Top 5 Tips Preparing For A Shoot

The Open Day for Arcadia Swanbourne was an amazing experience full of activities and performances. It felt like a festival. Filming this event brought so much joy and left an incredible mark of excitement. From the violin performance, the cotton candy bar, the face painting and petting animals, all these activities made shooting the Open Day invigorating.

There was such a vibrant feel at Arcadia Swanbourne. The smiles on their faces brought so much light in the room.

Any shoot can present some difficulties which you need to overcome quickly. So, it is always good to be prepared to decrease the chances of any problems arising.

I would love to share a few tips I’ve learned when preparing for a shoot. Here are my Top 5 tips for any cinematographer to prepare for their shoot:

  1. Make a Checklist

    So always remember to prepare the gears you need for a shoot. So I would normally type a list of equipment I’ll be bringing based on what type of shoot is planned for me to do. Because of the list, I’m able to check them off and pack them in the bag. It’s a good reminder so that you don’t forget the stuff you need and at the same time you have charged batteries and empty SD cards for shooting. This is a great way to keep organised!

  2. Location

    This is critical so you can ensure your on time to arrive at your shoot. The day before my shoot, I check the location on my google maps and see how long it’ll take from my place to the event. Always keep in mind traffic and road fixes as this can make you late to your shoot. It’s good to leave some extra time for these things to take some pressure off, so you can arrive promptly and relaxed to location.

  3. Say Hello

    When you reach your destination, always try to find the person who hired you at the event, the manager or pretty much the person in charge. Give a friendly introduction of yourself and let them know you’re ready to shoot. A great first interaction creates a good lasting impression with your client. They will be able to give you some overview of what will be happening even if you are already given the brief. It’s always good to ask in case they’ve changed a few things at the event.

  4. B rolls

    It’s always good to shoot some b-rolls (they normally are the environment). You want to shoot the place and the signs or where you are. This will help create a little story, revealing what is happening at your shoot and set a vibe for what is to come. To give you an example, I was shooting the balloons and what is happening at the scene to foreshadow this will be an open day event with families coming to celebrate the occasion.

  5. On the spot

    There will be times the schedule won’t be as planned, so be prepared for the event to change a bit. Keeping aware of the environment is good so you can shoot like you know what is happening and unexpected activities that appear can be included at your shoot. Always be open to what is happening and adapt as best you can to change.

These are just some of my tips I learned when preparing for a shoot. If you guys have some other tips, we would love to hear from you too.

- Pia