Module 5: Planning the Shoot
Introduction: We're almost there
We're almost there! After many hours of planning, we're almost ready to shoot our video. A few minutes more to carefully think through what you will need to bring together for the shoot will pay off handsomely in person/hours saved the day of the shoot itself.
In this module, we will make several checklists to prepare for the shoot, and review some of the video syntax we learned earlier with an eye to getting exactly what we're after onto the tape.
Connect: How to plan a successful shoot
Six things must come together in any successful shoot: the people, the location, the set, the props, the equipment, and the schedule. Let's make a list for each one of these and assign individuals to be responsible for making each list happen. Then we'll take a brief look at how to run the equipment and some last minute reminders of tips and pitfalls to avoid.
Take a look at Phase 5: Planning the Shoot in the Educational Video Workshop packet to find out all about it. You can also download the digital video files from the Educational Video Workshop page.
Apply: Step-by-step checklist
How many times have you underestimated the time it takes to complete a task or project? Video almost always takes longer than you anticipate. The only way to even hope to keep to a schedule is to plan as many details as possible in advance, and be sure everyone is absolutely clear as to what they need to bring and do on the set. Then do it.
Take a look at the checklist on page 60 of the Educational Video Workshop to get an idea of the things you'll need to do, roughly in the order you'll need to do them.
Reflect: Completing assignments
Two things should be on your mind besides getting your video segment shot. These are the Multimedia Tools assignment and the Listserv assignment.
Where should you be with these? In the next two weeks you should have completed at least one of the multimedia tools. You should probably also have submitted one or two of your reviews on the course list serv.
Extend: Now Go Thou and Do Likewise
This is where all the creativity and planning of the past few weeks pays off. If you don't get it on tape, it won't be in your show.
- Plan your shoot thoroughly.
- Appoint team members to be responsible for specific roles and tasks.
- Always check your picture and sound before you "break the set" and dismiss the actors.
You may have noticed that throughout this project, we've avoided any mention of that most important topic, lighting. If there's an "art" to video production, it's lighting.
The bad news: lighting is pretty difficult to do well, and poorly executed video lighting is usually a way bigger problem than using existing room or outdoor light.
The good news: most digital camcorders these days do pretty darned well in existing room or outdoor light, and even in low light situations.
Nevertheless, good lighting can give a professional polish to your video that nothing else can do (well, maybe good sound). And, if you're interested in trying your hand at lighting your video, it doesn't have to cost you an arm and leg.
Here's a wonderful, short eHow video series on basic Video production lighting — indoor or out — on the cheap.
Good luck! Next week we begin to shoot an educational video.
Page updated September 3, 2004