“ARE YOU READY?”
You yell to your friend who is about to drop into the gap jump that took three months to build and another four months of contemplation to finally attempt.
You can’t believe it, but your friend is finally going to hit the the Taint Smasher drop. And the best part is, you’re going to get it all on film. This is the banger clip of your first full length web edit. You're excited but nervous.
This is a moment you cannot miss.
You turn on your second hand Canon t5i that sits upon the sturdy tripod you found in your aunts crawlspace. It’s a sick edit machine.
The shutter clicks as your trusty DSLR boots up. Being the pro you are, you remove the lens cap and place it in your left pant pocket. You always put your lens cap there.
You grab the tripod handle and practice the predetermined up-down tilt movement that you decided looks best. Piece of cake. Nailed it.
You look through the tiny 1.5” LCD screen and set the frame. You have become such a pro, that the rule of thirds is habitual now. Without hesitation, you place the take-off of the Taint Smasher comfortably in the top right corner of the frame.
Suddenly, every shadow in the forest fades as the sun goes behind the clouds. The image gets a little dark, so you brighten it up by two spinning a dial two notches. Conditions are all-time. This is going to be sick.
Your friend spins a pedal and tightens their grip with trembling, white knuckles.
They drop in and quickly accelerate down the rocky trail toward the twelve-foot high hand-built ladder bridge.
You hit the red circle on the rear of your camera. The red light flashes once.
“Please insert an SD card.”
I’ve been making videos professionally now for nearly 8 years. Yet sometimes, I still feel like an amateur. Whether, it’s a forgotten memory card, a dead battery, faulty gear, or simply not knowing how to use something in its proper fashion – I’m still learning how to do my job better.
In film you often wind up in unpredictable scenarios with a lot of moving parts and people. If something can help me be more efficient and effective, I’m all for it. But besides being time-efficient, nothing gets me more excited than learning how to get a better shot.
I’ve learned many lessons over the years. Some on my own, some from other good people I have the pleasure of working with. While many lessons are learned the easy way, they are most often learned the hard and painful way.
I’m here to help you learn the easy way.
In the end, it's all about forming good habits. Whether you're making sick edits off your family camera or shooting your first car commercial, these are 14 fundamental practices - errr, camera hacks – that will make you a better filmmaker.