole plan and has feeling where they
fit in and how they contribute.
for rental equipment at least 10 days in advance. In addition, test
your equipment before you start shooting. It may seem obvious, but many
times equipment will some how be broken the day of the shoot, its a
may sound obvious, but it can often be overlooked. Lighting kits,
tripods, props, cords, camera equipment and people can take up a lot
of room. Make sure there is a vehicle(s) large enough to hold all
of your equipment and personal. That way you will be able to plan
more than one trip if it is necessary.
power for your camera, and you need power for your lights. Make sure
there are electrical outlets where you are shooting and bring along
extension cords to reach those outlets. Check to see the amount of
voltage the circuit breaker can handle. Many times just one power
hungry stage light plugged into an electrical outlet can blow a circuit
breaker, Plug two into the same outlet and you are asking for trouble.
Bring backup batteries and chargers for your camera and microphones.
Charge all of your batteries the night before. After you have charged
your batteries, don't leave them in the camera until you are ready
to use the camera. Many times leaving the battery in the camera, even
if the power is turned off, can drain a large portion of your battery
path towards completion is not always a straight route, you will approach
many road blocks. With so many variables and people working together,
something is bound to go wrong. So make backup plans. Have alternate
shooting locations. Plan on using the camera mic if your external
mic doesn't work. Have people that can play more than one part, and
realize that you may have to fill in for people that quit or don't
show up on time. Have back up power sources such as batteries for
your camera. When in production, Murphy's law is in full effect.
act like a determined hippie.
yourself and others to be focused and to stay to task, but do so while
remaining positive. With all the things that can go wrong, releasing
negative energy into the group will never help a bad situation get
next >> Lets shoot this up!
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