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How do you like to prepare for a shoot?


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#1 scott karos

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 11:47 AM

I'm still fairly new to filmmaking and would love to hear other DP's process in preparing for a shoot.

 

Such as:

 

Do you like to storyboard?

 

Do you do any camera tests?

 

How do you decide certain equipment like cameras or lenses?

 

How does a director influence your decisions?

 

Anything along those lines. It can be any kind of shoot. Feature, short film, commercial, etc.


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#2 John E Clark

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 12:14 PM

I'm still fairly new to filmmaking and would love to hear other DP's process in preparing for a shoot.

 

Such as:

 

Do you like to storyboard?

 

Do you do any camera tests?

 

How do you decide certain equipment like cameras or lenses?

 

How does a director influence your decisions?

 

Anything along those lines. It can be any kind of shoot. Feature, short film, commercial, etc.

 

From my experience in still photography, I always like to visit the location, take location shots, and while there, determine the logistics of transporting equipment, power, etc.

 

As for moving pictures, which I tend to only do 'short films', I do make overhead drawings, especially if the location is 'tight', like a house/apartment.

 

As for drawing... hey that's why I took up photography... I've not found a 'cheap' as in 'free' storyboarding piece of software that works well... ok, there was one about 5-6 years ago, which had a 'free' version and a 'pay' version, and a set of models for sale... but the company that produced was bought out, and entire product was taken off the market... but I digress... and needless to say I don't have the bux to spend on something like Frame Forge, which does have some simple animatics capability...

 

Camera tests come into play when there is a location that has some 'issue' such as 'low light', or big sun no shade... Since I own my camera, I can test most of the time, so it is only when some unusual situation, or someone has a camera that I don't have any experience with, like recently someone in the group I'm a member of, bought a Canon C100.


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#3 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 06:43 PM

Some directors know exactly what they want and in those cases, I provide tech support and guidance and develop a lighting approach that's achievable given the budget and schedule and make recommendations for camera equipment and crew.  When a director really knows what kind of look they want, I do what I can to make sure they achieve that given the conditions we're working under and I will know the script well enough to be able to let them bounce ideas off, etc.

 

Other directors need more a partner as far as developing the "look" of the film is concerned.  They may not know as much technically or they may not be as interested in the "visual" approach as they are in the actors performances and the script.  In those circumstances, I do what I can to try to understand the directors connection to the material so I can help translate the script visually in a way that they likely would if they had my knowledgebase and skillset.

 

This is what's different in my approach between working as a DP vs working as a director.  As a DP, it's not my vision.  It's the directors and I'm there to help them find it. So how involved I am creatively and in preproduction and to what extent is up to them.


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 08 July 2014 - 06:45 PM.

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