Movie-Making Tips

During the making of iSundae, I learned all sorts of useful things. These are the first six that come to mind:

  1. Never install audio mixer batteries backwards. Not only does the mixer not work that way, but it’s also a fire hazard.
  2. Use extreme caution when reaching into the depths of electrical equipment. I received my very first electrical shock that way. (Although it scared Rebekah a great deal more than it did me.)
  3. If you happen to be the one chosen to stand in the sun, running the camera, while the actors conveniently perform in the shade, I have found an umbrella to be a handy tool for keeping the sun off. However, you must exercise caution, for if it’s a windy day and you can only hold the umbrella with one hand, it’s very easy for the umbrella edge to blow forward and creep into the camera’s view. I ruined several good shots that way.
  4. Never get involved in a spoon-waving war with your co-editor.
  5. If your actors have to remove their glasses (as ours did) while acting, it is utterly pointless to try and guide them with hand motions. You can gesture for them to move one way, but if they can’t see which way you’re pointing, it doesn’t do any good.
    The other option is to direct them verbally. However, the downside with this is that “forward” can mean many different things. It usually results in things like, “My left or yours?” “Forward towards the camera, or forward from where I’m facing?” “Do I back up backwards, or toward the other actor?” Unfortunately, I have not yet found a good cure for this.
  6. Never allow anyone to move a microphone if you’re wearing the headphones, and the volume’s up. For some reason, it took me several painfully loud instances to figure this out.

Now, I’m sure you won’t be able to apply all of these to your movie-making, but hopefully, at the least, I’ve given you a few laughs.

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