Preparing to shoot a film

Develop a strong concept

Having a unique concept to grab the audiences’ attention is vital. Head of Production at AFTT, Kim Ramsay advised that delivering this within the first 30 seconds will be the key difference between tying the audience onto your concept and having them lose focus. Hook the audience in with a plot twist and leave them with a memorable ending to guarantee complete audiences’ responsiveness. 

Create a shot list/story board

Plan your work and work your plan! Taking extra effort to develop a Shot List or Story Board will allow for smooth sailing when filming the minimum shots, you need to tell your story. Plan for short and simple, but keep it well executed. Though it may take a little time up front, not only will your effort keep you on track when filming, but it will also save you time during your shoot! 

Focus on performance

This means working with your actors, and finding a killer location! Less can sometimes mean more when striving for the audiences’ attention. When seeking a cast keep it contained, as your audience connects to your story through the characters portrayed. Location wise, finding somewhere that already has a lot of the set dressing/production design allows assistance when starting to film – it can also be a great source of inspiration when developing your concept! 

Time to shoot!

Get familiar with the equipment you are using. Ensure everything is fully charged and be aware of the technical aspects of all items in your kit, you don’t want to lose time fiddling with camera settings etc. Shooting in multi-cam where possible will save time when recording each scene and provide more coverage for the editor. Close attention to detail in aspects such as recording good quality sound and correct image placement will be vital, as you won’t have time to fix up such mistakes within 24 hours. Have yourself prepared for film day

The most important part of your film project will be you! Don’t lose focus or your audience will too. Feeling alert and focused on your task will allow for smooth sailing on the day. Sleep well the night beforehand to ensure a ready mind-set. Monitor your energy levels through the day – keep healthy snacks around for brain food and don’t skip meal breaks, even if you’re under the pump. Refreshing your brain with a break can often lead to greater ideas. Coffee will be your best friend – you can sleep when it’s all over!