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Production Tips and Tricks
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More Production Tips and Tricks

Tip #32

Logging is a great thing to do if you have the resources...

If you have someone on your crew that doesn't have anything to do while the shoot is happening you can have them keep a log. Logging involves labeling the tapes with specific names (tape A, tape B, etc.). Then each time a new scene is shot, the person keeping the log will jot down the timecode on the tape at that time, along with the scene, the take and any notes that might apply.

So a logging sheet might look something like this:

Tape A

00:12:23:22 - 00:14:11:05
Scene - Man walking across bridge
Take 2
Log note - picked up wind on microphone

How you format this will vary according to the information you want to include. But this can give you a good gameplan to work from as logs like this can make the capturing and editing process a lot easier for you in terms of organization.

Tip #33

Know your role on the shoot! In other words, don't step out of the boundaries of your job and start injecting your opinion into how things are done. Remember, the director is the boss and needs the cooperation of the crew, especially on the day of a shoot.

It's not to say you're not allowed an opinion. You should give your opinion about what your job is, that's part of your job as the expert of whatever it is that you're doing. However, don't argue points that aren't related directly to what you're doing. I've seen this happen on shoots and it ain't pretty! People that are deemed argumentative or that inject their opinion into areas that don't concern them, usually aren't asked to come back and work again.

There's a reason that the director is in charge, it's to eliminate the "too many cooks in the kitchen" syndrome on a shoot.

Tip #34

Be prepared to make adjustments on the fly! One situation is particular is if you're planning on doing and outside shoot but the weather turns out to be bad. Besides checking the weather report a day ahead, you can also have a Plan B to go to. So, if the weather doesn't work in your favor, plan on doing inside shots or cutaways or some other shooting that isn't dependent on the weather.

Tip #35

If you're approaching creating project from a business side in addition to a production side, you need to consider marketing...

If you can get sponsorship to help boost your budget, product placement is a good way to go. Every shoot needs things like food, props, clothing, even household items as backdrop.

Approaching local businesses is a good grass roots way to go, the worst they can say is no.

Copyright your work! Technically, when you put something on video, it's copywritten, but you need to register the copyright to make it official and protect yourself and your work.

You can find instructions regarding registering your copyright along with all the forms right here:

Tip #36

Get to know your camera!

Learning the settings of the camera and how it works contributes greatly to the look of your footage. It can mean the difference between footage that looks like bad video or great film-like footage.

One of the cameras we use is the Canon XL2. Here's a website to learn more about it:

Tip #37

Creating a DV Master from Final Cut Pro:

Most professional NLEs have a way to transfer your edited project back onto tape for the sake of creating a tape master. Final Cut Pro offers this as the Print to Tape function found under the File menu.

For the rundown on how to create a tape master from FCP, download this PDF: Print to Tape


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