Lights Camera Action?

I have a small pet peeve about this phrase. It’s old, outdated, and nobody says it anymore. It’s a holdover from the silent film era where a studio was making several movies at once, some even right next to each other. Plus, it doesn’t account for some of the other important jobs on set.

So, what should happen before a take?

  1. Once everyone is in their respective places and ready to do their jobs, the Assistant Director (usually) calls for everyone to settle, and get ready to work.
  2. Director: “Sound”
  3. Sound Engineer: “Sound Speed” (The audio has begun to record)
  4. Director: “Camera”
  5. Cameraman: “Camera Speed” (The camera is now recording)
  6. Director calls “Marker”.
  7. Slate: Calls the Scene, Take, etc. like “Inglorious Basterds, Scene 137, Take 4”
  8. Clap!
  9. Slate guy scurries away.
  10. Director: “Action!”
  11. Actors act.

After the scene, the Director will say Cut, meaning everyone stops recording.

Obviously I have left out some important jobs that are pretty vital to the filmmaking process, mostly because they occur many hours or days before and after the shot. I’ll be covering what each person’t role on and off set is later in this blog series.

 

 

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Questions to ask when hiring a videographer

So, you’ve done it. You finally took the plunge, and called a videographer, and want to create a video. But what things should you ask them to ensure you are getting a great videographer that will help you out in the best way possible?

  1. What have you created before? This is a chance for them to talk about their previous work. They may tell you about fun jobs that involved extravagant productions, and jobs that have been enjoyable. Hopefully, they will tell you about something that will be close to your vision for the project. I would caution you against a videographer that speaks badly about a past client; that is just bad business.
  2. What do you charge? Some videographers have a flat hourly fee. Some have a package price. Some can be flexible. All are good. You just want to have someone that is credible, and knows the value of their work.
  3. What is your vision of the project? After discussing your video needs, your videographer will start coming up with ideas to create your project in a way to make it enjoyable and effective. Have them tell you some of these creative ideas, and see how well that lines up with your vision.
  4. How long will this take? Once you have an idea, find a good timetable for completion. Remember that more ambitious ideas take a longer time to complete. Few videos can be created in less than a week. Ensure that you are talking with your videographer well in advance of when you need your video project completed.

Now, you’re prepared with the knowledge of what a good videographer does when beginning a video project. Remember to have fun with your creative project!

Are you looking for a videographer with all these skills? I can help.

What is 1080p?

This is a question I get pretty often.  When I tell someone how good of a camera I have, I usually say that it shoots 1080p HD video. This is usually something that you’ll also see on display when you’re buying a new TV. But what does it mean?

The 1080 is the size of the video that I am shooting. I’m capturing an image that is 1,980 pixels wide, and 1,080 pixels tall. This is a pretty large sensor, but it is pretty standard for most TVs and monitors to display.

The thing is, this number is just the size of the image. There are many devices that can capture this, from cellphones to webcams, to DSLR cameras. The resolution of the image is something a bit more complicated, and tends to get better with camera price. But for most consumer-level, broadcast quality videos, 1080p is perfect.

In case you are wondering about other smaller sizes, and where we came from, here is an image that shows them all to scale. The red and yellow box shows the CRT TV that you probably grew up with. 800px-Common_Video_Resolutions_2.svg_

 

 

Want to see more video in action? See my youtube here.

Ask a filmmaker

No, not ask me. My ego isn’t that big. I’ve gotten an opportunity to talk with a few people in the industry The number one thing I am sure people are wondering is how do you get into the industry. I’ve asked the question to other directors, producers and DPs. Their answer is usually this:

“When someone above you asks for something, RUN to go get it. If you don’t know what you’re fetching, ask someone once you get there.”

Jump, and on your way up, ask how high.