There are an incredible amount of things to consider when shooting a film. In the excitement of pre-production, post production can be overlooked. Small errors while shooting could turn into long, frustrating, hours at the computer. In the end, these things could cost not just time but money to fix. We reached out to our friends at Archaius Creative for some tips on ways to shoot for post production.
1. Shoot from the editors perspective
It may be biased as they are editors, but Archaius Creative suggests that shooting from the editors perspective helps you visualize the end product. Make a list of the shots you know you want to include in the final edit, then make sure you shoot from different angles if time permits.
It's also important to keep in mind that what you'll be delivering to the client in terms of run time. The last thing you want in the editing phase is to drag out shots and events in order to meet a specific minute-mark. If certain activities during your shoot are looking sparse, try to increase the amount of content you cover in later parts of the day. An understanding of how pacing can affect the feel of an edit is important when planning your shoot and how your footage will be used in the final film.
2. Don't overshoot
From the editing standpoint, overshooting can be just as dangerous as undershooting. Shooting the same establishing shot multiple times means more time in post going through the footage. Remember, too, that it doesn't just take more time, but that backup and storage costs can really add up. Don't just shoot to look busy.
Tip: You'll see while sorting your usable B-Roll that overshooting can overwhelm you pretty quick. Think about your editor (or your future-self) going through your footage in post, and question whether what you're currently shooting will make the cut or just bog you down.
3. Shoot A variety From the scene
While shooting, be sure to keep moving around the space and changing up the composition of your shots - camping out in the corner of a room with a wide angle lens for an entire activity can prove challenging in editing.
Shooting for sequencing is another easy suggestion. Many activities can be broken down into a series of steps. Try to shoot each step of the process in isolation and with some variety, that way you can cut together a multi-shot sequence of that process as opposed to showing it all in one shot.
TIP: If you don't feel comfortable getting in the middle of the action, select a zoom telephoto lens that will allow you to stand further away but still feel connected while providing some variety.
4. be highly aware of white balance
Any colorist will say that white balance is the main thing to be aware of when shooting. Also, avoiding mixed lighting (a subject lit by both a lamp and a window). Setting your white balance properly and not mixing lighting sources means you’re able to grade with consistency and achieve a “true” look as easily as possible.
For a walk through on adjusting for a true look, check out Archaius's Tutorial on Color Fixer Pro.
TIP: If you aren't sure what white balance to use, find something in your scene you consider to be white and adjust to that. If you know what post production tools you have available, also consider selecting a less saturated, flatter, picture profile setting which would allow you to control color in post. Check out our Lumetri Panel Overview for an option workflow to grading your film.
5. Select the right microphone
Audio can make or break a video. With audio capture, selecting the right mic for the right situation can save a ton of headaches in audio mixing. Lavs, shotguns, on-camera and handheld mics are all created differently, meaning you'll use them in and for different situations. If you aren't sure what mic will be the right choice for your shoot, watch the video below.
Once you've got that clean audio, try implementing these best practices when mixing audio levels in your edit.
TIP: Ask to turn off music while in spaces that have rich natural audio such as during an interview or while filming a bride getting ready.
6. Know what you can change in post
Get creative! Knowing your tools and options before your shoot can expand your creativity.
Warp Stabilizer can keep you from stressing about that perfect slider shot.
Reverse speed can influence the way you shoot whip pans or other difficult movements.
Horizontal Flip to maintain axis of action.
Vertical Flip or filming with the camera upside down in order to get different angles.
TIP: Consider the resolution you're filming in, and become familiar with what you can and can't change through cropping and reframing in post.
While post production may be the final step in producing your film, it's also one of the most important. Shooting for post production by pre-planning, scouting and choosing the right gear can assist in streamlining the editing process.
Want to learn more about Post Processing from Archaius Creative? Check out their video playlist on our YouTube channel and follow them on Instagram (@archaiuscreative) where they share shooting tips every Friday!