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The Shot

So much goes into setting up the shot that a list is used to help remember everything. It will also help to get into a routine. Set up a pattern or order in which the equipment is unloaded, set up, used and packed up.

Below are a few common steps for video taping a scene.

Survey the room:
Before you begin unpacking, look around the room. Decide on the location of the camera and subject. Find a power source for the camera - or are you using batteries? Where are the natural lights or are you using your own lights? Is there an echo in this location? Are there any other noises such as refrigerators or fans? Are the phones unplugged?

Set Up:
Place camera and subject. Place the lights and prepare the mics. Turn the lights on and have the mics in place. At the camera, make sure you turn it on and consider the following: Is there tape? Have I White balanced? Is my Exposure correct? Have I set the correct focus and did I critical focus? Test the mics and check the lights.

Begin Shooting:
Usually the master scene or interview is shot first. Then the close ups and cutaways are recorded. Sometimes the close ups and cutaways are called "pickups" because these are shots that are picked up as you are leaving.

After the shoot:
Make sure all the equipment is put away and stored back in its place. If objects were rearranged to make room for the camera and equipment, make sure they are put back in their proper place. And if doing an interview, thank the subject for helping out in the production.

The Producers Survey:
At the end, do another survey of the location to make sure nothing was left behind or forgotten.

Tip: The action of the shot is captured in two ways: movement within the frame and the movement of the frame. Movement within the frame is called composition. Movement of the frame is the movement of the camera itself. Below are links to more tips on camera work.

Vid Tip: Composition

Vid Tip: Camera Movement

Remember, before going out ask yourself:
"Do I have batteries and do I have tape?"

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