All right. So for the next several posts, I’m going to be doing up instructional videos and steps for to ensure that beginners understand the importance of setting up a shot, and understanding the features of their camera.
Granted, everyone uses different cameras, but a lot of the terms are essentially the same. The videos will show the difference between using these functions properly and things not being set correctly.
I’ve provided, for this post, a list of things to make sure you do in planning a project and the steps to take to ensure your shots turn out great. All bolded words will become detailed posts later on for you to read and understand what they do and their importance.
You have an idea:
– Do your best to know what you want to do and create a general outline of your idea
– Do all the necessary research of everything you need and the information you’ll need to write a good script – sets, locations, characters (fictional or non-fictional), equipment (camera, mics, tripod, etc.), and anything else that might come to mind
– Figure out what your budget is and realistically what money you have at your disposal – make sure your plan, script, and storyboarding reflect what resources you have and what you can afford
– Work on writing out a script. Make sure to edit it a few times before deciding to hand it out to other people
– Storyboard based on your script – draw out each frame based on what happens in the script so that camera angles and locations are represented in the images, making it easier to film when you go to shoot your scenes
– After the script and storyboard is agreed upon and it’s planned out, double check all equipment and ensure you have everything together – make sure things are put together so that you don’t run into dead batteries on the day your shooting, or worse, camera/mic failure
– Schedule the shoots and which scenes are going to be done when – if you share this with others working on the project it will make it easier for people to determine when they need to show up and work it into their own schedules
– Start on time and make sure to show up early to the shoot so that everything can be set up and any troubleshooting problems can be solved in a timely matter – this way the shooting won’t take three times as long and when the characters show up to their scene, they aren’t standing around waiting for things to pick up again
– Before starting to shoot make sure the cameras are where they need to be, batteries are full, everything is properly white balanced, iso/gain are on the right levels, the resolution and frame rates are at the right place, the shutter speed is set properly, aperture is set correctly, focus is right, audio levels are reading and you’re not getting heavy background noise (depends on where you’re shooting of course), mics are working correctly and you have the right ones with you for the shoot, right framing for the shot on each camera you’re using, make sure the lighting is properly placed and you’re not getting shadows where you don’t want them, the appearance of the shot looks the way it needs to be both on the live view finder and through the view finder in the eye piece, make sure that the background is how you want it to be and isn’t full of objects or distractions that could take away from the shot.
– Begin filming your scenes
– As you finish filming each day, transfer your footage to your computer and organize the clips into folders with the name of the scene on each one – it will keep things better organized and easier to edit things together when everything is properly organized
I will do more posts on editing techniques and the like, but I thought I would start off with the basics of filming first and getting to know what the different features on your camera do and how they affect the image. There are lots of little techniques that can be done to improve your shot while filming which can cut down on your work in post production. Audio is the trickiest and there’s lots to learn in that area. But we have to start with the basics first.