So you have to do everything yourself?

Sometimes you expect the help of others in order to get work done, especially in the filming sense. But if you’re like me, then sometimes you end up having to do everything yourself. If this is the case with you, then let me offer you some helpful tips that you may find useful if you only have me, myself, and I to work with.

1.) Tripods are your best friend

-If you don’t have someone else to hold the camera for you, then you’ll want to procure a tripod as fast as you can in order to get some of the shots you want. If you don’t have access to a tripod because only your brother has one and he wasn’t there to help you film, then improvise. I used a tray and piled an appropriate amount of books on top of it until I got the desired height I wanted.  If you want the camera to tilt upward or downward, try folding a paper towl or another thin substance that you can wedge undernearth the camera in order to have it tilt in any way you want

2.) Avoid glaring lights

– Sometimes this is impossible, especially if you don’t have proper lighting equipment. Natural light works the best to avoid glares, but often times you can’t control nature in the way you want to. However, you can shade glaring lights in your room with articles of clothing at least temporarily so that your shot turns out better in the end. Keep a watchful eye on you impromptu shades and make sure they don’t become a hazard. Exposing elothing directly to lightbulbs won’t do any permenant damage immediately, but just in case something happens, use articles of clothing you don’t have strong ties to.

3.) Always do multiple takes

-After you’ve set up your shot and made sure it looks the best you can possibly make it, do multiple takes of whatever you are shooting so that you don’t have to go back and recreate them when you find out that the one take you had looks/sounds shitty while you are editing. Fun experimenting with the same scene from different angles can also yield interesting editing opportunies and make it seem like you had additional help while you were filming.

4.) Keep in mind the multiple parts needed for your film.

-If it is a film revolving around 1 character, then this isn’t much of an issue. However, this usually isn’t the case. When you are forced to play multiple parts in your movie, keep these thoughts close in mind:

  • Make a checklist of all of your scenes you need to film, and cross of the ones you are finished with when you are absolutely sure you don’t need to do them anymore.
  • Film each parts scenes all at once. This way you won’t have to keep switching wardrobe.
  • If you are playing multiple parts, make sure you drastically change each ones appearance and demeanor. This will prevent any audience member scratching their heads as to why the same person is playing every part in the movie. Use different outfits, costumes, hairstyles, voices, etc to clearly distinguish your characters.
  • If the characters need to interact with each other, think of ways to accomplish this without having them in the same scene. Fancy editing techniques can superimpose one piece of film with another to make it appear like both characters are in the same room, but those means are unavailable to guerrilla filmmakers such as yourself in this predicament. Switch between shots of people talking, or reach off screen to grab what the other character is holding. For my film, I cut to black and just had sound effects when I had to beat up myself. Think outside the box

Well, I hope these impromptu film tactics will serve you well when your brother screws you over and doesn’t help you with your school project.


~ by njp24 on February 24, 2010.

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