Monday, November 26, 2007

Stuff to Remember - PT.1

After the 3 week-long self-doubt fest I threw for myself, I decided to take the plunge and fill the blank page with something. I poured over the footage, grabbed 2 of the 6 or so songs completed by our composer, and went to town. I'll post the rough 2-minute promo on the next post, but for now I'd like to expound on the wonderful world of post-filming regret!
You know...those technical problems that somehow go unnoticed whilst lost in the busy haze of production...things to look out for so you're not stuck with the something considerably less than the best possible image/sound...things I wish I told myself every damn day...

To wit:

  • IMAGE GAIN: Never crank the gain on a camera, especially when using 24p. If it's too dark at a medium or recommended gain (aperture size), GET...MORE...LIGHT
  • CLEAN THE LENS: At the beginning of every shoot...CLEAN THE DAMN LENS
  • CHECK THE ASPECT RATIO: 16x9 or 4x3...pick one and stick to it, then check to make sure EVERY TIME
  • PHANTOM MIC POWER: Turn off phantom microphone power unless your mic needs it. This results in a slight hiss that's almost undetectable during filming, but becomes ALL TOO detectable during editing
  • USE A MONITOR: Most cameras have a video out interface. Plug it into a damn monitor and look at the monitor...instead of looking over the camera operator's shoulder into a 3" screen. (That's more thing to carry. If you're going to whine about it, buy a 10" flat screen with input for $99...then shut up and plug it in)
  • COVERAGE: Not sure if you have enough angles or static shots or environmental pickups? You probably don't...keep FILMING. Entertain every conceivable shot (within reason) but, at the very least, get the reverse of every conversation
  • WATCH THE DAILIES: Ever wonder why they're called "Dailies"? I don't wonder anymore...

Sure I sound angry...but it's all directed at myself. These are rudimentary steps that I really should have applied. I'm pretty sure most of the problems are fixable, but they almost all represent some sort of concession or compromise in image or sound or composition. yourselves...I'll try to create some production CHECKLISTS in later posts. Perhaps after I finish this Bourbon...