I just shot something and I planned it well. I’d like to talk about shooting efficiently in this week’s post. I once took a class that took you through the process of setting up a shoot. You have to take a bunch of things into consideration like time of day, how long you have your actors, location and props.
Granted that this won’t happen in shoots for videos 2 minutes and under. You can probably do that shoot in 2-4 hours tops. You will need to do some extensive planning for shoots in which the end product will be 15 minutes to hours long. The worst thing you can do on a movie shoot is shoot chronologically. There is planning software for this but I found that it’s much more fun and you get really intimate with your project (like you should) if you do this by hand.
What you will need:
4-5 different colored highlighters
A note book
You’re going to read through your script about 3-4 times highlighting specific items. The first items are your actors (blue), the next are props (green), then locations (yellow). If wardrobe is a big deal in your project (i.e. you’re doing a period piece, then use another highlighter).
Once your script/scripts are marked up, (you can also have multiple copies with one labeled prop script in which you only highlight props) you can start planning your shoot and by this time you should be pretty familiar with what scene requires which actors, props and locations.
Now, in your notebook, you’re going to take your scenes and order them by similarity and time of day that is needed. Take locations into consideration. If one scene has all the same actors, props and time of day but the location is across town, then just plan to shoot that scene on a different day.
Take the time in which you’re using your actors into consideration. Don’t plan 15 hour long shoots even if your scenes are so similar you can shoot your movie in one day. You’ll end up burning out your actors.
If you only have one scene that requires you to shoot at night, then shoot that some other day, preferably a weekday because everyone is out of work. If you have one scene that requires a super crazy prop like an elephant or a specific location you need to rent out then these are special cases that you have to plan for and might require a special day of shooting.
Your mission for an efficient shoot is to gather the same people and shoot in close by locations with the same props. This might mean that you’re shooting your opening and ending scene on the same day. That’s fine!
Hope this helps! Let me know what you think or how you plan your shoots!
Take it easy,