7 Tips to Shoot Like an Editor

After the five things cinematographers can do to make their editor happier, and the art of shooting B-Roll, another way to ensure that the transition between production and post-production is as smooth as possible is to think like an editor while you shoot. DSLR Video Shooter gives out 7 tips to help you nail that mindset in their videos.

7 Tips to Shoot Like an Editor

1 – Film Transitional Shots

This is valid for any type of work, but especially key for documentary-style video. “The idea is that you want the end of your shot to transition from a subject to either black or white or a solid color. What this allows you to do is transition from one shot to the other without any kind of artificial transition.

2 – Slate Your Shots

“If you’re on a set where it’s a very complicated shoot with a lot of informations and a lot of angles, you can do yourself a huge favor by slating your shot.[…] Before you hit record, have the slate in front of the camera and in focus.”  The extra seconds you take on set to slate your shots can save you a lot of time in post-producton, when you or your editor are trying to sort out everything you’ve shot. It’s also a good way to keep your shooting organized as with the digital cameras, there is a temptation to roll all the time.

3 – Overlap Your Shots

“You will want all of your footage to overlap, especially if you’re shooting a lot of sequential footage.” Basically the idea here is to record a full action each time you’re changing angle. Sure, this is not how Robert Rodriguez did it, but this is the way to go if you want to give yourself or your editor options to cut.

4 – Get It All On Film

Record it all. “The first question I ask is what their name, title and position is as well as any information that might be relevant to the project.”

*UPDATE*: mentorless reader Alex Snelling made the very good comment on the Facebook Page that point 5 and 6 should be reversed as you should practice, understand how editing works, and what type of footage you need before going out and film everything and anything (aka get uncontrolled B-Roll as opposed to good B-Roll). I thought this made sense and decided to reverse the order between these two steps, but kept the original numbering from the video. Agree, disagree? Add your voice on Facebook or below in the comments section.

6 – Practice Editing

You always want to edit for practice.” It’s never been easier to shoot and edit footage -unless you need them to mean something… So if you are more of a cinematographer at heart, push yourself to use what you’re shooting to learn about editing and understand the fundamentals that lie behind building a story in the editing room.

5 – Get as Much B-Roll as Possible

We’ve seen before how key good B-Roll is in any visual project you plan of doing, and without failing, DSLR Video Shooter agrees and here is an extra tip they give: “Don’t be afraid to get totally random stuff. They can come very handful and give you a lot of filler to make your final cut very interesting.

7 – Keep the Tone of Your Project in Mind

“As your filming, think about what it is. Is this more of a comedic piece, is this a documentary or an event? Think about what it is and then get footage related to that. (…) Try to think about that and if you know where the product is possibly going, especially if you’re going to be editing it, that can be something you should be something about as you’re shooting not necessarily in the cutting room”

Watch the video for more details and visual examples:

And if you are interested in shooting and editing videos for clients, here is a set of resources that can help you with that:

Thanks to @refocusedmedia via @danneylaceyfilm


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