Filming successfully

Essential tips on how to prepare for a shoot, what to consider during a shoot, the visualisation of interviews/dialogue and information on how to avoid mistakes.

Organisation

  • Duration
    Long (more than 1 hour)
  • Complexity
    Difficult
  • Group size
    2 to 8 persons

Description Long

The footage is shot with the help of the participants (crew, actors) during the executing phase of the film production. There are planned and spontaneous shoots, and both documentary and fictional scenes. There are hardly any limits concerning creativity and what can be filmed.

Illustration

Preparation

Material costs are essential. Minimum equipment:

 

  • Camera
  • Charged batteries
  • Charger and extension leads
  • SD cards/Compact Flash cards with sufficient free space
  • Tripod
  • An additional microphone, depending on the situation, perhaps a lavalier with transmitter/receiver, as well as a dynamic microphone with phantom power or battery powered cardioid
  • Microphone cable XLR to 3.5 mm jack
  • If needed, a gooseneck microphone stand
  • Microphone shock mount, standalone/camera
  • Headphones

 

 

Execution

The shooting location and camera angle should be determined. Setup the tripod and determine the approximate height. Adjust the tripod/ball head with a spirit level if necessary. Place the camera on the tripod, and attach the microphone, and make sure that the battery power is switched on, if applicable. Select a suitable focal length and aperture, and adjust the focus.

 

There is not much preparatory work needed when filming with a handheld device, where the emphasis is on a smooth interaction at the filming location. Spontaneity and gut feeling for interesting statements as well as scenes are required.  

References

Anita Holdener, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts: Video technology basics

 

Widukind Zenker, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts: Notes on filmmaking 

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