You're there. You're on set. You're ready to hit record, but -- wait.
Are you really sure you're ready? There are a lot of things to prepare for before you actually start recording footage that will ultimately end up in your film, but in this helpful video, Director/Cinematographer Morgan Cooper whittles the list down a little bit to just 5 easy-to-remember things that all filmmakers should do before they press that red button.
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/154100396
In case you couldn't watch the video, here are the 5 things Cooper says you should always check before you hit record:
Check your F.E.W.
F.E.W. stands for:
- Frame Rate
- White Balance
This is the most basic check that all filmmakers should be doing before they start shooting. For some of you, your frame rate won't change as often as your exposure and white balance settings, but checking all three is still important. I can't count how many times I got myself into trouble by not checking these settings -- I learned the hard way that it's pretty difficult to correct shots with a different white balances.
Check your frame edges and backgrounds
It's easy to put all of your focus on the subject you're shooting, but remember, there's an entire frame that's being filled up and you need to know what it's being filled up with. Do this by checking the edges of your frame, as well as the background, to make sure that there aren't any -- I don't know -- antlers above your subject's head or dog taking a dump behind them or something.
Check your batteries
Oh lord -- don't be the one who shows up on set with a bunch of dead batteries. Please. (Has anyone else gotten the cold sweats after watching your camera die during a really, really well-performed scene?) If you make sure that all of your batteries are nice and full the night before your shoot, you won't slow things down that next morning.
Format your media
Similar to checking your batteries, making sure your media cards are empty (or at least have enough space for what you're doing) will keep things going smoothly on-set. It's annoying for you and everyone else on set who has to wait for you to clear and format your cards.
Clean your lenses
Make sure that all of your glass is clean and ready to go when it comes time to shoot, because if you don't, you'll have to slow production down to do it. Also, you might not even notice that little, greasy smudge until you're checking out your dailies. (Which means reshoot -- which is just awful.)