1. Preproduction v
vp1-1. Five skills
vp1-3. Keeping track
vp1-4. First impression
vp1-5. Successful scouting
vp1-6. Words of wisdom
vp2-1. Five production skills
vp2-2. Pep talk
vp2-6. Words of wisdom
vp3-1. Five skills
vp3-3. Grading and graphics
vp3-6. Words of wisdom
vp2-6. Words of wisdom
There I go again. More emphasis on ‘planning to avoid problems.’ You might think I consider this very important. You might be very right.
What you will learn
You’ll learn the importance of rehearsals, taking breaks, getting second opinions, jumping at shooting opportunities, and turning potential bad luck into good luck.
Major motion pictures do it, and you should too. They have huge budgets and can afford to hire the best talent in every category. Yet they still practice. They still rehearse. And things still go wrong.
Remember, mistakes waste a lot of time. Rehearsals are one way to save it.
You want to work fresh because you need to work sharp. A break should be a break. Drink water. Bring snacks. Sit down when eating.
Without breaks, you get stale and become more prone to mistakes. So rest breaks can save you time in the long run.
Get Second Opinions
When creating a series of clips or shooting a long project, don’t wait until the end to get second opinions. In other words, don’t assume that the audience will follow your clever concept and sophisticated nuances.
They don’t have the background or reference points you may take for granted if you wait until it’s too late to learn that you lost your audience—Double-check that your brilliance is appreciated along the way.
No matter how well-planned your schedule is, stay open to opportunities.
I was on the Venice Beach, California, boardwalk to get a missed shot of merchants selling goods. I came by The Freak Show. They were shooting a commercial and invited everyone to watch.
The scene had nothing to do with the shots I needed. A sword-swallowing lady appeared. I shot the event and fit it into the Boardwalk story. The moral is planning, and scheduling is fine, but flexibility can sometimes be finer.
The Peter Principle of Preparedness
If something can go wrong, it will, and at the worst possible moment. Your job is to create good luck by preparing for good luck—a few examples.
Bad Luck. Batteries die.
Good luck. Your backup batteries are fully charged.
Bad Luck. Subject reduces promised shooting time.
Good luck. You shot the most important things first.
Bad Luck. The hard drive goes bad and takes your movie with it.
Good luck. Good thing you have everything safely backed up.
If you’re starting to make videos, you can’t imagine how many things can go wrong. Throughout this course, I harp on double-checking my work and avoiding problems before they happen.
vp2-6p. Words of wisdom
Now that you have tested sound, lighting, and camera positions, you can start making better videos.
Make a 1:00-2:00 video of yourself with your new skills and tell some stories about good luck and back because of preparation or lack of preparation.
It does not have to be about making videos. It can be any experience.