Tip #1: Visit the location and take pictures/video.
- Whether or not you'll need to use reflectors.
- What f-stop or shutter speed to shoot in.
- Where to position the camera and actors.
- How the actors would look in the lighting conditions (harsh sunlight tends to make anyone look bad)
- How much time you will have to get the look you desire.
Tip #2: Create a Shot List and Storyboard
I already made a post on storyboards, so click here for more detailed tips on that. Let's now talk about Shot Lists!
As the name suggests, a shot list is a list of all of your shots (duh!). Click the image on the right to download the Shot List template I made and use for my film projects.
Using a Shot List helps you keep track of what you need to shoot, and how you need to shoot it. On set, you can use it as a checklist to know how many shots you've completed, and how many you need to get done.
The Angle tab is for whether the shot is a close up (CU), medium shot (MS), long shot (LS), point of view (POV), and so on. Camera movement such as static, dolly, or jib can be added on the Movement tab.
Tip #3: Feed Your Crew and Actors!
Tip #4: Prepare your Body
Tip #5: Choose your Crew Carefully
- How pleasant they are to be around. I have a "no-jerk" policy on all my projects.
- How good they are at what they do, and how professional they are.
- How much they share my vision for the project.
PS. Make sure your crew take showers; nothing is worse than not being able to breathe on set.