In this post, we will go a little more in depth about the day of the filming. Things to look out for and some useful advice tips. The day or days of filming can be the most stressful part of any production process, whether it is done correctly or otherwise. One thing that you want to try to avoid is making last minute changes during the shooting process to ease the burden somewhere else in the production. It is important to think through the ramifications of changing one thing in the grand scheme of your production plan.
For example, this can come into play when filming dialogue with non-professional actors. It can be easy to forgo difficult lines if it is taking too much time to finish, but doing this might cause you more problems down the line. If your actor is having difficulty with their lines, it might be helpful to present the dialogue in a way that is easier to film. You can do this by shortening the dialogue, using visual aids like cue cards or a teleprompter or use graphics to minimize their on screen time. By utilizing a voice over you can mitigate your on screen dialogue problem. Be careful to remember that if you are changing your production, you thoughtfully think about if it will be feasible to make these changes before you alter your plan.
Along the same lines always try to do more than you need. This particularly pertains to filming. Whenever it is possible, go beyond just the bare minimum and try to capture as much as is doable for your production. The more that you have to work in post-production, the better chance the quality of your production will go up. Alternatively, seeing one shot or scene done multiple times may help give you some inspiration going forward. Seeing the same thing done gives you an ever solidifying picture in your head, and the more solid it is the easier it will be to manipulate and tailor the shot to your specific standards. The biggest and least easily correctable problem often found in post-production is the lack of adequate material. By doing more than the minimum, you can at least insulate yourself a little from this problem.
Another thing to consider on the day of the filming is your flexibility. Many of these posts emphasize keeping to your production and within that scope it is important to be a little flexible. Being flexible doesn’t mean compromising your plan or shot list, it simply means to always keep your eye out in an ever evolving situation. The production process isn’t guided by some stringent formula, rather than model based on your best predictions. Sometimes your predictions tend to be wrong or fall short of your expectations. This is often to be expected and the unexpected is usually part of the production process. Again, having a fully fleshed out production plan can mitigate much of the risk associated with filming, but not usually all of it. Say for example that the on the day of your main outdoor shoot, it rains all day. If you have a lot of resources invested in your shoot, it’s not going to be easy to just pick up and shoot another day. This scenario can be mitigated by simply having a backup shooting day, but again this may not be financially feasible. So, what to do? One option is to take the financial loss and shoot another day. If that’s not possible, you are going to have to flexible and think outside the box. Brainstorm potential sites that would allow for your project completion. It may not be your first option, but it will most likely be preferred to having nothing at all. Perhaps even shoot in the rain? Take the proper measures to insure that your equipment is safe and try to complete your project in tandem with mother nature. In a field where your artistic ability is the best tool you have, don’t be afraid to take chances and think outside the box.