There are so many obstacles that indie filmmakers working on a shoestring budget need to tackle on a day-to-day basis. Fortunately, most of these situations tend to stimulate our creative thinking and help us find straightforward and efficient workarounds that can significantly ease things out thus enhancing our workflow along the way.
As an aspiring filmmaker with some impressive skill set under his belt, Ryan Connolly of Film Riot is here with another insightful video that covers a few handy practical tips and tricks that can save you a lot of headaches on set and add some extra production value to any of your filmmaking projects even without spending a single dime.
A common difficulty with low budget filmmaking is finding proper locations for your video shoot which typically leads to filming in a much smaller place than the one you have initially planned to. A simple workaround on those occasions is to move your actors all the way to either side of the room thus maximizing the space that you’re shooting in for each character. Just be careful not to have any “identifiers” in your shot that could potentially ruin your scene.
And, the best part is that you can apply this trick when filming outdoors as well. This time, instead of moving your actors around you can swap their places once you finish with all coverage on either side. This technique can also be a huge time-saver considering that you don’t have to rearrange all your lighting gear, camera position, etc.
Another way to promptly fix a problem on set is by reversing the shot in post. For instance, if it’s difficult to pull off a particular movement or it can take you too long to nail, you can simply do it the other way around and then reverse it in post. For instance, if you need to punch your lens with an object, you can start with placing the latter in the lens and then pull it quickly away.
Meanwhile, if you want to fake the sweat on your talent’s face simply add some glycerin to the water that you tend to use for the trick thus making the fake sweat look more realistic in your final shot. Just be careful with this technique, as some people can be allergic to this particular compound, so it’s always recommended to do a spot test to a small area of their skin first. Another good alternative to this technique is using some baby oil that is much better for sensitive skin and can also do some fairly decent job.
The final tip of Ryan Connolly suggests employing a quick camera pan that can be utilized not only as a creative transition between different scenes but also can be suitable for a wide variety of difficult to execute shots just like the one with the ax showcased at the end of the video above. Even though these tricks won’t solve all your problems on set by any means, they can certainly be helpful and efficient, especially if applied in the right place at the right time.