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How do we shoot it technically. Generic notes for beginners.

Professionals should disregard.


  • Always 24p. There's no stable way to do 25p with the GH2, right? (Correct me if I'm wrong as it would be better to have 25p because the timeline is going to be 25)
  • All brolls and all interviews should be shot on tripods. You can go handheld in 2 types of situations — if you have a rig/stabilizer or there's absolutely no other way to shoot differently (warzone). Otherwise — tripods. Don't touch your cameras after you pressed rec.
  • When going handheld use the widest lens possible to minimize shakiness.
  • Change angles and focal lengths, which means — MOVE AROUND For the trailer I received a crazy amount of medium closeup shots taken from one and the same location. NEVER shoot so that your shot resembles what your eye can see. Lower your tripod or raise it but give us a different, eye-catching perspective.
  • Always check your exposure and check your focus 3 times before you begin to shoot. Many shots were ruined because of that.
  • Think about your composition. Don't cut significant objects. Remember about DIAGONALS. DIAGONALS make your shots look cinematic.
  • Use your depth of field wisely. It has to have a meaning.
  • Every shot NO LESS THAN 15 SECONDS. I asked for that for the trailer and it was totally ignored by the shooters.
  • This is important. Check your horizon and balance your tripod before shooting. Didn't happen in many cases on the trailer stage.
  • THERE SHOULD BE SOME MOTION in the frame. No postcards. Your shot shouldn't look like a still picture.
  • Finally, think about the symbolic meaning of every shot. What is it telling us? Like a shot from Italy with the banner “private property” makes sense to me. A shot from Italy with just a generic building doesn't tell me anything. It's worthless.


  • Use shotguns to pick on location sound. Sound is crucially important — the sound of the sea, cities, trains — wherever you are shooting at.
  • Every time you are doing an interview, you need to record a room tone - 1 minute of silence for the editor.
  • LAVs should be checked for proper usage. No hiss, no interfering noises.
  • Long interviews are better than short. 15 minutes is a short interview. Hook your characters with a mic and follow them around (preferably for more than 1 day). Wait until they start expressing themselves. Those moments are gold. We don't need official statements about people's hardships. We need a glimpse of reality that would tell us what are the people going through. Yes, it requires time and effort, so if you have none of them — don't risk. Do only what you can and want to. Leave the rest to us.

And once again. There is no pressure upon you guys. You may shoot your own short stories and keep them to yourself if you are skeptical. At the same time I'd appreciate if you keep sharing the ideas with us. You are precious because you live where you live and nobody knows the situation better than you.

our-movies/project-babylon/start.txt · Last modified: 2012/07/09 10:50 by vitaliy_kiselev