What are your own personal tips?
Stage 1: Prep. Get to know your camera. Find your sound mix. Take notes on how to take pictures and edit images. It’s a bit like a game where you want to know how to play, and what to expect. If you haven’t been there before, you’re going to find out that the world is a very small place where there’s a lot of moving parts, and sometimes you don’t understand everything. The first couple of camera days, you’re going to be in the same mode every day, and then over time you’ll start to expand your mind and learn to learn a new way of looking at things.
Stage 2: Set. I call it The Set. It’s always been the “make sure I have this thing in front of me and it’s lit,” but if for example you can’t get your lighting right or something goes wrong or something gets on your face during a scene, you don’t know about that, you still have to shoot. I make sure everything looks right. I take notes. I make sure everything is lit and it feels right for the project. At the same time, every time I do something visually different, my brain is processing a new picture instead of just following the same old movie.
Stage 3: Lighting. We shot about six or seven shots in this one day, and at the end of the day, I realized that I didn’t really have a good feel for it, and at one point I said “I’ll take pictures of those to put in this book.” A lot of it is just being sure that you have enough light. You always want bright light, but you also don’t want it going on too long. You don’t want it overloading the lens. If it’s coming from the side or from a position that’s outside, you usually don’t want that on the side just because the lens is going to get overloaded. You have to be careful. You want some of them shot from behind, in a dark room or behind a mirror, but they can stay on camera for a very short amount of time and create a certain mood and tone.
Stage 4: Post. That’s where the story ends and I’ve got to sit down and start editing. There can be two days to shoot, and I try to do two or three scenes a day, sometimes more. One of the best things about being a filmmaker is finding your voice and what you want to communicate that
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