Being a run and gun filmmaker is challenging and most likely not ideal, but sometimes you have to work with what you’re given. Whether it’s cramming all the principal photography you’ve taken into just one week or working in a chaotic shooting environment, you have to be able to think on your feet during such instances. Besides, as much as we all want to, not all filmmakers have the luxury to set up and prep for a shoot in a leisurely way so such a skill is critical.
Here are five helpful tips on how to become good at run and gun filmmaking.
Always travel light.
This is a no-brainer. With run-and-gun filmmaking, you have to be ready at a moment’s notice. Carrying too much will prevent you from capturing the shot right away, just when you need it. Ideally, you should invest in gear that is perfect for doing this type of film style. This will make your life easier.
Always have versatile lenses.
On the field, things can go haywire fast. You need to be able to adapt to the scene and lighting fast. This often means you don’t have time to fuss about looking for the right lenses to fit in your camera. Get a good zoom lens that allows you to shoot at different focal lengths, this will save you a good amount of time.
Always inspect and prepare your gear ahead of time.
There’s nothing worse than heading to the scene and realizing you have a dead battery or you forgot one of your lenses. You have to prepare your gear ahead of time. Carry the essential ones you know you will need but be critical about it too. Make sure your camera is in the correct settings and don’t ever forget to bring lots of memory cards.
Always look for the light.
There’s nothing more important to the shot than lighting. You need to know where your light is coming from. Remember, it’s still filmmaking, and it would do great if you could communicate your story by providing good lighting. Look for natural light in your location or make sure to bring a portable, inexpensive LED light for crucial times.
Always check out the location ahead of time.
This goes without saying. The scene is important to the story and you have to know the ins and outs of the location before you even head there. Look for good vantage points as well as interesting items in the area. Consider the audio or the sounds emanating from the place and see how you can either eliminate it or incorporate it into the scene.