Documenting Is Worth Doing

Perhaps you’ve been reading all the recent posts and have decided to make a movie. Or maybe you already have one in progress. Either way, have you thought of documenting your production? No? Well, I’ll tell you why you should and how we do it.

Why Document?

Our first movie had barely any documentation. We took a grand total of, oh, probably 15 pictures, most of which were of things we did when not making the movie.

When we started iSundae, we decided to avoid making the same mistake twice and assigned documentation to somebody. So between movies, we went from 15 pictures to 579 photos and 140 movies. Once the movie production was finished, we all got plenty of laughs out of our documentation. Then we did iSundae II and took 1,259 photos, plus 278 movies.

So why document? Well, for one thing, you will catch all sorts of silly moments. If we hadn’t been documenting during iSundae II production, we would have missed all sorts of silly moments, such as wig adjustments, crazy dances, and shadow puppets.

Need a second reason? What happens when your friends ask how you made the movie, and you are struck with the idea of doing a “making of” video? Or if you decide to blog your movie? Documenting is essential to both.

Filming a Scene

How Should I Document?

I doubt that there is one right way to document a movie project. That said, this is how we do it.

We pick one person who has a small part in the film and make them the main documenter. It is their job to carry around a small digital camera and take photos and movies of everything. Basically, just tell them to take pictures of what’s going on.

When we’re on set, we put the camera somewhere within reach and point out where it is. If somebody wants to document, they are perfectly welcome to take a few pictures or movies.

Of course, as I indicated a little further up, all this documentation can come at the cost of embarrassment to yourself. If you’re like me, you end up being the subject of most of the silly photos. But the pros of documenting certainly outweigh that small con.

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One comment on “Documenting Is Worth Doing

  1. One thing to keep in mind as you document. Either tell the documenter to not take shots while the camera is rolling, or turn the flash off. If you don’t, you end up with flashes of light where you don’t want them. This is the voice of experience.

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