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Everything you need to know to plan a successful shoot

planificar rodaje

When it comes to coming up with a film idea, at first everything is an explosion of creativity. However, if you don’t think carefully about how to plan your shoot, you run the risk of many ideas getting lost along the way. Resources are not used as well as they could be, and the unexpected can affect the final result.

To correct these errors, it is essential that you follow the patterns that the film greats use when transferring their projects to the set and then to the screen. In this article we will talk about fundamental elements of planning and scenarios.

Six things that you need to take into account for your filming

We give you six tips to help you the next time you’re considering shooting a film. It does not matter if it is a large or a small project. Professional ways of working always pay off sooner or later.

Time management

Deciding and assigning timings to each task is essential in order to create a coherent shooting plan. This plan will help you to decide in advance what is to be done in each session. Very often people forget to take some shots that need to be taken in the same location, in a castle, for example. This means having to go to the same place again, and so spend twice as long shooting a scene. 

The storyboard is fundamental

You’ve probably heard this word before. It is the best friend of planning, and the two together can give you a basic idea of what your film is going to be like, and how it is going to be made. A storyboard is a series of illustrations that allow you to develop your creative idea and understand the structure of one or more scenes. The storyboard quickly helps you to see how you want to present the characters, in terms of some of their expressions and dominant colour tones.

The shots must be clear, so that there is no misunderstanding as to whether a particular vignette corresponds to one shot or another. Simply adding the name of the desired shot along with the technical specifications will be very helpful.

The unwritten rules of a shoot

Not everything is a clearly thought out procedure. Cinema is magic, so there are tricks that are difficult to explain. For some reason, “Quiet, Camera, Action!” or “Cut” has become a kind of essential ritual. It is also important that the filming assistants announce it when one of the actors is going to record their last take. This is when the entire team applauds, just before they leave the filming area. To bring the filming to a close, it is important to organise a party where everyone can celebrate that this exciting, yet at the same time tedious, part is over.

The method

It is said that each film or each director has their own method. As a professional you must come up with a specific way of doing things, and focus on a specific goal. A standard starting point used by many is something called a master shot, although different filmmakers use their own or mixed methods.

The role of the director

They must be conscious of their role, and the fact that they are not only involved in organising filming, but are also a leader. They need to have a critical eye, always think in advance and know how to manage the relationships between the people on the shoot.

The shooting plan is fundamental

Do you remember that we mentioned the shooting plan before? This is a basic guide that should be prepared before you even think about cameras and spotlights. The plan should include different elements that we are going to list here:

  • Some basic information about the scene, taken from the production script itself.
  • The location where the scene is to be shot, in a hotel or a castle, for example. It may be that you are going to shoot a whole film in one place.
  • The characters appear, not by name, but by a number assigned to them.
  • Reference is made to the number of eighths calculated before making the shooting plan.
  • In this section, the approximate time it will take to film the scene is established.

Now that you’re aware of the basics of cinematography, it’s time to apply these tips to your own audiovisual project. Organisation and professional planning are two factors that contribute to increasing the perceived value of your work. A striking, colourful setting like the Gran Luxor Hotel will also be a key positive factor when planning the shoot.

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