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What To Consider Before You Start Shooting a Film

The glitz and glamour of Hollywood pulled you into its orbit. You're ready to follow in the footsteps of legendary directors like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg and create your film that takes inspiration from your favorite movies.

However, whether you're on a shoestring budget or shooting your first full-scale indie flick, there's some behind-the-scenes organization you'll need to iron out before ever turning on the camera. Even if you're already a pro at putting together a film shoot, it never hurts to have a refresher in your back pocket. Here’s what to consider before you start shooting a film.

Check Your Equipment

These days, you can film with various equipment from an iPhone or iPad to consumer DSLRs to professional video cameras. Your budget will dictate what gear you choose to work with. So, do as much research as possible to get the best possible combinations with lighting and sound equipment.

Whatever camera you decide to film with, make sure you get the right accessories to give yourself the best possible picture. Also, make sure you write a checklist of all the equipment you need the day before each shoot. The last thing you want is to drive hours into the desert or across state lines for a location shoot only to realize you forgot your 50mm Prime lens or neglected to buy a lighting kit.

Have a Shot List

It's finally time to shoot, but you and your cinematographer are spending hours trying to figure out the right shot. Not being prepared can waste everyone's time and cost you money. Work through your script beforehand to ensure it's ready to go and have each shot planned out before you even get to set.

People Have To Eat

No matter your budget, you need to make sure your cast and crew get regular meals or snacks on set. A typical day of shooting can last twelve hours or more.

If you can't hire a catering crew, you’ll either have to cook and prepare food yourself or find an affordable restaurant nearby that can accommodate everyone. If your cast and crew volunteer their time, you especially need to make this one of your top priorities.

Access to Restrooms and Waiting Areas

Shooting will often take you to remote areas that don't have traditional services like bathrooms or places to sit. When you’re location scouting, take note of the facilities or amenities available. If there aren't any, you may want to consider renting a portable restroom trailer or chairs for your cast and crew.

Your goal on shoots should be to make a great film and keep the people working to make your dream a reality as happy as possible.

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