Updated: May 4, 2021
Get engaged with your subject matter and become a better documentarian and filmmaker.
I was recently a videographer (DoP) on a 2 day shoot filming for World Vision, a relief and development non profit organization. The shoot brief was to film interviews and b-roll telling the story of World Vision's involvment in teaching literacy to uplift people in impoverished South African communities. A fascinating and important story to tell. By its nature this is a "run and gun" shoot. It important to know what you want to accomplish along with the how you're going to do it. From a gear perspective you want something light, easy to move around with and with a versatile lens. I used the #SonyA7III along with #Tamron's seriously good valued 28-75mm lens. I generally like to film this type of project with a monopod, just be careful of the full frame jello when moving too much. Planning is important or you'll find you end up interviewing countless people and shoot b-roll for the sake of shooting b-roll. Top of the planning list is to do research on your client and what they do. Visit their site and social media pages to grasp what they do and how, along with the tone and language in which they communicate. Get engaged with your client's message and use that to enage them in conversation. Undestand the brief and chat with the client before the shoot, try to assertain where the difficulties and speed bumps in the filming might be. Get the story that needs to be told directly from the client, it's amazing what information you can get from a passionate client. Imortantly, you also begin to understand the project on a whole new level and this makes your life on the shoot days way simpler and far more focussed. Finally, on each day of the shoot sit for 30 minutes and chat with the client, determine what's critical for the day and feedback on the previous days filming. The more you engage with your client and the subject matter the more you're going to get out of your filming day and the story you're telling.