Those who are only starting at the filmmaking industry usually learn things the hard way (by making plenty of mistakes.) But there’s nothing more frustrating than encountering the mistakes or problematic shots when you’re already in the editing room and after you’ve finished shooting. To avoid this, you can follow this quick checklist every single time after you shoot a scene or do a take.
Before anything, always review a shot after you take it to make sure you have everything just the way you need it. Calling the scene a wrap and that you have the shot you need is crucial because once the set up is dismantled, it won’t be easy to put it all together again. (Plus it’ll cost you time and money.) Always check and double check your shot. You can eliminate the hassles by only putting attention to the shots you know will end up in the final cut.
You can check for the following:
1. Actor’s Performance
Aside from being able to deliver a great shot or sequence, your job is to know what you’re exactly trying to communicate with the scene and how it all fits in the story. When reviewing, ask yourself if the actors are doing what you want them to do. Make sure the performance works and is what you need for the project. If not, give them proper direction.
2. Track Your Camera Movement
Is the camera in the right angle or are you using the right frame? Does it move smoothly or is it shaky? Is the camera delivering a good tracking shot or not?
3. Think of the Composition
Even though you might want to stick to the storyboard, really scrutinize what you have in front of you and ask if the composition works or not. Is the composition balanced and does it work to deliver what you need?
4. Look at the Background
Pay attention to the background and see if there’s anything a miss. Are the extras or background actors doing their part? What about the objects in the background? Do they work with the shot or should things be eliminated?
5. Always Know How the Shot Fits Into Everything
As a filmmaker, you should know how cuts piece together. Doing a shoot means you know which part of the sequence it fits in, you have to be able to envision that. Also, there are technical aspects like shooting wide and going for a close up. You must shoot the scene exactly the way it is so you can ensure that the cuts will end up looking smooth.