Whether you're making a documentary in a chaotic environment or have to cram a month's worth of principal photography into a single week, you have to really be able to think on your feet in order to get the shots you need for your film. In this video, Teppo Haapoja shares five tips that will help you sharpen your skills and strengthen your instincts as a run-and-gun filmmaker. Check it out below:

Now, not all filmmakers have to or (want to) do the whole run-and-gun thing and that's totally cool, but being able to have the time and money to prep and set up and slow down is a luxury not all of us have. When you find yourself in a situation in which you don't have that luxury, Teppo's tips will certainly come in handy. (Quick side note: Yes, that's totally Matti Haapoja from TravelFeels...they're brothers!)

  • Travel light: If you're running-and-gunning, you have to be quick and light on your feet. Bring along only the essentials: camera, lenses, filters, stabilizer, mic, etc. Furthermore, if you're making a career out of this style of filmmaking, you might want to invest in gear that is specifically designed to be compact and lightweight. (Edelkrone has a ton of great gear you should check out.)
  • Prep your gear: Don't show up to your shoot with a dead battery or an unbalanced gimbal. Spend some time before you head out to make sure your lenses are clean, your camera has the right settings, and that your memory card is empty. (Also, go pee.)
  • Use versatile lenses: Things get chaotic out in the field. With things moving so fast you may not be able to change out your lenses quick enough to capture the shot you need, so getting a nice zoom lens that lets you shoot at a wide range of focal lengths will save you big time.
  • Scope the scene: Knowing your surroundings is important on so many levels. Find out where all of the good vantage points are. Look for interesting subjects and backgrounds. Take note of what audio sounds like in different areas if you're recording sound.
  • Find the right light: Your images won't do a whole lot of good if your audience can't see them. Try to find natural light in your location. If there isn't enough, you might want to consider purchasing an inexpensive portable LED light.

What are some other run-and-gun tips? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Teppo Haapoja