Before production I had never been on an official shoot – I had made some films as part of my course, but they were filmed on a camcorder in my flat. I felt out of my depth given the sheer amount of equipment, but I was keen to learn what I could during production. I spent a lot of the session observing, but beforehand I dressed the set and transported props from the store. On my course we work with different materials in the space but we never work with actual set, so it was a really cool experience to dress a set. It was also interesting to see which posters we placed directly behind the couch, as these would be the ones we would definitely see in frame. The more we did to the set the easier it was to consider potential shots for the session.
On the day of the shoot Shaw talked me through working with the boom mic – particularly keeping my hands still at all times to prevent noise during filming. It seems common sense now, but I also learned to move the mic towards whoever was speaking in the shot. In retrospect, it now makes a lot of sense because it prevents the dialogue from sounding echoey or uneven during playback.
I found it interesting how careful and exact filming is – we had to cut a couple of times when people made noise or jolted the camera. I now see why film shoots take so long – the need to re-take shots in case of file corruption or sound/light errors makes total sense, and I’ll take that forward for future work.
While I wasn’t necessarily the most useful on the shoot, I feel that I learned a lot from the experience that I can use in future.