I'm sure there are plentiful more learned guides out there - and I'd always encourage reading video/film-makers' books (Alex Cox is very readable on his low-budget Indie shoots) - but these are ten simple bits of advice based on years of observing student filming, especially the common disasters that happen...
authoritative. You're producing and directing the shoot. Have a clear
discussion on who will do precisely what during the shoot (this can be
noted in call sheets); DON'T leave that until you're at the shoot.
friendly. Your cast are doing you a favour! You might need them too for
additional/re-shoots. Provide food/drinks, and give some positive
feedback as you go. As part of mise-en-scene prep you could try finding a
cafe prepared to 'sponsor' you for some tea/sandwiches if you feature
their cafe as a location (seriously! no harm in asking!). Take toilet
requirements into consideration too!!!
3: Clear direction.
need specific, short instructions, including body language + movement.
Your blogs/YT can be useful here; consider a post with links for
anything (in shoot order) you might want to look at/show to cast - you
should have gadgets/screens (and will need to have considered wifi
availability in advance.
Ripping + editing together SHORT video clips could help here too
(especially if you're not online at the location). It
helps if you can share a ...
4: Call sheet. This isn't just
markscheme stuff, it is genuinely your key tool for organising the
shoot. A thorough call sheet leads to MUCH quicker shooting. For a music video
shoot especially thats likely to be quite a handful of sheets - stick them in a
ringbinder!!! Print-offs of relevant images with this can help you/the
cast. Hours preparing call sheets may seem onerous, but it can be the
difference in getting done in one day's shooting or having to schedule
fresh shoots, possibly re-shoots.
5: Set/mise-en-scene prep. Having
costume/hair/make-up clear and communicated to cast in advance, props in
hand, and any set dressing planned (that SA flyer idea is key for this
video and overall package - one shiny new and 1 distressed/aged/ragged).
If you have the contacts, involving a costume designer, prop
maker, make-up artist (etc) would be smart!
6: Take tripod time. Handheld
is MUCH quicker but extremely problematic. Best to shoot with 2+ cams, 1
tripod 1 handheld. The GorillaPod can be really useful for low angle
shots, and taking a GoPro for action shots (maybe snorricam or
helmetcam) could help too. A FigRig or any steadicam would be advisable
to reduce shake from handheld shots. The camera's stabilisation tools
could be investigated. FCPX (most video editors) have image
stablisation, but be aware that this works by cropping shots, in turn
downgrading the resolution.
No matter how well planned, be spontaneous too - look through the lens
for interesting framing/shot opportunities and bank them. They don't have to be linked to the sequence you're shooting!
variety. Likewise, even if you haven't thought to put these
in the call
sheets, aim to shoot most sequences from multiple positions. The fewer
options you have in editing the less scope you have to make creative
editing choices. If you're planning to use slo-mo, investigate the
camera: if you can, increase the frame rate so the slo-mo'd footage
won't lose resolution.
Take care over things moving/appearing in different takes of the same
sequence (eg cars on the road, the sky, people in the distance,
animals). If this is a film rather than video shoot, consider banking a
range of ambient sound recordings; you may find that you need to
re-create the diegetic soundtrack (some auteurs, eg Sergio Leone,
always rebuilt sound after the shoot!) and having audio clips to link
multiple takes of the same sequence can be crucial in achieving basic
10: Pragmatism, resolve . If your carefully written call sheets prove
shoots are over-running, decide, in discussion with cast, if an
additional shoot on another day is an option. Never panic! If this is
the case the plus is that you'll be able to test edit what you've got,
and use the experience of the original shoot to work a lot quicker next
time. If things go wrong, stay calm and think about what you can do to
rescue as much useful material as you can.
should be an adrenalised but fun experience; it gets stressful when your
preparation is inadequate or you're failing to
get co-operation/performances from cast (probably because of lack of
pre-briefing, direction or positive engagement!). Make it a memorable event for all the right reasons, and enjoy it!