Production: 6 Tips for Shooting on Sets

Whether you are filming a television show or a movie, there will be a sets involved. A set is an environment created to make the script more believable. Sets that represent towns are generally built to look like a town, but only certain parts of the buildings are complete and others are on a façade. For television, a set can be revolving in order to have two different scenes. Here are some tips on how to shoot a scene on a set.

1. Keep the Camera Firm

Taking a good shot on a set depends on how well you hold the camera. Any movement other than that needed to get the shot can ruin the scene. The camera should be held firmly in place to avoid any shaking. Also avoid talking, coughing or making any kind of sound, as it will be heard loudly on the finished product. Watch the natural body movements also such as: breathing, shoulder movements, wiggling, etc.

2. Filter Outside Noises

If your set is outdoors and the characters have talking parts, then be sure you have a filter for your microphone in order to filter out the outside noises such as the wind. If you do not filter the outside noise out, it will be even louder on film and the characters dialogue will become irrelevant.

3. Angle the Camera to Enhance the Scene

Although you may have a script to follow and you know the dialogue, look for interesting shots to take. Using the camera at different angles, you can create a mood of mystery, romance, boredom, etc. Your camera angles can enhance the scene and the dialogue.

4. Save Cuts

Do not destroy any of the scene footage that may have been cut at the time of the shooting. You may decide later that some part of the footage may be needed to beef up or tone down a portion of a scene. You will need that cut because refilming is not an option at this point.

5. Take Caution When Zooming and Panning

The camera operator uses a zoom lens to change the local length of a scene shot. However, an optical length is preferred to the zoom lens. There are certain scenes for which the zoom lens is better, especially for speed, and they are easy to use. The use of panning, which is when the camera moves slowly from side to side following a moving object or with the intention of filming something else, should be use sparingly and with great thought. This has to be done smoothly, or it will distort the set and everyone in it. Panning should only be used if the mood needs extreme mystery or suspense, and should be done with great care.

6. Be Aware of the Sound

Listen carefully to what your characters are saying and get the shot and sound clearly. Again, if the scene is outdoors, then be sure have a filter to filter out all of the outdoor noises. Keep the sound of the scene clear and sharp.

When you have finished shooting the script, it will be time to edit it and make a movie of it. Be sure you have the proper equipment and that it is all in good working condition.

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