Saturday, May 31, 2014

Filming Tips: EVENTS

Practice all these steps before going on location. Preparation is everything. Reflex handling of your equipment is essential to give your eye and heart the leisure to capture the unexpected things you will come across on location and that you will miss out on if you are busy trying to read the users’ manual. 1. Bring along ALL your gear, a roller suitcase or a wheeled plastic box or cooler with lid is handy 2. Have a spare battery and matching charger ready 3. Bring power cord and Duck tape (to prevent tripping accidents) 4. Have a spare and empty memory/flash card handy or as many cards as you can afford 5. Bring your fully charged laptop and a high speed card reader to quickly transfer your files 6. Bring antistatic lens cleaner towelettes, cotton buds and non-greasy wipes for your fingers 7. You need a FLARE on your objective in El Paso or anywhere else where the sun is very bright 8. Bring your tripod, shoulder rig and dolly (if you have one) or a skateboard/towel combo 9. Set your camera program to WIDESCREEN 10. Set your camera to HD (the highest possible) 11. Select your Focus mode you want to start with 12. If manual focus is still an unfamiliar subject, select the best auto focus setting for the images you wish to capture 13. CLEAN the LENS before starting to focus and shoot: a fuzz on the lens will translate to a permanent stain on your film/photo. 14. Make a mental note of the story you want to convey and what ingredients you will need – testimonials, landscapes, actions, details, motions, color contrasts... 15. Watch the horizontality of your frame: if you want it slanted, okay, just make sure that is what you want. 16. ZOOM in and out very SLOWLY to give the camera time to stay focused continuously – unless you actually want a blurry transition 17. Panoramic shots are to be taken from the tripod or dolly and extremely slowly, unless a blurr effect is wanted. You will be able to speed up the shot during the editing stage . 18. Be creative and bendy, focus on your scene or object from various angles, from 3 inches off the ground to 10 feet high up. 19. Be capable to quickly switch from movie to photo shots, capture heaps of photo material besides the movie sequences. 20. Show consideration when you frame your subjects: legs only or chopped off upper bodies just don’t look that good in the final product. 21. When filming an event such as a party, fair, market, exhibit etc. station your tripod and camera in ‘a corner’ and let it roll. A gentle and slow left to right / right to left motion will give you good material to integrate at the editing stage. Then move your gear to another corner and keep filming. The participants will produce the action by walking around, talking with each other, pointing at things,eating, drinking dancing, the wiggle and jiggle of the camera is not action that you want (unless it’s a special effect to invent) 22. Once you have your general overview shots, place your camera more centrally and start working with your zoom and capture details – faces, hand movements, clothing, accessories, music instruments (if you are filming a concert), artwork, furniture, decor details... whatever the focal point of the event is. 23. Watch your battery charge and the memory available so that you can replace them before finding yourself in the middle of a perfect scene and no chance of capturing it. 24. Do not FEAR to GET DIRTY! Throw yourself onto the burning asphalt, cold marble floor or into the mud, dust and water to get that awe inspiring photo or film sequence! You want to show the ordinary seen from an unusual, if not extraordinary angle. 25. Go through steps 1 to 23 again and again, film your cat, dog, your mum’s cactus collection, the pizza baking in the oven, students streaming out of highschool during lunch break or your cousin practicing rear parking in the driveway. Look at the footage and decide which angles, which focus setting you like best for being outstanding, breathtaking, awesome and totally cool just like YOU! 26. PS: In the movie industry like elsewhere, there are 2 ingredients for success: 1. Practice, practice, practice... 2. Turn up...

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