Monday 11 June 2012

44 Bigger Bang For Your Buck

Posh, Poor & Middleclass BRITS (2010)
Like most small doc film companies, little margie productions is always looking for ways to save money and still produce a pro production. If you want to enhance your doc concentrate on the following.
  • Location, location, location
Be sure to check them out before you shoot. Look for the scenic and unusual. For example, when I was shooting Blue, the homeless guy in Posh Poor & Middleclass BRITS i could have filmed him on the street. But instead I chose a beautiful gothic church. The combination worked because it was a quiet restful place where he could relax and added pathos to his plight.
  • Pay careful attention to the Lighting and audio
We´ve written about this before but it´s so important it doesn´t hurt to repeat it, especially for interviews. Take the time to make sure that the location is inviting, the subject looks great on film and that the audio is crystal clear. These are Musts (with a capital M).
  • Find a celebrity 
Famous faces. or even semi-famous faces add value to a doc. It might not be fair, but viewers like to look at someone they´ve seen in a flick, or on TV. The problem is (we´ve written about this too) they usually want control over content. You have to weigh the pros and cons. But if you land a celeb try to make it work.
  • Keep it moving
Unless you´ve made an artistic decision to use stills, it´s much more fun to see action. If you can´t afford an expensive steadicam try to use something else with wheels to get the effect of the camera moving through the scene. For example, a luggage cart, or the trunk of a car. Drive slowly.
  • Stock Footage
Sometimes it´s cheaper to buy it than shoot it yourself. We were lucky when making "marihanaland" and found out that "Reefer Madness" was in the public domain. Eki illustrated some of the action with scenes from RM. He also color enhanced them to fit into the doc.

Lesson 44  Attention to details means value added

Next week: 45 Out of Sight, Out of Mind

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