To prepare for filming make a list of props, actors and locations you will need.
This may be as simple as you in your office with a chair, or as complicated as a team of actors, multiple costumes and multiple locations.
Once you have compiled a list of things you will need gather them together and make sure you will have everything you need BEFORE you begin filming.
Setting the Scene
- Make sure the location you have chosen has complementary lighting (avoid having the light source behind your subject, i.e. against a window), enough space for filming equipment (tripod, etc.) and is quiet. You may want to film a test shot to see if the lighting is good and that you can hear what is being recorded.
- Prepare the scene with costumes or props as appropriate.
- Set up your camera – You must use a tripod! The only exception to this would be if you want the shot to look like you’re walking or running. Otherwise, you must use a tripod! Make sure your camera is level (tilting wall or floor will be distracting to the viewer) make sure there aren’t too many distractions in the background. Look at composition of the shot, remember to use the rule of thirds (where is the focus of the shot, are you too close to the camera? are you too far away?), here are some examples of types of shots.
- Run through a rehearsal or two and make a test recording. Review the recording (preferably on a bigger screen and headphones) and look and listen for any issues (low audio level, background noise, etc).
- Then you are ready to begin!
- Set your camera at the same height as your subject or, alternativey set the camera a little higher than your subject – it can be quite a flattering camera angle.
- Count your subjects in before you record, from 5 to 1. The last two numbers should be silent.)
- If you have to use the zoom while filming, try to pan (slow, smooth sideways movement) or tilt the camera at the same time.
- Delete files on the camera if you are sure they won’t be used – it will make sorting through your files a lot easier during the editing process.
- Mix up your shots – try close-ups, mid-shots, long-shots, speaking into the camera, speaking to the side of the camera (interview-style), shooting over the shoulder, etc.
Here’s an example of good practice in shooting (keep in mind, this video uses a green screen which you wouldn’t be using):