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activity2.8 Preparing to shoot


This activity relates to any clips that you plan to film yourself. If you are using only found sources for your video, you can skip this part.

LondonBefore filming make sure that you have made a 'recce'* of your intended location to familiarise yourself
with its layout and assess any potential issues, for example with sound or lighting, camera angle or
position. Take photos of the site that you can refer to later and collect any props, costumes, theatrical
makeup or other resources you will need.

Have you familiarised yourself with the video camera you are going to use? Check all the technical kit you
plan to take and make sure batteries are fully charged and that you have spares. Are you going to need a
tripod to keep the video camera steady or an external microphone to record dialogue?

Are you planning to film any special effects sequences using blue (or green) screen technology? Have you prepared a screen for these scenes?

Does your shoot include dialogue?

For scripted dialogue or to-camera 'talking head' shots, improvise an autocue by typing the text large in PowerPoint and holding up printouts of the slides, or, if practicable, playing the presentation through on a computer positioned where the actors can read it. You could try a free teleprompter such as Cueprompter.

Plan to film some 'cutaways'** that could add variety to a sequence after the main shoot - for example, reaction shots, 'noddy' shots (of the interviewer responding to the interviewee), people's faces, objects or views at the location.

* 'Recce' (pronounced 'recky') is a film term derived from the French word 'reconnaissance', meaning 'recognition', which is used in media production to mean visiting a possible location.

** 'Cutaway' is an interruption to the action when the shot cuts to something else, often an object in the same room or something that the speaker has just mentioned, and and usually cuts back to the main action again. It is used to add interest and improve the pace.

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