Now that pre-production is done, it’s time to move on to filming. This is the stage where most of the fun happens (of course if you are doing a full-blown motion graphics/animation video then this step is irrelevant) and you start to film the pieces that will allow you to have the content in order to edit. Here are some of the steps that should expect to do when filming:
- Consolidate and organize the filming days- This is something that is touched on a bit in pre-production but the general concept is how do we stay efficient with our time that will keep the project moving. A best practice is to film your interviews and B-roll on separate days if possible, that way you don’t need to set up, break down, set up, break down and repeat that process as you’ll lose time doing that especially for interviews since they more often need more detailed setup.
- Shoot the interviews first- Filming the interviews first is an ideal scenario because then you get to see and hear what the subjects are actually saying. This is super important because you probably won’t have this scripted but the subject’s response will be based on interview questions that you provide. Hence their answers, while should carry the overall message you want, might add or remove elements that could be important. In the past, we have had a subject tell their story and then that soundbite could trigger some new ideas of B-roll to capture.
- Get a variety of angles during B-roll filming- Regardless of how the shoot is organized, you’ll want to make sure you have a variety of different b-roll shots and a variety of angles per scene. For example, if the subject is a classroom, you would want to get a variety of wide, medium, tight shots of the teacher, the classroom, the students, maybe their pencils writing down notes, smiles, etc for that whole scene. When it’s edited, you might only use a couple of seconds of it but you’ll have the wiggle room to choose what the best fit is for the scene.
- Always shoot more than you might need- The last sentence covers this a bit but it’s better to shoot more and trim down, than shoot less, realize you need more, then have the schedule another filming day. This is also good because if you are shooting for more than one video, you’ll have the footage you need to work on that video as well (even if it’s created and focused on at a later time). You’ll thank yourself when you start putting together the edit!
- Multiple takes- This is important because sometimes the first take doesn’t quite do it, whether that’s the way an interviewee described their experience, or an action happening in a b-roll shot. If you feel like it can be done better, do not hesitate to redo that shot or interview question.
I hope this gives you some insights as to what to expect during the filming process. It can be a lot of fun if prepared properly. Lastly, don’t forget that while you’ll have a gameplan, feel free to film new things that happen organically during the filming day. Sometimes those scenes end up being the best!